You Keep Using the Word ‘Paradise’ — I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means…

Fort Lauderdale airport’s terminal 3 isn’t my favorite experience. There’s no airport lounge and the best food option I’ve found is the Chili’s.

Nonetheless, there are those that would call is paradise. That’s the excuse given for plenty of third world facilities in the Caribbean.

Several hotels were sold out nearby the other night, and I wound up at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port Hotel. It was perfectly functional, though the decor doesn’t necessarily fit South Florida.

I thought the hotel’s essence was captured perfectly the next morning. There was crashing down rain, pouring heavily, and parking is a decent walk from the front of the hotel (the lot was mostly full, so I was parked at the far end of the lot). I asked ‘Guest Services’ if it was possible to borrow an umbrella just for a moment, to walk to my car and I’d drive it right back over.

  • They had an umbrella to lend to me!
  • It was broken.
  • And I had better bring it right back I was warned sternly.

See? They had everything I need, perfectly functional, but that didn’t make the experience nice.

The upgrade for my first flight last night leaving South Florida cleared at the gate. Second flight — and mind you “through passengers” get upgrade priority on American, and I’m an Executive Platinum member — I tweeted this (and it wasn’t at all a complaint, just a notable statement!):

As I shared last month, my travels aren’t all rainbows and unicorns. I’m lucky to do a certain amount of that. But just like anyone else’s time on the road, it’s only almost paradise.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Ahhhhhh, Gary. We rolled out the [damp & slightly soiled] red carpet in honor of your spend the night in Fort Lauderdale. The Sheraton you used is typically a holding pen for the hundreds of thousands of cruiser that move through our little airport each year to spend a week or more over-eating and drinking on the high seas.

    We have lots of great hotels on Fort Lauderdale Beach….next time you are in town split with some of your points and upgrade to a nice resort. Even if it happens to be raining, these hotels offer valet parking!

    Those of us who live here in ‘paradise’ appreciate the mention!

  2. Your FLL experience is, sadly, typical of all the SPG properties in that neighborhood. While the beach properties are an improvement (sometimes), they’re totally inconvenient to the airport. The alternate choices line I95 and generally pay only lip service to the brand standards which they are intended to represent — and in season, they’re highly overpriced to boot. Not my idea of paradise (and that terminal is shocking).

  3. Its a mediocre hotel and like most sheratons in North America
    Dissapointing overall
    The only feather in their cap is they have been spg friendly

    I hope you returned the umbrella
    The FLL police have been warned about u & the only reason you stayed there to try and rob their damaged umbrella
    Nice Try! 🙂 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *