I must confess a harsh reality: My stay at the fabulously chic W Fort Lauderdale was a bleisure getaway, and thus my hours lounging by the pool or sunbathing along the stunning stretch of Fort Lauderdale Beach that’s on view from the hotel was, unfortunately, kept to a minimum. Champagne problems, I know, especially when you consider I did enjoy a very spacious guestroom with to-die-for views, a best-of-the-best treatment at the AWAY Spa and a delicious dinner at the very lively El Vez, the resort’s onsite Mexican eatery. I was, in fact, able to perfectly marry business and leisure.
With that in mind, attendees headed to Fort Lauderdale for business will be wowed by the W Fort Lauderdale, with 517 accommodations, including suites, iconic sail design and subtle homages to the sand and sea throughout. For VIP attendees, we highly recommend one of the larger suites, such as the 2,607-sq.-ft., 2-bedroom Extreme WOW Penthouse Suite, located on the 24th floor and featuring the hotel’s largest terrace (ideal for a cocktail gathering under the stars). There are, in fact, quite a few residential Wow suite options, all of which come with a full kitchen—perfect for intimate C-suite gatherings to wind down after a full day. That said, my 360-sq.-ft. king guestroom was quite comfy with all the amenities I needed at my fingertips, including a must-have in-room Nespresso machine and one of the most expansive bathrooms this writer has ever seen in a room this size. All accommodations come complete with water views—either ocean or Intracoastal—and a private balcony, the latter the perfect place for your clients to go over their emails while sipping their early morning coffee.
When it’s time to get down to business, you’ll have access to an array of spaces, including eight Studios that can be reserved individually or in a combination for groups of up to 250; the 4,000-sf ballroom Mingle, divisible into three intimate breakouts, and accommodating up to 350; the Great Room, which fits up to 480 theater-style when combined; and The Bungalows with views of the Atlantic Ocean. For those who want to embrace South Florida’s sparkling outdoors, the resort offers more than 7,300 sf of outdoor event space including The Courtyard, for a 500+ function, and The Terrace, which can host 220 for an oceanview event. And, of course, any of the Wow suites can be turned into a meeting session.
Additionally, W Fort Lauderdale has just debuted one of the most unique teambuilding activities we’ve ever come across: From Boardrooms to Board-Offs. This meetings/events activity is centered around who can create the most photo-worthy “board” out of various food items. Teams can choose from predetermined themes (traditional charcuterie, breakfast boar, and mocktail board with various drink garnishes) and compete to create the most visually pleasing board to enjoy afterward. —Paloma Villaverde de Rico