To travel or not to travel. That is the question of 2020- AM I RIGHT? AND Fifteen years of marriage is something to be celebrated! Tell me I am right AGAIN!
Well, to be 100 percent real- Scott and I learned a valuable lesson on this specific trip– and that is THAT every. single. year of marriage is something to be celebrated! We have decided that we are going to try our best from this point forward to make it a financial and emotional priority to make an anniversary trip a yearly tradition! Fingers crossed we will follow through–as it has been five years since our last anniversary getaway.
If you follow me on instagram @jessicalayden, then you already know that Scott and I spent five nights in paradise at The Plunge Beach Resort in Lauderdale-by-the Sea, Florida at the end of June. If not you’re not following me–I would love for you to go follow me now so you don’t miss a post!
NOW ONTO MY HONEST REVIEW–
We booked our couples vacation this year directly through both Spirit Airlines and the resort. Because we are currently in the house building process, our vacation budget and our timeframe were both very limited. With that being said, I was looking for an amazing deal (which I found), and we went into the vacation with low expectations. Because of Covid-19, deals were plentiful. When we actually booked the trip, the virus cases in Florida were somewhat controlled. Once we got there, they were rising, which made for a somewhat stressful experience, but I was so grateful that at this time, we were north of Fort Lauderdale which was pretty much completely away from the crowds. Now that I’m home safe, and Scott and I both tested negative for the Covid-19 (yes, we tested just to be sure we didn’t contract the virus while gone), I’m so glad we didn’t cancel the trip. Because we are in the middle of selling and building a house, we desperately needed a vacation.
As I write this post, I am happy to say that my expectations were not only met, but actually were exceeded, and I found Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and The Plunge Beach Resort a great value for a couples vacation.
Oh Sweet Lauderdale-by-the-Sea! A charming beach town in Broward County, Florida, about 30 miles north of Miami. With Fort Lauderade to the North and Pompano Beach to the south, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea prides itself on being different. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean west to the Intercoastal Waterway, beauty is at every turn. With a low rise downtown and mainly mid-century architecture– everything you would need to enjoy your vacation is pretty much within walking distance- shops, restaurants, super market, entertainment, and activities.
It really set the stage for a low-key and laid back romantic couples vacation and I’m so glad we stumbled upon it in our search for a getaway.
SHOP THE POST!
PLUNGE BEACH RESORT
DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT/CHECK IN
The Plunge Beach Resort, located in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, was a quick 25 minute drive from the Fort Lauderdale airport. Check in was a breeze and our oceanfront suite was actually ready before the official check in time.
TIP: Instead of using a taxi from the cab line or shuttle to the car rental location, it’s probably easier to just call an Uber. Had we done this we could have saved a little time and money. Lesson learned.
I booked a King Oceanfront Guest Room with Balcony directly through the resort’s website. The room was cute and adequate. The Plunge Beach Resort is comprised of three buildings- The Island Building (not directly on the beach), The Beach Building (which is where we stayed), and The Plunge Beach Bungalows (larger suites, many with kitchens also directly on the beach.) Our Oceanfront King Room in the Beach Building was pretty much the size of a standard hotel room. I definitely wouldn’t have minded a larger room- but it was adequate. The sheets and duvet were comfortable. The pillows weren’t the best, but the mattress was among the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced on a vacation. Our bathroom did NOT have a tub, but rather a walk in shower. This could be an issue for some people, as our particular shower didn’t even have a bench of any sort. I had no issue with it. There was large flat screen tv that we never turned on. LOL. There was an ironing board and iron in the room. I mention this fact since I was part of the the 5% percent of Americans who still iron. LOL. It worked well. The blowdryer in the room was not adequate for me, as I always take my own blow dryer when I travel! Scott said the mini fridge was amazing and kept drinks ice cold. The balcony could DEFINITELY have been larger, but again was adequate. Also- I wished there a little better lighting in the room and a larger full length mirror. I actually purchased one at Target and left it for the next guests… I’m hoping if we ever return, it will still be there!
ROOM TIP: If you want to walk out directly to the beach, book a room on the first floor. I loved our room on the 4th floor as it provided amazing ocean views. It’s all a personal perference, but I love rooms with a view!
We are in the middle of a pandemic, and I’m not sure what cleaning is normally like at this resort, but our room was only serviced once during our stay. It was kind of frustrating having to continually call for towels, etc. I’m assuming this is to limit contact- so I did appreciate that fact. I also noticed that the hallways weren’t vacuumed that often– and again this could have been because of the virus, but I have definitely stayed at places with better service and housekeeping. Just keeping it real. That was probably my only real complaint. When we did call the front desk however, our requests were honored quickly.
I have to say, after driving through Fort Lauderdale, I was so happy we stayed in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. It is more quaint, quiet, romantic, and secluded. It was exactly what we were looking for. Due to Covid-19, the resort was operating at only 20 percent capacity so I’m not sure what it would be like during “normal times”. I loved the fact that the Plunge Beach Resort was at the end of the street, and felt more remote. There were times that there was literally not a single person on the beach or at the resort pools. Also note: There were hardly any children there during our stay, but I assume during non Covid times there could be lots of kids. It is not an Adult Only Resort. Just something to keep in mind if you are traveling sans kids.
To my huge disappointment, the restaurant and bar onsite were closed due to Covid-19, so we were unable to experience all this resort really had to offer. I can say that upon reading reviews- the food and drinks were highly rated. I was sad I didn’t get to try the Nachos or Fish Tacos- but I guess there’s always next time.
Because of Covid-19 we ended up ordering Door Dash for most of our breakfast and lunches. It worked out quite nicely because there were hundreds of restaurants close by and delivery was free. We were always amazed at how hot the food was when it was delivered. There was also a Publix Grocery Store that was a 2 minute walk from our room, so it was nice to stock up on drinks and snacks.
The Plunge Beach Hotel has two pools- one at the Beach Hotel and one reserved only for the Bungalow guests. The main pool was a bit livelier with more kids from what I observed. We had no issue finding a chair at the main pool. There was a bar/restaurant right beside the main pool, which I have already mentioned was closed due to the Covid. Towels were available nearby so there is need to bring your own.
Ok! There was seaweed on the beach–and LOTS of it. You can see from any pictures that I’ve posted on my Instagram what I’m referring to0- but this is no fault of the resort. It’s South Florida. It’s Summertime. There is seaweed. I felt the beach area at the resort was still gorgeous. The beach was not crowded AT ALL. Beach chairs were plentiful and there was someone at the resort that set them up for you with an umbrella. We were never served drinks on the beach nor did I see anyone walking around the days we spent at the beach. Again, this could have been due to Covid. The water looked beautiful and was fairly calm. It would be great for paddelbaording, snorkeling, or other water actives as we saw several people participating in these activities during our stay. The water was like bathwater. If you’re like me and afraid of stepping on crabs or other sea life do not FORGET your water shoes! I did and I regretted it. (Yes, I proudly wear water shoes in the ocean! Ha.)
The beach area definitely had more of a tropical vibe compared to other Floridian beaches I have visited (think Clearwater or Daytona) which I can’t say I expected– but truly loved. No real shells on the beach, but it was cool to see the turtles nesting. My only regret of the trip was not sneaking out with a flashlight at night to see if any baby turtles were returning to the ocean. I guess there is always next time!
TIP: I would suggest taking some kind of inflatable raft. I didn’t see any being provided for your own use like some resorts provide. You can pay it forward and leave for someone else to enjoy instead of taking it home.
OTHER POINTS ON INTEREST
Anglin Square was a 25 minute walk away. In non Covid times it would be great to see live entertainment at the square. We did eat outdoors at a few of the restaurants during our time, and I was so impressed with the dining experience. I actually can’t wait to return to the dining scene.
I don’t think it would have been necessary to rent a car, and I wish we wouldn’t have. Being that I was never here before I wasn’t sure what to expect.
In the future, I would just rely on Uber if I wanted to go somewhere further away. For a five day stay, we had everything we needed within walking distance.
Overall, I loved our couples vacation to The Plunge Beach Resort and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. It was an easy and affordable trip, and I actually think this destination could work for a long weekend winter getaway. At any rate, I felt it was an amazing value.
And now the next question remains, where should Scott and I go to celebrate Year #16? Any and all suggestions welcome!
Thanks for following my blog and I hope you come back soon.