The Pillars Hotel – Fort Lauderdale

The Pillars Hotel, a boutique hotel on the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is an oasis of tranquility. The hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and has received many awards over the years for its excellent service. My husband and I feel that the Pillars is probably the finest small hotel in South Florida. When we want to relax and forget about the pressures of everyday life, a few days stay at the Pillars is a real treat.

The Pillars Hotel, An Oasis Of Tranquility

The area of Fort Lauderdale Beach where The Pillars Hotel is located seems to be the “hot and trendy” spot where everyone wants to be. It is called the “Venice of America” because of all the canals lined with multimillion dollar homes, mega yachts, and outdoor cafes and waterfront restaurants. There are many towering oceanfront hotels in the area where we could stay but my husband and I prefer this charming two story, eighteen room boutique hotel which is known for its gracious and personalized service.

“Venice Of America”  Where Canals Are Lined With Million Dollar Homes And Mega Yachts

We think the hotel is in the prefect location…an easy five minute walk to the famous white sand beach, restaurants and all the popular tourist spots. What also makes it so appealing is that it is just far enough removed from the traffic and crowds to be able to peacefully relax by the pool enjoying the shade of the palm trees, the tropical breezes and a cooling beverage.

Click on any photo to enlarge and see a slide show.

The Pillars Hotel was originally created from a two story home built in the 1930’s and a small motel. When driving by, you might not guess that the yellow building with tall white columns surrounded by lush tropical foliage is a hotel.

After parking on the circular drive, you enter through the tall front door into the casually elegant lounge area.

With comfy sofas on either side of the fireplace, a harp and a chess table nearby, you have the feeling you are visiting someone’s lovely beach home. The decor is a mix of classic British Colonial and modern Art Deco with dark woods and pale walls hung with original artwork.

Enjoy A Welcome Cocktail At The Pillars Hotel Bar

After registering, head to the bar or the sophisticated yet comfortable lounge area to enjoy your welcoming glass of prosecco or wine before heading to your room to unpack.

We usually stay in the Intracoastal Suite, a large corner room with a nice sitting area on the ground floor.  Three walls of white plantation shutters offer privacy when needed yet let in lots of natural light during the day with views out to the Intracoastal, the pool and the tropical gardens. We have also stayed in the hotel’s King Deluxe Poolside room,  smaller than the suite but also very nice.

All of the hotel rooms face towards the pool and garden courtyard. Outside each room, there is a small table with two chairs. It is a nice place to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning in your bathrobe or bathing suit while reading the newspaper that is brought to your door each morning. In nice weather, you can also have breakfast on the dock.

During our stay, we try to have a couple of dinners at the hotel’s restaurant, The Secret Garden. It  is only available to the guests of the hotel and members of the hotel’s Secret Dining Club. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the hotel’s intimate dining room with views out to the pool courtyard, tropical garden and the Intracoastal waterway.

In nice weather you can also eat poolside or at one of the white linen covered, candlelit tables along the dock. There is nothing quite as enjoyable as a romantic dinner at sunset while listening to soft music and watching large yachts cruise by on the Intracoastal.

The Pillar’s Beautiful Yacht Available For Charter


My husband and I first started coming to The Pillars when we lived in New England. We would fly south to celebrate our anniversary and at the same time take a much needed break from the cold and snow. We now live in a small yet charming beach town on the east coast of Florida where cold and snow aren’t part of our lives. When we now drive  two hours south to the cosmopolitan city of Fort Lauderdale, we go for great shopping, wonderful restaurants and to visit family and friends in the area. We try to make the most of the “big city life” but we also enjoy the tranquility that we find at The Pillars.

The hotel is a hidden gem among all the towering ocean front hotels with names you will instantly recognize. While some of those famous chain hotels are starting to show their age, each time we visit The Pillars Hotel it always looks fresh. The bedding has been updated as well as some of the furniture but one thing that never changes is the warm welcome and genuine hospitality that is shown to us during each of our stays.

About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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74 Responses to The Pillars Hotel – Fort Lauderdale

  1. Beautiful spot Karen! Lucky you. 🙂

  2. Sounds like just the place Pete and I would love to visit.
    Have a beautiful day Karen.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  3. Deb says:

    We enjoyed that area very much, a side trip from Marco Island when we flew out of Ft. Lauderdale. Beautiful photos Karen! Looks like a fabulous place for you and your hubby to relax.

  4. Absolutely beautiful….hope we visit one day:))

  5. Everything about this hotel looks perfect … especially those tableside sunsets over the harbor! Having a toddler, our family has only experienced the Disney side of Florida (!), but I will be daydreaming about a peaceful getaway to The Pillars all day!😄

  6. Darlene says:

    Looks fabulous!! We enjoyed our stay in Ft. Lauderdale a few years ago when hubby attended the boat show. Except for the torrential downpour one day, we loved the area.

  7. Thank you for introducing me to this charming resort.. I did not know about it and your excellent post makes it a want to visit site.

  8. I can see why you would think that — the photos are glorious! I am not a fan of big hotels, skyscrapers with beds. I love a smaller hotel — even the old-time mom and pops. This captures the small but with such beauty and elegance. How lovely!

  9. Eva Taylor says:

    It looks like a wonderful getaway, what a treat it must be. the decor is gorgeous, so clean and uncluttered, and it seems to radiate cool particularly from the hot, humid air of Florida. It looks like good eating too. You always know where to find the best places to stay.

  10. Mad Dog says:

    Wow – that place is amazing!
    I had lunch in one of the high rise hotels along the waterways in1993. We sat and watched the boats as we ate.

  11. What an idyllic place to unwind. I love the coziness and intimacy of the Pillars Hotel and I am not surprised you two keep returning to it. Definitely my kind of place. 👍❤

  12. kitchenriffs says:

    Sounds terrific! Love small places like that. This seems really comfortable, and the decor is great. Wonderful read — thanks!

  13. Gallivanta says:

    Sounds completely charming, and a perfect place for rest or an anniversary.

  14. What a special spot! Love unique lodging options … and the setting for dinner is just perfect.

  15. The pool view is beautiful! I would love to stay there!

  16. Gorgeous! Love the interiors and the floral work! of course.

  17. lifeincharente says:

    It looks delightful and a perfect breakfast. Keep well Diane

  18. What a wonderful place. No wonder you keep going back!

  19. You certainly know how to travel first class. 🙂 Who knew when you moved south, we’d be having 94° days, high humidity, and a feels like of 104°. Pretty soon I’ll be able to ask you for tropical plant suggestions.

  20. mjskit says:

    You guys stay in the most incredible places!!! Bet you never want to leave.

  21. Eha says:

    Peaceful! Idyllic! So relaxing – have never been to Florida . . . . but would love to escape from the ‘madding crowd’ in a small place like this . . . always look for such in Europe also . . . . that said am looking forwards to your next adventure coming up so soon . . .

  22. Debra says:

    How lovely! I can understand why you’d return whenever you can prioritize relaxation in peace and tranquility! Your descriptions and the beautiful photos certainly make an impression. 🙂

  23. Linda says:

    Wherever you are you are going to find that perfect place! This one almost makes me want to come to Florida.

  24. Looks like another beautiful location! You are always traveling to such cool places.

  25. Karen, I love small boutique hotels and this looks like a gem. Thanks for sharing!

  26. The description of Fort Lauderdale and the scrumptious Pillars Hotel takes us to another world…anyway from our everyday lives. Florida sounds so inviting!

  27. You stay at the most incredible places, I would love to be your suitcase!

  28. For the Love of Cooking says:

    What a lovely place to stay!

  29. chef mimi says:

    Beautiful! It looks so nice and quaint. The secret dining is funny….

  30. I’ve never been to Florida but I’ve definitely heard of Fort Lauderdale. I love SLH properties. They’re so thoughtfully appointed and service is so great!

  31. I love this post Karen. The Pillars is a gem! You always find the best and share it with us here. I would love to stay there one day, esp. when we need to get away from the cold and snow here. Incredible find and gorgeous pictures, thank you.

  32. restlessjo says:

    I much prefer somewhere like this to the large impersonal hotels, Karen. Though this one is probably beyond our pocket, it does look lovely. I have fond memories of an evening cruise at St. Pete’s the year we did Florida Disney with our son. 🙂 🙂

  33. Sartenada says:

    Thank You presenting this gorgeous hotel. Also thank You for Fort Lauderdale photos. We have visited there many years ago and love the area.

  34. What a GORGEOUS home away from home, Karen! Loved having a snoop around in your company. My mother lives in Tampa, so I will add this to my list and perhaps have a snoop of my own soon! Scarlett

  35. Linda says:

    What a lovely place. you always show us some beautiful places to visit. I have only been to Florida a few times, staying with friends or family. I always appreciate your destinations.

  36. nancyc says:

    What a beautiful place, Karen–thanks for sharing these lovely photos! 🙂

  37. Ron says:

    What a peaceful looking setting for what I remember as a very busy area. As I viewed your lovely images I felt more like I was looking at images of a hotel in the Virgin Islands instead of Southern Florida. Don’t know if we shall return to Fort Lauderdale, but if we do this would be where we’d want to stay. Thanks for sharing your secret hideaway.

  38. Florida is such a beautiful state… and Forth Lauderdale is a fave of mine.

  39. NativeNM says:

    What a beautiful retreat! Looks peaceful and oh those gorgeous sunsets!!

  40. Wow. You should truly become an ambassador for The Pillars because I am SOLD. That looks like heaven on earth!

  41. What a dream! It must have been very relaxing and the views! Beautiful hotel indeed.

  42. I haven’t been to Ft. Lauderdale since college spring break, LOL. That was a LONG time ago. We’ve been looking for a warm getaway this winter—and FL is just a 2 hour flight! I’m showing this to Bill 🙂

  43. Sally says:

    This looks so cosy (as a former home) yet elegant – and those views. Would love to sit on that terrace in the evening. Had never heard of the “Venice of America” before.

  44. ladyfi says:

    What an amazing and scenic hotel!

  45. Sophie says:

    This sounds like a lovely cool boutique hotel as we say! Very stylish & grand! Thanks for the lovely tour!

  46. Loretta says:

    Beautifully put together – I hope the hotel will give you a freebie weekend for the number of visitors who are tempted to indulge after reading your post 🙂 It really does look tranquil and gorgeous.

  47. Gorgeous!! What a fun getaway. Everything looks so clean and crisp!

  48. This trip looks amazing. We stayed in Ft. Lauderdale when I was pregnant with my first son and I’ll never forget that trip! I got sick from the plane I’m sure and the Marriott gave me chicken soup asap because I couldn’t take meds. I wasn’t happy with their prices $17 for pancakes 7 years ago too. I paid less in Waikiki! This resort in your pics looks awesome! Looks like you had a nice time!

  49. Wow, The Pillars looks amazing! I’m thinking wait about 4 months and I’ll be really ready to come down and see some palm trees! 🙂 Also, I wasn’t familiar with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, but I’ll have to keep that in mind for when we travel.

  50. What a lovely, relaxing spot! I could use a stay right at the moment…

  51. pamela511 says:

    Beautiful place, Karen! Looks like a great pool and breakfast too! The first time I visited Fort Lauderdale we stayed on the Intracoastal Waterway, way back in the early 60’s when the movie, “Where the Boys Are” with Connie Francis was filmed, in the bar across the street from the beach. Those were the days! I’ve loved Fort Lauderdale ever since.

  52. Sheryl says:

    The hotel looks wonderful. It sounds like a real gem. I feel more relaxed just looking at the photos.

  53. Gerlinde de Broekert says:

    What a gorgeous place Karen and I bet the food is outstanding.

  54. This sounds perfect for me. I’m sure I’d love it. Thanks so much for pointing it out!

  55. eliotthecat says:

    Amazing. Simply beautiful. Adding it as a bookmark now in Yelp! Hope we can visit one day to get away from the pressures. Thanks for the recommendation!

  56. Tricia Buice says:

    Oh my goodness – this is a real destination location – and I wouldn’t need to leave the grounds 🙂 Your photos are fantastic Karen – and now I need a trip to Ft. Lauderdale 🙂 It’s been too many years.

  57. Karen, this is our favorite kind of hotel. Boutique. Residential. Sounds perfect!

  58. 2sistersrecipes says:

    Lovely photos and descriptions!! My husband and I travel to Florida from time to time, and now this Hotel is on our list! thanks so much Karen!!

  59. Well that just pretty much looks and sounds like paradise!

  60. Maria says:

    Running away from snow and cold weather… this I can relate to! It looks like you found a little piece of paradise. Thank you for sharing it with all of us 🙂

  61. handmade by amalia says:

    Now this is my idea of relaxing. Just beautiful.

  62. What grand views from the hotel’s restaurant!

  63. David says:

    Oh, Karen – that looks absolutely perfect! The “old” Florida of days gone by! I love the elegance!

  64. A beautiful spot, I love the look of that restaurant in the evening.

  65. I could use some of that relaxation myself now! I like the combination of the ‘old world’ plantation look with the swimming pool!

  66. ZazaCook says:

    What a beautiful hotel, Karen. I would love to have a breakfast on that dock!

  67. Oh my goodness what a slice of heaven! I love the tranquility and peacefulness of this boutique hotel. Beautiful pictures, as always, Karen. Thanks for this lovely tour! 🙂

  68. I Wilkerson says:

    This hotel looks spectacular. Hmm, wonder if we’ll head to Florida again this winter…

  69. I could use a getaway nd this looks perfect!

  70. Miriam @londonkitchendiaries says:

    What a beautiful hotel – I can see why it is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World!

    Miriam xx

  71. Marcelle says:

    We love staying at properties that aren’t part of big chains and are considered hidden gems like this one. The hotel looks modern, but very comfortable and those stunning views!!! Thanks for sharing about this gorgeous hotel, Karen.

  72. Pingback: Panna Cotta With Luxardo Maraschino Cherries | Back Road Journal

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