First look: Fort Lauderdale’s stylish new Kimpton property may be the best deal in town

Jun 13, 2021

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Editor’s note: The Kimpton Goodland Hotel provided a complimentary stay to TPG to be among the first to experience the new property. The opinions expressed below are entirely from the author and weren’t subject to review by Kimpton Goodland Hotel or any external entity.


There’s no shame in saying this; I may have partied once (ok, maybe more than once) until the wee hours of the morning, just steps from this hotel’s new location as a young adult.

While Fort Lauderdale Beach remains a buzzy destination for sun-worshipers and party-goers, the city’s first boutique hotel and only Kimpton property — The Goodland — marvels as a mid-century architectural delight with a calm-and-cool vibe — unlike its neighbors.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

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Having grown up in Fort Lauderdale and spending my youth frolicking up and down A1A (Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.), I wanted to see how this new-kid-on-the-block would fare versus the well-established, beachfront hotel competition. So when given a chance to spend a night at The Kimpton Goodland Fort Lauderdale Beach and relive my glory days (who am I kidding?!), I seized the opportunity.

As a huge fan of InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) chic Kimpton brand (I even had my wedding reception at the Kimpton Epic Hotel in Miami), I was excited to experience Fort Lauderdale’s first Kimpton property.

Related: TPG’s ultimate guide to Miami and South Florida

Here’s what it was like to experience The Kimpton Goodland Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach.

In This Post

Booking

While this Kimpton hotel is part of the IHG portfolio of brands, it feels more like a standalone boutique property, rather than your ordinary chain hotel. I couldn’t contain my excitement when I started pricing out a one-night stay and finding there was value to be had from using points instead of paying cash.

Nightly rates at the 96-room property start at $179 during the week.

(Screenshot courtesy of Kimpton)

On busy weekends, holidays or during the popular winter months (when most people from the Northeast and Midwest look to escape the cold), rates can head north of $400 per night.

(Screenshot courtesy of Kimpton)

The good news is during the low season (which is the summer in South Florida) or mid-week, award nights start at only 25,000 IHG points a night. Per TPG valuations, IHG Rewards points are worth 0.5 cents apiece. Even at the lowest end of the nightly rate spectrum of $179, booking a room with 25,000 points would net a return of 0.7 cents per point — a higher value than what TPG pegs on IHG points.

(Screenshot courtesy of Kimpton)

However, you should check cash rates to determine if it’s worth using points — especially if you’re visiting during off-peak periods.

For my Wednesday night stay, the hotel was charging $240, including taxes and resort fee (more on this later) for a standard Essential King room. Comparatively speaking, other hotels — like the W Fort Lauderdale and Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort only 100 yards away — commonly charge above $300 per night and tack on a resort fee too.

With the latest offer on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card — 150,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and waived annual fee for the first year (then $89) — you could stay up to seven nights at The Kimpton Goodland when using points when taking advantage of IHG’s fourth-night reward on award stays.

Location and history

Construction began on the three two-story, art deco hotel in 1948 and was completed in 1951. Originally known as The Escape Hotel — Fort Lauderdale Beach’s first year-round hotel —  it was built by George Gill Jr. (who also produced the city’s most iconic hotels like Sheraton Yankee Trader and Yankee Clipper) who became known as the brainchild of Broward County hospitality. The hotel’s clientele in its heyday included professional athletes, gamblers, hustlers and beauty pageant contestants.

Postcard depicting the Escape Hotel in the 1950s. (Photo by abandonedfl)

Situated in the North Beach Village section of Fort Lauderdale Beach and nestled a block from the bustling beach shoreline, The Goodland is set back, one block behind the W Fort Lauderdale and Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach.

The Kimpton Goodland is just one block from Fort Lauderdale Beach. (Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Guests are minutes by car from the sidewalk cafes and bars of the celebrated Las Olas Boulevard but steps to the restaurants on the beach strip. And best of all for out-of-towners, the hotel is located just 7 miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

Check-In

When I pulled up to the valet, I had sworn I took a wrong turn and made my way to South Beach instead. That’s because the exterior aesthetics resemble the art deco architecture Miami Beach is so famous for.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Immediately I noticed two sets of beach bikes, set on dual bike racks (use is complimentary for hotel guests).

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Upon entering the lobby, you’ll notice the modern, simple design, with cushioned seating areas and paper-like pendant lighting.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Fresh color palettes juxtaposed with South Florida colors like turquoise and terra cotta for a breezy vibe.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Check in was seamless — the front desk gentleman explained the layout of the hotel and the location of the restaurant and pool and then I was on my way with room keys in hand.

Room

The two-story boutique hotel consists of three small buildings that resemble more of a chic apartment complex than a hotel.

Kimpton The Goodland Hotel
(Photo courtesy of Kimpton)

Each building is fittingly named after Fort Lauderdale’s three most historic hotels: Yankee Clipper Hotel, Jolly Roger Hotel and Sheraton Yankee Trader Hotel. Jolly Roger is the central building where the front desk, restaurant, bar and elevators are located. As I had a second-floor room, I bypassed the elevators for the stairs and opted for the easy walk up since I was only carrying a backpack.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Guests can walk through the lushly landscaped hallways to get to any of the buildings, which are connected on both the first and second floors.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

My pool-facing corner room featured a “wall” of green leaves dangling outside the door.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

The room was clean and smelled fresh from cleaning products. Awash in natural hues and equipped with vacation-inspired amenities, the rooms at The Goodland reflect a beachy vacation vibe.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

The mid-century touches such as a Marshall Bluetooth speaker and Galanz mini-fridge added to the retro style of the hotel.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Each nightstand came equipped with a clock, lamp and multiple electrical outlets to charge your devices.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Guests are welcomed with extra towels, a yoga mat, and a beach bag in the room.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

A small reading loveseat with a lamp was positioned in the room corner, facing the bathroom.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

The full bathroom featured Kimpton’s Atelier Bloem collection amenities. I found it quite clever that the shower handle was purposely placed on the opposite side of the showerhead to allow guests to gauge water temperature before hopping into the shower.

I was able to view a standard Essential Double Queen room and this room had adequate space for a family of four. It felt a bit more spacious than my King room, though both room types are virtually the same size.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Food and beverage

The Goodland has one main restaurant and two bars for now. Botanic, the on-site restaurant, takes inspiration from the farms, fields and waters of Florida with touches of Latin and Caribbean influences, featuring cocktails concocted with fresh juices and a menu of shareable plates.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

My mom lives about 30 minutes away, so logically, as the good son I am, I invited her for dinner to enjoy some shareable plates and wine (though she’s not much of a drinker).

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

We had a table inside (there’s also outdoor seating beside the pool, but it was a bit too warm of an evening), beside the restaurant bar and with a floor-to-ceiling window view of the pool.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Mom and I shared the pappardelle pasta with spicy pork meatballs, which was superb.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

We also devoured three crispy shrimp tacos served with cabbage slaw, cilantro crema and roasted pepper puree, which were my personal favorite. Both dishes were recommendations from our waitress Dora.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Good Bar, the hotel’s poolside bar, is perfect for laying by the pool and indulging in the kind of easy-drinking options that welcome the soft turn of day to night.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

In addition, the hotel plans to debut a rooftop experience on the eighth floor of the adjoining high-rise building (owned by the same owners as The Kimpton Goodland) in October that will feature a rooftop pool with views of Fort Lauderdale’s Intracoastal Waterway to go along with food and beverage offerings. 

Guests will soon be able to enjoy sweeping views from the 8th-floor rooftop at The Kimpton Goodland Hotel. (Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Amenities

Let’s address the elephant in the room: resort fees. While The Goodland does charge a $38 resort fee — whether on a points or cash booking and regardless of elite status — guests are provided two beach chairs, two bottles of water, two hours of free bike rental daily and yoga classes.

Guests are provided with two beach chairs and towels to use at the beach.
Guests are provided with two chairs and towels to use at the beach. (Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

If you don’t feel like walking a block to the beach or you’re more of a pool person, cool off at the hotel’s low-key pool with ample lounge chairs and other comfortable seating options.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

If you’re half-starved, you can order a bite to eat from Botanic or snacks from Good Bar at the pool deck.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Yoga is offered on The Deck — an open space that’s perfect for a relaxing morning or afternoon — from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

The yellow chair area is known as the Zen Garden, to which the hotel plans on adding umbrellas and a fire pit for guests to enjoy.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

As is customary at Kimpton hotels, you can expect additional perks such as free coffee and tea, evening social hour with complimentary wine, kid-friendly programming and no charge to bring your furry child with you.

The 24-hour gym was neatly designed for fitness buffs, with cardio equipment such as treadmills, bikes, and ellipticals available and adequate dumbbell weights. Towels and water bottles are also provided.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

Debuting later this year is an array of programs and activities like botanic-filled courtyard yoga sessions and live music on the rooftop. No one likes resort fees, but The Goodland (and the Kimpton brand) includes plenty of perks to help soften the blow.

Service

South Florida is usually not synonymous with exceptional customer service, despite being a world-class tourist destination. It’s one of the things that frustrates me about my hometown. But I was relieved that this was not the case at The Goodland. The great service began at the start of my stay: The valet attendant warmly welcomed me to the property, the check-in agent was prompt to welcome me, thank me for my loyalty and expeditiously handed me my room keys. At dinner and breakfast, the servers at Botanic were attentive and affable. My mom and I had a long conversation with our waitress Dora about her family. And the dishes she recommended were our favorites — even over the other items we ordered ourselves.

The hotel wasn’t busy during my stay, so I may have interacted with every hotel employee on my one-night visit and every single person we met seemed genuinely concerned about all guests’ satisfaction, not just mine. A refreshing change of pace from some stuffier hotels you’d find in Fort Lauderdale Beach and beyond.

Overall impression

The Kimpton Goodland Hotel in Fort Lauderdale didn’t just impress me, it delighted me in every aspect with its mellow vibe and chic decor that contradicts its too-cool-for-school neighboring hotels. As a local, I definitely plan on returning for a staycation and will likely use points or redeem my IHG anniversary award night from the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, depending on how cash rates look for my dates.

(Photo by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy)

One thing I won’t forget to do the next time I stay at The Goodland is whisper Kimpton’s secret password to the friendly front desk agent for those surprise complimentary goodies that distinguish Kimpton from all the other hotel brands.

Featured image by Juan Ruiz/The Points Guy

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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