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Linda Coffman

Hyatt Regency ~ Pier 66
A Fort Lauderdale Favorite

By Linda Coffman

Pier 66
My choice in Fort Lauderdale for a pre-cruise getaway

Who could have imagined more than a half-century ago that the 22 acres of swamp land purchased by Phillips Petroleum would grow from a gas station designed for serving watercraft to one of Fort Lauderdale's premier landmarks? From its humble beginnings, Pier 66 grew to include a luxury marina and yacht club and then a motel. Demand for accommodations was so high that the 17-story hotel tower was constructed and the rest is history.

Ship lovers can gather on tower balconies or at the Pier Top Lounge to take in the spectacular view and watch the passenger ships regally sail as dark begins to settle over Port Everglades. It's a magical sight, either from the outside observation deck or seated in the famous, slowly revolving lounge that makes a full circuit every 66 minutes.

Pier 66 Tower Guest Room

Pier 66 ~ Tower Guest Room

While the hotel is not new, it is lovingly maintained and luxurious. Every guest room features natural cherry wood furniture and a neutral palette enhances the décor. Most bathrooms include expansive Brazilian granite vanities, Spanish marble flooring, and stylish lighting. A number of rooms are available for non-smokers and specially equipped rooms for the disabled are located in the low-rise Lanai section of the resort.

Standard Hyatt Regency Pier 66 amenities include: 

  • Private balconies or patios with expansive water or garden views

  • Three telephones with two separate lines for modem hook-up 

  • Direct dial phone, voicemail, telephone with message light and call waiting

  • 32" color television with remote control, cable, on-command movies and guest folio review 

  • AM / FM alarm clock 

  • Video guest check-out 

  • Individual climate control 

  • Coffee maker

  • Full bath amenities

  • Mini-bar

  • Hairdryers and telephones in bathrooms

  • Iron and ironing boards

  • Coffee makers

  • Nightly turndown service upon request

  • In-room safe

Pier 66 ~ Tower Luxury Bath

While I prefer the view from a tower balcony, the Lanai rooms also have a great deal to offer. The best locations in the Lanai buildings overlook lush, tropical gardens, planted with the most beautiful of South Florida's trees, plants, and flowers. This tranquil oasis is complete with waterfalls, three geometrically shaped swimming pools, and an enormous hydrotherapy pool that accommodates at least forty people.

Boat lovers might prefer a Lania room overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway, where yachts cruise by to dock at the world-class 142-slip marina. One of my favorite places in the late afternoon is an outdoor table at the Pelican Bar & Grill, upstairs from the dockside Marina Service Office. From there, it's fun to daydream about the islands you could explore on one of the luxurious private vessels while you enjoy a snack and a cool drink. Another afternoon activity that's inexpensive and fun is a ride on a water taxi. Make arrangements to catch one and take in the diverse sights along the Intercoastal, where you'll see everything from fabulous mansions to unspoiled tropical forests.

There's so much to do right at Pier 66, that you might not be inclined to leave... get a team together for water volleyball and check the Aquatic Center for a variety of water sports, jog on the scenic trail, or play a vigorous game of tennis on the lighted, Har-Tru tennis courts. Spa LXVI  provides pampering body treatments and the new Grande Oaks Golf Club offers a challenging course and first class championship golf amenities.

Choose from six restaurants and lounges that present a variety of menus and ambiance, from casual to elegant dining. California Café offers seafood, pasta dishes, and brick-oven pizza. The Mariners Grille is a full service casual restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Sandwiches, snacks, and cold drinks are served at the Pelican Bar and Grill overlooking the marina and  burgers, sodas, and tropical drinks are featured at the Poolside Bar and Grill. You'll find the Lobby and Coffee Bar is the spot for cocktails, gourmet coffees, and deli foods and the Pier Top Lounge has live evening entertainment Tuesday through Saturday. If you're inclined to de-stress and relax in the privacy of your own room, 24-hour Room Service is available.

Does all this sound too expensive? Hyatt Regency Pier 66 is somewhat pricier than other Fort Lauderdale hotels, but special “deals” that include breakfast or other extras are often available—be sure to check when making reservations

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Pier 66 Photographs Copyright © Linda Coffman

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