Large, zero-entry pool with delightful lazy river feature
Small room for cardio workouts plus paddleboard rentals
Valet parking (for a fee)
Wi-Fi included in daily resort charge
Car required, since there's little to do in surrounding area
Restaurant is pricey and food can be mediocre
Long waits on weekends for expensive valet parking
Rooms overlooking busy road can be noisy
The four-pearl Pelican Grand Beach Resort is a 159-room hotel that's slightly boho and a bit Southern belle, with a prime beachfront location. Rooms are charming, with cottage and shabby-chic details plus balconies and vintage bathrooms -- some have ocean views. Direct beach access helps sweeten the deal even further, as does the large pool with lazy river. The hotel also has a spa, fitness room, a restaurant, and even an ice cream shop to really capture that beachy vibe. While there's plenty of seclusion and privacy, there's nothing within an easy walk, and it's a five- to 15-minute drive to the main areas of restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Travelers may also want to consider the Atlantic Resort and Spa, which is closer to downtown Fort Lauderdale and has lower rates.
Grand Victorian-style beach resort with plenty of beachy, Southern charm
The Pelican Grand Beach Resort feels both modern and quaint, and it's a prime spot for beachfront relaxation, with spaces like an oceanview terrace with rocking chairs ready-made for kicking back in the ocean breeze. The Victorian style of this 159-room hotel's pale yellow exterior extends into the lobby, which has a grand Old Florida vibe, with white-painted columns, crown moldings, and big ceiling fans. Furnishings are a mix of mahogany and rattan armchairs and pink roll-arm sofas with an excess of striped chintz throw pillows. A restaurant with dark-wood paneling and rattan-topped tables leads out to a large dining terrace with tables overlooking the water. Also in the lobby is an old-fashioned ice cream and espresso parlor with black-and-white penny tile floors, red striped walls, and chrome soda-fountain stools. The hotel is located in the quiet northern part of Fort Lauderdale, and while it can get busy -- especially on the weekends -- the vibe here is relatively laid back. Expect to see plenty of vacationers of all stripes here.
Right on the beach, in a quiet northern part of Fort Lauderdale
The Pelican Grand is one of the few hotels in this part of Fort Lauderdale that's right on the ocean. The hotel offers beautiful water views and direct beach access, but the trade-off for staying in the quieter part of Fort Lauderdale means there's not so much within an easy walk of the hotel -- in fact, most of the neighboring buildings are high-rise condos. Having a car will make it easier to reach most of the sights in the area, many of which are within an easy five- to 15-minute drive. Travel times are as follows:
Five-minute drive to The Strip
Eight-minute drive to Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
10-minute drive to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, a nature preserve
15-minute drive to Las Olas Boulevard, a strip of restaurants, bars, and clubs
18-minute drive to downtown Fort Lauderdale
Half-hour drive to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Spacious, beachy rooms with eclectic style plus balconies and vintage bathrooms
Rooms are spacious and range from Standard Rooms with city views to Oceanfront Suites with separate sitting rooms. The look is a nice step up from many of the drab beachfront hotels in the area, and all have a beachy, eclectic look to them, with touches of Old South charm. Decor includes black wrought-iron bed frames and white cottage-style nightstands. The best rooms have striking accent walls made of reclaimed wood painted in soothing pastels, while others look more provincial, with cream striped wallpaper. A combination of wicker and overstuffed seating offers a reminder that the beach is just outside the hotel's doors. Some rooms feature French doors that open to private balconies with chairs overlooking the water. Amenities include mini-fridges, microwaves, flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, and coffeemakers. Wi-Fi is included in the daily resort fee. Large bathrooms have a trendy vintage style, with white wainscoting, black granite countertops, and black and white penny tile floors. There have been complaints of traffic noise in streetside rooms.
Pool with lazy river, spa, direct beach access, restaurant, bar, and ice cream shop
Even though it's not the largest resort in South Florida, the Pelican Grand has a nice amount of features for guests on a long weekend or extended beachfront getaway. The biggest perk is obviously the hotel's direct beach access -- lounge chairs and umbrellas are set up on the sand and paddleboards can be rented directly through the hotel. As an alternative way to get wet, there's a lazy-river water feature that winds around the hotel's palm tree-lined pool. A chic spa has a full menu of services, including an intimate couples treatment room with a freestanding tub and ocean views. While the hotel's cardio-machine fitness center is tiny, it's sufficient enough for a quick workout (though a jog along the beach might be a nicer alternative).
While there are dining and drinking options on-site -- a handy extra since there's nothing within an easy walk from here -- food is expensive and gets uneven reviews. The restaurant is lovely, with interiors that blend classical and modern styles plus a dining terrace overlooking the ocean, and it serves new American fare as well as small plates. All three meals are available on-site and room service is also available. There's a lobby bar as well as a Victorian-style ice cream parlor and souvenir shop. Meeting and event spaces include a large rooftop terrace with stunning water views. A nod to the many business guests who pass through here, the hotel also has a well-appointed business center with several computers. Wi-Fi is included in the daily resort fee and valet parking is available for a daily charge, though the service can be quite busy on the weekends.
Customers Who Viewed Pelican Grand Beach Resort Also Viewed