November 23, 2017

Checking In: Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

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I travel to South Florida at least once a year, usually to visit my in-laws, so I’ve been to the Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale areas a dozen times. Not long ago, I made my first trip to Hollywood, Florida to stay at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, one of the most delightful family beach resorts in Florida.

The hotel is right on the beach. So perfect for families.

It was only my husband and I on this visit to Hollywood, but the area is very much made for kids. The Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort is one of only a handful of Hollywood, Florida hotels on the boardwalk, or rather, the “broadwalk,” a 2.5 mile promenade that’s just right for biking, walking, skating or running. It’s ideal for a stroll to watch all the beach-goers building sand castles and splashing in the surf.

This Hollywood, Florida beach resort is fairly new, opening in November 2015, and it’s truly the jewel of the Hollywood BroadWalk. We walked and biked to both ends of the broadwalk. There’s so much to see, as well as loads of restaurants, ice cream shops and places to stop for coffee. There’s even an open-air bandshell that hosts live concerts every Wednesday through Saturday nights.

It’s a must to bike or stroll along the “broadwalk.”

Go for a Bike Ride

As a bonus, the hotel offers free one-hour bike rentals so you can cruise from one end to the other most any time you like. We checked out the orange bicycles twice during our stay. It was so relaxing just cruising along the brick-lined broadwalk watching the palm trees sway. I wish I was back there now. 🙂

Related: 15 Fun Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale with Kids

You can also rent bikes for longer periods of time from A&A Beach Services (which rents jet skis, beach chairs, umbrellas and cabanas too). They offer cruiser bikes, like at the hotel, but they also have three-wheeled fun cycles and surrey bikes that seat up to six people. When thinking about Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale beach resorts, bike rentals are key. Such a great way for little ones to burn off energy.

We loved these cheerful orange cruiser bikes.

Aside from biking, strolling and people-watching on the broadwalk, there’s plenty to do at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, like watching those crazy enough to try out surfing on the FlowRider. There are also a couple of pretty amazing swimming pools, including one with a waterslide, on the beach level. There’s an adults-only rooftop pool on the 11th floor too. No other hotels in Hollywood Beach, Florida can say they have a rooftop pool. Paradise.

Get on the Water on a Stand-Up Paddleboard

Something you don’t want to miss (which you can easily miss) is stand-up paddleboarding. Located across the street from the hotel and adjacent to the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, there’s a small set-up where you can sign up for a guided mangrove tour by paddleboard. Or, you can rent kayaks or paddleboards to go off on your own. Next time, I want to sign up for “Margaritas and Mangroves.”

Make time for stand-up paddleboarding. It’s a must.

Since this was our first time stand-up paddleboarding, we opted for the guided tour and we were not disappointed. Our guide, Sean, shared facts about the mangroves, the snapping shrimp (yes, it’s a thing, just listen for the snap-pop sounds), even who makes their home on the Intracoastal Waterway. Once you get the hang of how to turn and stop, you’ll be on your way, though you may (will) still run into mangroves.

Indulge in the Hotel Bars & Restaurants

In addition to the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill, there are seven other restaurants and bars at the hotel, including the Floridays Airstream Café (yes, a food truck, parked just outside on the broadwalk) and the Margaritaville Coffee Shop. You really don’t need to leave this Hollywood, Florida oceanfront hotel to find exactly what you want.

How cute is the Floridays Airstream Cafe?

For dinner, we tried the upscale restaurant, JWB Prime Steak & Seafood. Indulge in one of the craft cocktails, like Caribbean Amphibian (delish). Also, if you like fish, go for the locally speared fish (not just the “catch of the day”). The restaurant works with a local spear fisherman who brings in fish he caught by spearfishing. Amazing. They had lionfish that night, which I ordered. It’s a must to help control that population.

Related article: Florida Keys Road Trip: 10 Stops to Make with Kids

The next day, we hit Margaritaville for breakfast. The Blueberry Granola Pancakes are to die for. Totally recommend. No idea what my husband ordered. I was way too focused on the pancakes. Margaritaville also offers a healthy selection of breakfast cocktails, like Mimosas, Bellinis, even a Frozen Sunrise Sangria.

Relax & Enjoy the Views from Your Room

Every room has an amazing view at the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. That’s because all 349 guest rooms and suites are located on the upper floors of the hotel (parking is located on the lower floors). Our room was situated on the side of hotel, so we had views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Nice views of both sunrise and sunset.

I was definitely sad to leave the ocean breezes in our hotel room.

Our room was just as we would expect with a refreshing, yet tropical vibe. Not overly colorful, just bright with whites and teals. Even the Adirondack chairs on the balcony were beachy in pastel blue and green. It was so relaxing. With the sliding door to the balcony open, I would have been fine to just relax and take in the sea air for a few hours.

Related: 10 Awesome Things About the LEGOLAND Hotel Florida

Trust me, you’ll be sad to check out, but before you do, make sure to take a selfie with the giant blue flip flop in the hotel lobby. Such a delightful beachfront hotel in Hollywood, Florida. Created by an artist who wishes to remain anonymous, the sculpture is of course a tribute to the flip flop and pop top in Jimmy Buffett’s famous song, “Margaritaville.”

Be sure to snap a selfie with the giant blue flip flop in the lobby.

If you’re looking to stay at one of the best family beach resorts in Florida, I hope you’ll consider the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. We’ll definitely be coming back to this Hollywood, Florida hotel, maybe next time with the kids. 🙂

If you’re considering a trip to South Florida, you’ll also want to check out my posts on things to do in Fort Lauderdale with kids and things to do in Miami with kids. Another one of my faves is on the Best Places to Snorkel with Kids in the Florida Keys.

Disclaimer: I was hosted overnight by the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. However, I was not compensated for this article and all opinions expressed here are my own.

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