Sheraton Suites Plantation, Florida – USA

Tea bagsMy client had booked this hotel for myself and some 18 other people.  The benefits of this (to the client) were that they got a very cheap rate ($69).  The benefits to me seemed limited.

I had flown in to Miami the night before, having taken full advantage of the Air France business class product. I had an overnight stay at the Hilton Miami Airport so it was around noon when I arrived at the Sheraton Suites in Plantation.

Sheraton hotels in Europe have a reputation for being luxurious; the brand here is an expensive one.  I am learning that this is not the case in the US.  The hotel looked perfectly functional from the outside (ignoring the decomposing and closed ex-shopping mall next to the hotel), just not very exciting.

I could see a small shop by the front desk where one could purchase snacks and other essential items, a bar in the corner and the restaurant adjacent.  I was offered a real smile from the check-in clerk as a approached, however I was informed that there was only one room available and that I should come back later.  I took this advice, left my bags and wandered around Plantation in the heat for a bit, stopping off at a Costco to collect some beers.

I returned to the hotel around 3pm (as instructed) and was given the keys to my room along with a yellow breakfast coupon for each morning of my stay.  The bellman had just returned from somewhere and took my stuff (three large suitcases, a case of Heineken and a couple of cases on water) up to the room without comment.

The room smelled a little stale.  The windows didn’t open and it was if someone had smoked a lot of cigarettes many years ago and the smell still hadn’t managed to escape.  Unfortunately, this was the case throughout my two-week stay; every time I went into the room I had to deal with the odour for just a few minutes.

This is an all-suite hotel and I was impressed by the size of the rooms.  I had a room with a King bed and TV and a separate living / working area with desk, sofa (bed) and kitchenette.  This was separated by sliding door which, when opened made the room look large, but also gave some intimacy in the bedroom when closed.

The bathroom was fairly standard; although there were ‘his and her’ sinks which I thought was cute.

I noticed a card in the room that told me I could forgo my housekeeping visit for a day and get a $5 voucher for the bar or shop.  This isn’t something I took up (as I was convinced I would be taking money away from someone who needed it more than I did), but is something I may have bribed my eldest son with (i.e. tidy up and you can keep the $5!).

Breakfast was… really dull, although to be fair, it took me 10 mornings before I realised that apple juice was available upon request.  The selection here was pretty limited and by morning three I had grown really tired of a bagel (which tasted strange… like mustard) and was having only coffee.  The hotel was clearly meant to serve Starbucks coffee and Tazo tea.  I was offered a selection of tea. All Tazo branded except English Breakfast which they had ran out of and replaced with Lipton…  This wasn’t replaced during my stay that I felt was a bit poor.

The bar was fine and offered a good selection of food; the quesadilla are tasty (and large, don’t order fries on the side like I did, there is just no need).  Wines were varied; I had a Pinot Noir that was pretty good however one of my colleagues had something else which was awful.

The restaurant here was empty ever night of my stay.  There really was no reason to eat in it; the bar had at least some ambience.  There are loads of places to eat with a 10 minute drive from the hotel including Crossroads which must have at least 10 restaurants including Chilli’s, Duffys and a Mexican.

Check out was painless and the drive back to Miami airport took about 30 minutes.

This hotel offers great value for the price; just don’t expect the same service and standards here, as you would do at the Sheraton in Park Lane.

Corporate rate $69, internet rates from $79.

Sheraton Suites Plantation, 311 N University Dr, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33324.  Website

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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