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The B Ocean Hotel is Not Quite The W But You Will B Surprised

April 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM | by | ()

Guess the Hotel Revealed!

The other night we finally got to experience the new B Hotels and Resorts brand at their first (and only) hotel, The B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

We nabbed a rate of $169, thanks to a special promo on Jetsetter.com and even before arriving, we were already comparing this place to the W Fort Lauderdale down the road.

Don't worry, W, your standing as the Prom King of boutique hotels is not in any jeopardy at all. But B Ocean definitely surprised us with their rooms and amenities. We just hope that future B Hotels open in more exciting places than Fort Lauderdale.

Lobby Living: The petite white front desks greets you as you walk into the lobby, but we were distracted by the groovy mood lighting that changed from blue to purple to pink. We also couldn't take our eyes off an interactive touch-screen board that showed you what's on the property as well as what's happening in town.

The rest of the lobby is bookended by restaurants--the B'stro Beach cafe serving casual fare and the Saia restaurant and lounge for evening funtime. There was also a giant television screen, plenty of seating and cascading bubble "chandeliers." What was probably most striking was the white wavy walls, which we gather were designed to mimic the ocean waves.

And much like W Hotels, B Ocean has its own signature scent of Green Tea.

Check-In: There was no wait at check-in but we started to get nervous about the crowd that was piling up in wait for the elevator. With one eye on the elevator situation, we asked for a king bed as the Jetsetter reservation automatically gave us a double room. We were able to get the king but at a $20 upgrade charge. We decided to take it.

There was a little bit of a wait as the front desk sorted out the charges but eventually we were given our keys and walked towards the elevators.

There were three elevators but only two were working. We waited about five minutes for an elevator. The wait was no better when we headed out to dinner and when we returned later in the the night.

Room Reaction: The rooms were the part we loved the most about this hotel. They actually do promise a great ocean view (and some street traffic.) In our room, 614, there was a cute little stuffed turtle on the bed--part of the hotel's B Humane program, a giant flat-screen TV with premium cable channels like Showtime, a spacious white desk for working and some fun treats like cotton candy and beach toys in the B Treated tray, the hotel's version of a minibar.

The furniture was all white as were the walls but it didn't feel as sterile as most white hotel rooms do. And we managed to fall asleep fast on the hotel's Blissful Bed, once we complained about the music next door, that is.

The bathroom was on the small side with boring Aveda toiletries but there was a semi-opaque window giving whoever is laying in bed a rough idea of what's happening in the bathroom. And don't forget those sexy door latches. Overall, we were quite pleased.

Internet Connect: Totally free! Score a point for B Hotels here. W, pay attention.

Pool Time: The pool area is pretty small and basic. When we were there it was also quite crowded.

Location, Location, Location: The W Fort Lauderdale has a better location here as the B Ocean is north of the bars and restaurants on the main drag. Then again, the B Ocean is away from all that madness. But there's still a McSorley's bar on the next block and a tattoo shop around the corner.

What We Liked: The room, the lobby and the staff, who were not too cool for school. Fun facts--the front desk wears nametags that say B Accommodating and the valet guys were ones that say B Driven.

What We Didn't Like: The broken elevator and the music from the guests next door. We had to complain to the front desk and it must have worked because the music stopped shortly after. We also aren't in love with Fort Lauderdale which is not quite as fashionable as Miami Beach but B Ocean and its stylish rooms do make it more bearable.

Bottom Line: We paid $189 for one night in a king room with an ocean view. Rates in high season usually start around $239 a night.

Archived Comments:

Better Location than the W

Let's get this out of the way: the name and asinine use of "B" is incredibly pretentious.  That said, as a Fort Lauderdale resident, I'd argue that this hotel is in a much better location than the W.  The B Ocean Hotel has the beach, Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, and the Bonnet House and Gardens all within one block.  Additionally, it's a leisurely 10 minute walk from the hotel to the Galleria Mall.  The Galleria has Macy's, Neiman Marcus, and scores of other shops.  Also at the mall are upscale restaurants like PF Changs, Seasons 52, Capital Grille, and Trulucks (seafood).  Finally, my straight friends tell me that Blue Martini (also at the Galleria) is one of the best night spots for the 25-40 crowd, especially during the week.

I have no affiliation with the new hotel.  I just wanted to offer a local's opinion, in case someone stumbles across this post in the future.

Boy Julianna you sound like a real snob

The video looked nice for a beach hotel for only $169 a night.  You would pay a hell of a lot more at the W.  Are you upset that they didn't offer you a free room as a travel writer?  Also what's wrong with Ft. Lauderdale no there's not as many clubs for you to party in as SOBE but the beach and ocean are beutiful, there are a lot of outdoor activities and great shopping close by.  I don't think their is an easier airport to get in and out of anywhere.  Ft. Lauderdale has done a great job changing it's reputation and doesn't need a primadona travel writer putting it down because her $169 hotel was not luxury enough for her.  Why don't you go and write about hotels in Europe or somewhere else far away.