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Reviewed 6 February 2012

Kind of a "strange" hotel. Originally built as condos so our room had a single continuous kiitchen area / sitting area / bedroom area. I heard from some locals I met during my 3 day stay that the Il Lugano was built as condos but that they didn't sell well. Those condo units that were sold are rented out when the owner isn't present, while those units that weren't sold are used solely as hotel rooms. It appears that they are still trying to sell these unsold units as there was advertising to that point in the room.

My wife was attending a meeting here in February 2012 and I tagged along for a couple of days. The room rate was around $275/night (taxes included; paid for by her company thank goodness). The rooms themselves were OK. The kitchen area was small. It had a refrigerator, sink, coffee pot, toaster and a 2-spot glass electric stove top. It also had a small round table and 4 chairs. It had place settings and glasses for 4 people, but it had no real kitchen utensils. No pots or pans or cutting boards. No real knives other than the steak knives. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to make much in this kitchen. Not unless it was microwavable.

The bathroom was OK but fairly small. Toilet was separated from the rest of the bathroom by a door (with a locking mechanism on the outside!). There was a small washer/drier in a small side closet in the room although I don't know if there was detergent. There was a safe in the room in the main closet, however it was very inconvenient to use as it was sitting all the way down on the floor.

The bed was comfortable, and the blinds were good at keeping out the sunlight in the morning (we were on the east side).

I had 3 real problems with this hotel.

First was that the internet connection was terrible. Your only choice for a connection is their free WiFi (free is nice, but ...). The problem with it was that it didn't connect anywhere in our room except right next to the hallway door. It didn't connect on the balcony, in the bedroom, in the living area, in the kitchen, or in the bathroom. Only right next to the hallway door. We had to pull 2 chairs over from the kitchen table and set them next to the door; 1 for the computer, one for a person to work on the computer. There was no option for an ethernet connection anywhere in the room. We were at a meeting and everyone at the meeting had this same problem in their room. I also heard that there was some difficulty in the meeting room (although it was my wife that was attending the meeting). In addition there is no desk in the room, so you have to work on the kitchen table. This is a problem because it's in the middle of the room there are no power outlets nearby, and the lighting for this table is not good. Generally the rooms aren't good for getting any work done in.

My second problem was location. While the hotel is near the Galt Plaza shops, the hotel itself has little to offer for relaxation. The beach is a good 10 minute walk away and is actually somewhat difficult to access (definintely don't try to access it by going north from Oakland Park Blvd; you can't). At the hotel itself there are only 2 beach chairs that face the intercostal waterway, and they're actually REAL close to the water. I certainly wouldn't want to have small children over there as there was only about 3-5 feet between the chair and the 10 foot drop into the water. The pool area gets shade all afternoon as it's on the north side of the hotel. It's pretty small (maybe 30' wide), and the vast majority of lounge chairs face the blank side wall of the hotel 20' away so there's absolutely nothing to look at. Also, the hotel says it has an exercise facility in its condo sales brochure, but as guests we were unable to find it. The shops in the Galt Plaza were OK, but it only took about an hour to feel that we had spent enough time there. There are only limited restaurants nearby, although a few on the waterway just south of Oakland Park Blvd were good.

Finally, I was less than impressed with the TV in the room. The TV sets themselves were fine. However this hotel uses DirectTV. This means that they get a lot of channels, but it leads to problems for the guests. There were 2 "channel cards" in the room listing what channels were available. So many channels that it took both sides of the card to list them all. However the hotel lists the channels by the call letters or channel abbreviations. For example channel 2 was WPBT. Another was WTVJ. I have no idea whether these are CBS, NBC, Fox, etc. because I'm not from south Florida. It would have been nice to just say "NBC", "CBS" "ABC" etc. so I had some idea what I was turning to. Some of the acronyms on the card I could figure out (HIST=History Channel), but an equal number I could not. In addition many channels were devoted to either no programming or continuous ads. And there were a lot of "blank" channels. These were channels that were available (it would tell you what it was, and what was on) but they weren't subscribed to by the hotel and asked you to call to subscribe. We never did figure out if there were in-room movies available. Honestly it was just easier to walk down the street to the local pub and watch TV over there.

If and when I return to the Ft. Lauderdale area, I will not stay at the Il Lugano again. Although the rooms were new, the sleep was good and the hotel appearance was nice, I would definitely stay further south in the Sunrise Blvd / E Olas Blvd area. This was an "odd" hotel a bit too far from nice restaurants and attractions. Especially for the price!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled on business
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9  Thank gapoma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2012

Overall, I really enjoyed my stay. The location is fine. There are a couple of places nearby to get a bite to eat so that you don't have to get into the car. The room itself was fantastic. As other reviewers have pointed out, the front desk staff will kindly upgrade the room when possible. The views from the balcony are great. In the room, you get the benefit of a full kitchen along some nice amenities in the bathroom. There is a TV in the living area as well as the bedroom. A big plus for me is the safe in the closet; always appreciated. The Wifi worked great for me except out on the balconies where it would cut right out. By far the most disappointing part of my stay was the ridiculous valet charge of 25 dollars per night. Nothing more than a money grab! I understand if a hotel wants to offer valet services but self parking should always be an option. And if you're going to tell me that it isn't possible, at least be reasonable with your add-on charges so that it doesn't affect my overall experience. All in all it was a good stay since the Priceline rate was very good. I would stay here again if the rate was rate but just have to stay aware of the valet add-on in order to get a true feeling of the overall value.

  • Stayed: January 2012
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5  Thank facemask
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ilLuganoHotel, Executive Administrative Assistant at Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal/Il Lugano, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2012

Thank you for your feedback in regards to our fantastic suites here at the il Lugano Hotel. We always want to ensure our guests receive the best available room type and therefore we inform our guests of any available upgrades we may have. As for our parking, yes we are mainly valet; however, across from us there is a Municipal meter parking in which always has parking available in the case you don’t wish to valet park. We also have certain packages available in which do include the valet parking. We hope you would consider us on your next Fort Lauderdale vacation as it seems you did enjoy your stay as well as all the amenities we have to offer.

Maisa Palacios
Executive Administrative Assistant
il Lugano Hotel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2012

We've stayed at the il Lugano Hotel 4 times now. Each stay was excellent. The rooms, service, front desk and concierge are excellent.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Claire381
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ilLuganoHotel, Executive Administrative Assistant at Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal/Il Lugano, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2012

We appreciate your wonderful feedback. We are honored to have been your desired destination. On behalf of the il Lugano we look forward to your next stay with us and hope to continue exceeding your expectations.

Maisa Palacios
Executive Administrative Assistant
il Lugano Hotel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2012

I had my amazing wedding here in April 2011 and thought that the hotel was gorgeous. The decor is really modern and stylish. The location is right on the intracoastal waterway and had a water taxi stop there also.We had the ceremony in the small garden which is next to the pool and it was beautiful. I could not fault the staff who helped with the wedding ceremony especially Peter who was so helpful especially as I was planning the big day from the UK.
My family were accommodated in gorgeous rooms with fab views over the Intracoastal or towards to beach which is about 5-10 min walk away. My husband and I had a great suite and the rooms all have small kitchens so you can cater for yourself.
The De Campo restaurant in the hotel looks out on the water and although we only had lunch there the food was delicious. I would definitely stay at this hotel again!

Room Tip: Ask for a view over the Intracoastal.
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank clairefally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2012

Accidentally found this hotel at last minute for New Years eve trip to FTL and what a great find it turned out to be. It was actually cheaper than most others but way above the rest in amenities. The rooms are huge and come with washer/dryer. The location is great with plenty of places to eat within walking. The car service was a huge bonus and easy to reserve. Only negatives was there are only two complimentary bikes but oddly we found way to get them each day. and the pool is very nice just gets no sun. The chairs along the intercoastal are nice and relaxing spot. Will definitely stay here again!!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank ATL-LSU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ilLuganoHotel, Executive Administrative Assistant at Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Intracoastal/Il Lugano, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2012

We appreciate your feedback and are very honored to have been your destination get away for New Year’s Eve. It seems as though you truly enjoyed all the benefits our hotel has to offer from our rooms to our Intracoastal waterway cabanas. We hope to be a part of your next Fort Lauderdale vacation.

Maisa Palacios
Executive Administrative Assistant
il Lugano Hotel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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