By Angela Caraway-Carlton
Whether you’re searching for a romantic getaway, or just looking for a date night to ignite some passion, Greater Fort Lauderdale has everything you need for a couple’s getaway.
Swaying palm trees. Sexy, lazy days in the warm sun. Hotels with dreamy beds and spas meant for hours of pampering. Restaurants that offer indulgent food and views that set the mood. Greater Fort Lauderdale is a haven for couples, whether visiting or looking for a date night.
Hot for Hotels
For some genuine alone time, check-in at The Pillars Hotel, one of Fort Lauderdale’s secret gems. Tucked away on the Intracoastal Waterway, the boutique high-end hotel offers plush suites, massage services, and gourmet dining in its Secret Garden restaurant, where you can dine al fresco as you watch the yachts glide by. The hotel even has its own yacht and picnic boat that can be chartered for the day. For a stay where you’re treated like royalty, book a room at the luxe The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale where the expansive spa has been renovated and there’s great dining at seafood-centric Burlock Coast. For roomy suites that will feel like your own swanky beach pad in the sky, try the sleek Conrad Fort Lauderdale, or sexy W Fort Lauderdale, where there’s always a sultry scene at the pool or the Living Room at night. For something quieter, book a room at The Atlantic Hotel with a balcony that overlooks the ocean.
If you’re a couple that likes to spa together, PURE Spa at the Pelican Grand Beach Resort (pictured above) offers a relaxing respite where you can indulge in a private couple’s massage and bathing ritual in the separate couple’s room overlooking the ocean, then share champagne on the terrace. The hotel also boasts a lazy river, perfect for lounging on a raft together and floating around the aqua-maze. Spend a day together at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa where the 22,000-square-foot spa features a private pool, whirlpool, and sauna; or splurge on a tranquil spa day at the Auberge Beach Residences & Spa.
A Towel for Two
All of the hotels listed above are primely located on Fort Lauderdale beach, and are the perfect option for taking long beach walks together and kicking back in the sand at sunset. If you’re searching for a quieter stretch of sand, head to the beaches of Pompano Beach, Hallandale Beach, or Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, where you can spread out a towel for two and avoid the crowds. Stroll the Pompano Beach Fishing Pier or Anglins Fishing Pier at sunset for spectacular water views.
Must Love Water
Greater Fort Lauderdale is aptly nicknamed the “Venice of America” thanks to all of our sparkling waterways, and there’s nothing like a day or night on the water to ignite romance. Take a starry-eyed ride with Las Olas Gondola, where a gondolier on the back of an authentic boat will guide you down scenic canals. The mood can be set with music, bubbly, and decadent treats. It’s also perfect for a proposal or special occasions like an anniversary. Watch the sun slip into the water on a sunset cruise with Tropical Sailing, where you’ll toast to the end of a wonderful day in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Active couples should hop on a paddleboard or kayak together. Sunrise Paddleboards offers nighttime paddles meant for stargazing as you glide through the water. If you’d rather coast, rent bikes from Riverwalk Activities and explore dreamy neighborhoods like Colee Hammock.
Reservation for Romance
If dining is the way to your loved one’s heart, make reservations at Casa D’Angelo, a longtime Italian staple that caters to date nights; or Valentino Cucina, which is known for its top service, white tablecloths meant for celebrating special occasions, and modern twist on Italian cuisine. For something more intimate, Sapido is a small Italian restaurant run by an Italian couple and offers homemade pastas made with love.
If the ocean equals romance for you, spend an evening at OCEAN2000 where you can literally have your toes in the sand while watching the waves roll in; or at the posh DUNE restaurant where the Napa-inspired wine list and food will impress.
Locals who are in the know reserve a seat at the dimly lit Café Seville for delicious Spanish-style seafood and a warm welcome from the owners; and if you’re looking for sexy with a side of scene, Steak 954 (pictured above) is always a great place to celebrate love—and the glowing jellyfish tank is sure to mesmerize you. In Pompano Beach, cuddle up in a secluded booth on the rooftop of Beach House Pompano for epic ocean views; or find a chef-driven meal at longtime favorite Cafe Maxx, where Chef Oliver will spoil you.
Ignite the Night
Get all dolled up and spend an evening at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts to take in a hit Broadway show. You can even arrive by Water Taxi and have dinner before the curtain rises at Marti’s New River Bistro, a riverfront treat for the eyes and stomach. For a sexy night out, head to the new guitar-shaped hotel at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, where there are endless entertainment opportunities from live shows to 20 bars and lounges, and the new nightclub/dayclub DAER.
Wine lovers will want to cozy up at a table at Wine Watch, where they often host winemaker events at their gorgeous tasting room; and culinary buffs can connect with a cooking class at Jean-Pierre’s where you’ll learn to make a three-course meal together. Those who want to blow off some steam—and avoid the cliché dinner-and-a-movie date night—should try the Chops + Hops Axe Throwing Lodge. Yes, it’s where you’ll learn to expertly throw an axe, then cheers with a craft beer or cocktail. Or, build your relationship by working together to find your way out of an escape room.
Greater Fort Lauderdale offers couples the chance to relax, reconnect, and come back home with a glow.