Fort Lauderdale Port Everglades Hotels near the Airport and Beaches
A brief discussion of the popular Fort Lauderdale Port Everglades Hotels within 15 minutes or so by shuttle from the cruise port.
We also include links to the hotels mentioned with important information such as port shuttles, parking and deals. Please open our map for easier navigation Port Everglades Google Map
Port Everglades Hotel Clusters
As shown on the map there are 9 clusters of hotels popular with cruisers:
- Las Olas Cluster – The famous restaurant/bar district near the revitalized Fort Lauderdale downtown with several new hotel options to choose from.
- Fort Lauderdale Beach Cluster – Several upscale and even surprisingly affordable hotels in this area for beach lovers. Can get busy and everything is a bit more expensive here.
- 17th Street Cluster – Traditionally the most popular cluster with cruisers. Located at the north end of the Port and perfect if you want ship views, shops and restaurants
- Marina Mile Cluster – Out towards I-95 north of the airport, this area is rural with strip malls, solid local restaurants and lower rates. Often overlooked, this is a great area to stay before a cruise.
- Route 1 Cluster – Not the most attractive area but fine for budget-minded travelers who want to stay near to the Port
- Airport Hotel Cluster – At the SW corner of the airport, this a typical airport hotel area with familiar chain hotels but not much nearby
- Dania Beach Cluster – An older town known for its many antique shops. Several new hotels are opening making this area an up-and-coming overnight stop for cruisers.
- I-95 South Cluster – Typical and familiar highway chain hotels a bit further south of the airport near a mall
- Plantation Cluster – About 11 miles to the west. This area is very typical of planned communities in cities around the corner with about a dozen chain hotels, several chain restaurants a mall and a strip mall. If you do not have car then you will find it expensive to Uber or taxi to the 17th Street, Las Olas or Beach restaurants but do ask about free hotel shuttles from the airport and to the port.
There are other areas to stay if you are looking for deals and/or perhaps a quieter stay away in residential neighborhoods
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and Hollywood are two additional hotel clusters for cruisers who have specific reasons for staying elsewhere away from the usual cruise hotels. Both offer lower rates at times and you get that old-Florida attractiveness that make these two areas special.
Las Olas Cluster
Stretching about 10 blocks, the main shopping and restaurant area of Las Olas Boulevard is a magnet for visitors and locals alike! It is the vibrant heartbeat of Fort Lauderdale near Port Everglades (away from the beach promenade) and a very popular area for cruisers to visit even when they do not have transportation or staying nearby – thanks to the fun water taxis it is reachable from the 17th Street and Beach hotel clusters!
Downtown Fort Lauderdale is nearby and currently exploding with several new hotels and residential units under construction. Cruisers now have several hotel options to choose from with more to come!
The famous Las Olas strip is not actually on the water – it is a block or 3 away – and if you are familiar with many Florida coastal towns you may wonder what the hype is all about! It is a busy two-way road, very similar to similar streets in cities and towns across America that are lined with restaurants and bars and some shops. And it is not even close to the ocean! What makes Las Olas different are the water taxis; arriving by boat is much more fun than arriving by taxi!
Nevertheless, if you love to eat out, have a few drinks and watch people then this is the place for you! While lunch and dinner opportunities are endless, it is not the best area for breakfast.
If you have smaller kids in tow, or not willing to wait a while for a side-walk table then Las Olas may not work for you. But it is a great destination considering how much you and the kids will love the water taxi ride!
Fort Lauderdale Beach Cluster
This cluster of hotels cover about 3 miles of the very popular Fort Lauderdale Beach area – perfect for cruisers wanting to feel the sand between their toes before or after a cruise! The cost of hotel rooms fluctuate greatly with the seasons but with some persistence you may find something within your budget, especially if you are willing to stay in smaller local hotels/motels (not chain hotels) between the high rises. Options range from the Ritz to Snooze Boutique! However, the popular hotels are not cheap and you will find challenges with parking (often valet only, not self-parking. free parking is almost non-existent), road congestion on weekends and packed restaurants. But hearing the ocean will put you right in cruise mode!
It is our favorite area to overnight before a cruise.
Where to stay depends on your budget and interests and whether you have a vehicle or not. Many cruisers prefer hotels close to the water taxi stops (refer to the interactive map above to see the stops from different taxis/shuttles), allowing them to visit Las Olas, 17th Street and the Mall area. The Sun Trolley also travels the Beach Boulevard with connections to other areas (see interactive map above).
17th Street Cluster
This area comes to mind first when talking about Port Everglades hotels! Some hotels are just a few blocks from the Northport and there are a wide selection of shops and restaurants to choose from – typical of areas near Convention Centers. It is a busy area and you may have to cross the very wide A1A several times while exploring but most folks are perfectly OK with it all.
There is nothing amazingly attractive about staying here other than the convenience of having everything you need nearby. Restaurants, liquor stores, Total Wine, groceries and pharmacies.
But a water taxi stop and views of the cruise ships are two reasons why it is so popular is just a few blocks away!
The high floors of the Hilton, Embassy Suites and especially the tower of the Pier Sixty-Six offer great views of Port Everglades and the surrounding waters. If your room does not offer you great views then you can walk to the bridge and look at the cruise ships from there.
The rest of the hotels in the cluster are near shopping malls and restaurants as shown on the maps above!
Marina Mile Cluster
There are often great deals at these hotels between I-95 and Rte 1, along State Road 84 known as the Marina Mile. If you drive, most hotels offer free parking!
It is a working class neighborhood with the usual selection of strip malls, marinas and highway hotels and motels. But do not let the occasional bad review prevent you from looking into staying here for a night before your cruise. A few locals on Cruise Critic are very local about their dislike for this area but they have obviously not stayed here – so just ignore them!
The hotels closest to I-95 get lower ratings because they are “motels” for budget-minded cruisers and road travelers. The exception is the new Tryp which looks much nicer. To the east, you will find four higher-rated chain hotels near the Winn-Dixie with higher ratings that are popular with cruisers. Those are within walking distance of five established local restaurants, a few fast food chains and a liquor store.
One of the positives about staying in this cluster of hotels, is the fact the location is close enough to the beach and 17th Street area so you can get cheap Uber or taxi rides.
Route 1 Cluster
If you are determined to stay as close to the cruise port as possible while on a “tight” budget then this cluster of six hotels along Route 1 will be of interest! These hotels/motels vary greatly in terms of amenities and quality and are fairly typical of the type of lodging one sees along the historic Route 1.
The Four Points By Sheraton has good reviews and its location will place you within walking distance of shops and restaurants along 17th Street. The Crowne Plaza is very popular with cruisers and closest to the Port (actually the high rooms have side views of the ships!) but with the exception of Anthony’s there is nowhere nearby to eat or drink or see. Be careful when walking after dark.
As for the rest, few restaurants and shopping opportunities and walking after dark is certainly discouraged. If you do not have a vehicle then you are a taxi ride away from almost everything.
Airport Hotel Cluster
At the Southwest corner of Fort Lauderdale Airport you will find this small cluster of chain hotels that are very familiar to frequent flyers! While close to the airport on the map, these hotels are some distance from the terminals and certainly the cruise port. These hotels also get a lot of walk-in traffic from nearby I-95 so you can expect noisy nights as people come and go.
Nothing is within safe walking distance except Bass Pro Shops (with Islamorada Restaurant) next to the Courtyard. The Rustic Inn Crabhouse and Tropical Acres Steakhouse are iconic Lauderdale restaurants especially if you have a car.
The hotels offer frequent airport and port shuttles.
Dania Beach Cluster
There are 7 hotels in the Dania Beach area near the cruise port and airport and a few more are being built. It is a working class residential area with plenty of commerce along Route 1 and E Dania Beach Blvd – antique shoppers may actually find it interesting!
Cruisers staying overnight should not expect much in terms of restaurants. The local eateries are spread out and transportation is needed to explore. The casino is the biggest attraction here.
However, if you have a vehicle then do drive out to John U. Lloyd Beach State Park – from where you can watch the cruise ships come and go!
I-95 South Cluster
This is another cluster of typical highway hotels that are familiar to travelers. Rooms can be noisy as folks check in and out at all hours of the day and night. It is actually a nice new area with plenty of typical restaurants and shopping areas (especially where Dave & Busters are) but those are too far to walk from most hotels.
These hotels are quite far from the cruise port (relatively speaking) but all offer cruise packages.
There is no consistent advice that can be shared because the options vary greatly depending on your booking package. Most hotels include free airport transfers but charge for port transfers, others offer free transfers from the airport and to the port, but charge for the return transfers, and so on! But FREE comes with a price – the transfer costs are simply rolled into your room costs and you have to deal with the challenges of shared transportation.
At the end of the day, nothing is really FREE except FRUSTRATION!
You have a few options if looking for hotels and transfers:
- Book direct with the hotel. Our hotel section list all the popular hotels with parking/shuttle/review information.
- Book via an online hotel booking agency but these are best for room-only bookings. Booking.com is extremely popular. Trivago is an excellent source for price comparison. There are other favorites like ValueTrips and Priceline
- Book with specialist sites that offer packages to include breakfast, parking and shuttles or combinations thereof. Stay123, ParkSleepFly
Pros and Cons
The benefit is obviously peace of mind and the ease of simply booking a hotel package with everything included. Sometimes it is cheaper too.
The drawbacks are:
- Hotel shuttles are often subcontracted to local transportation companies and quality of vehicles/service vary.
- Many hotels offer free airport shuttles but port shuttles cost extra. Some charge for shuttles back to the airport.
- Hotel shuttles to the Port often run on a limited fixed schedule – say 10am and 11am. They do not run non-stop so plan accordingly! If you get frustrated with waiting then calling a taxi will negate your package savings
- Hotel cruise shuttles make various stops (including the airport at times). If your stop is number 6 then you will get a tour of the Port!
- Watch your luggage while passengers unload! It is very possible for someone to mistakenly grab the wrong bag while in a hurry at the cruise terminal. You will not know about this until you reach your own stop, creating a huge problem!
- The wait times for hotel shuttles from the ship back to the hotel at the end of the cruise can be frustratingly long! Many passengers simply hail taxis. Keep this in mind before paying upfront for return hotel shuttles.