Pros: Excellent location and scenery. Many amenities. Convenient location. Moderately priced.
Cons: Evident repairs to the walls seemed tacky. Sparse furniture and art in room.
As you cross the drawbridge in Fort Lauderdale to the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six hotel, the large masts of sailboats, smaller recreational craft and behemoth cruise ships scatter across the waterway providing a fantastic sense of peace and relaxation. The Hyatt is located immediately to the left as you cross the bridge, nestled among waterways that provide marina views to several exposures of the property.
The Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six has a central building that rises above the property. There is a sprawling pool area behind the main hotel building which is surrounded on three sides by two-story buildings that stretch the length of the large property. These rooms provide views of the pool area on the interior and the marina on the exterior. My room was a single King with a marina view. The large room was sparsely furnished but had adequate desk space with a chair for getting work done. A smaller table and two chairs would provide tight quarters for taking a meal in the room. Two night tables and a television stand (which contains a stocked refrigerator) round out the furnishings.
My room had painted stucco-style walls that felt appropriate for a beach resort area. The walls showed wear with patchy paint areas indicating obvious repairs of some sort. I was a bit surprised that a hotel of this reputation would have walls that looked like they belonged in a Motel 6. The art work on the walls was also very sparse. There was a small seascape watercolor located above the desk, a nautical diagram above the bed and a mirror and shelf located in the hallway. The shelf contained two bottles of Evian which cost five dollars each. Yikes! If you see the water, you may be tempted to spend the five dollars. Humic or tannic substances in the water cause discoloration that is not supposed to create any health risk. But the discoloration is still disconcerting to ingest.
Getting down to the basics, I was in Fort Lauderdale on a turn around flight. I only had one night to spend and really required nothing more than a work area to prepare for a presentation and a comfortable bed to be well rested for a busy day of work and return travel. I found the desk area to be adequate for my needs. I use an aircard (Sprint) which had ample signal for uninterrupted connectivity. In the event I needed internet connectivity, wired service is available through Wayport for a fee. The fee is listed on connection, so I did not see the daily pricing. As far as the bed goes, I slept like a rock. The bed was soft enough to be comfortable while providing good support. The four pillows on the bed were more than enough.
As is standard in most hotels, a small alarm clock is located next to the bed along with wake up service from the front desk. I made use of the ironing board and iron which were located in the closet along with a safe. The bathroom contains a hairdryer and a single cup coffee maker, which I used along with my tannic tap water. The powder creamer in my coffee packet had been exposed to moisture and turned to paste. It was gross, so I went without cream in my coffee. One other odd feature was a telephone next to the toilet. I guess nature may call when important business needs to be transacted. Or maybe they foresee many of their guests finding themselves in need of aid in that particularly vulnerable position. Who knows…but it offered me amusement to consider the possibilities.
The back side of my room had a large window with a sliding glass door. The door had a latch and a security bar for an added measure of security. The small cement patio had two chairs and a table for those who want to watch the marina from their room. I only witnessed a couple of boats passing on my side of the waterway, which was smaller than the other side of the hotel and appeared to have much less traffic. The scenery from the patio was enjoyable, but the humidity and suffocating heat chased me back into my room in short order. The curtains and sheers in my room easily pulled back, allowing me a full wall view of the marina without the heat. I went with that option instead.
The Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six currently runs between $139 and $199 per night, which is actually pretty good considering the time of year. The price fluctuates, and may not be that attractive all the time. However, there are several hotels nearby, so there may be decent enough competition to keep prices affordable.
This property is located across the drawbridge from the majority of restaurants. There are some nearby places to grab meals along with several restaurants located on the property. The hotel dining options include Grill 66 & Bar, Mariners, The Lounge, Pelican Landing and Orchids Pool Bar. Mariners and The Lounge are located off the lobby of the hotel. Pelican Landing is located in the Marina area. Orchids Pool Bar is located in the center of the pool area. Although I did not have time to use the pool, it appeared that there were employees taking drink orders for people lounging in the pool area. I did stop to visit Orchids. It looked more like a bar than restaurant. Food must be prepared off site and brought out to the bar because the building did not appear large enough to have a kitchen. Orchids appeared to be geared more towards drinks. Grill 66 is the centerpiece of the Hyatt restaurants. Grill 66 is located on top of the Hyatt. The round restaurant rotates, providing a 360 degree view of the Marina and Fort Lauderdale in the distance. I did not take any meals at the hotel restaurants, which I find are often overpriced. If you cross the drawbridge, there are a wide variety of restaurants nearby. I was surprised to find that most of them were closed at lunch time on a Saturday, but it seems that the majority of them were. I found a good Mexican restaurant and decent pizza joint as well as an Einstein Bagels for a decent cup of coffee and bagel. These restaurants were all within a mile of the hotel.
There are several interesting activities located on-site aside from the sprawling pool area. Inside the main building of the hotel you will find Spa 66. I did not have time to enjoy the benefits of any of the recreational activities, but a massage sure would have felt good to break up my whirlwind tour of Fort Lauderdale. The hotel is surrounded by marina waterways with boats coming and going from points throughout. There is also an aquatic center, which is managed by Club Nautico. Here, you can take advantage of the waterway access with boat rentals, fishing charters, Yacht charters, snorkeling, parasailing, jet skis, SCUBA certification and dives, sailing and water taxi. I found advertisements for two of the water taxis, which had day passes for thirty dollars or sixteen dollars depending on the company you choose. With more time, I would have definitely made use of the nearby water activities conveniently located a stones throw away.
My stay at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six was comfortable and enjoyable. The setting was serene with fabulous waterfront views of the marina. The marina was filled with a host of interesting water vessels that I enjoyed watching, even if I did not get the benefit of a trip to sea. The pool appeared to be immaculately manicured as was the front lobby. The lobby was minimalist and pristine with large spacious and very white accents offset by very little in the way of distraction. The bed was comfortable, providing a restful night of sleep. The complimentary shampoo and conditioner had a pleasant ginger fragrance. My primary disappointments with this property were the lack of art on the wall, which revealed the rather ugly stucco walls which showed the poor workmanship of prior repairs. For a company like Hyatt, I found the condition of the walls to be surprising. Based on price, convenience and comfort, I would still highly recommend Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six with four stars out of a possible five.