Time spent in a marina offers the chance to eat, drink, shop or sightsee. Emily Rookwood and Chris Evans canvas expert opinion as to the best ports of call
This award-winning marina exudes luxury, class and sophistication. Yas is noted for its privileged access to the 5-Star Yas Viceroy Hotel overlooking one of the world’s newest Formula 1 race tracks. “Marina patrons also have the chance to do some racing for themselves in a Formula Yas 3000 or Aston Martin GT4,” says Charlotte Broadribb of C&N Marinas, owners of Yas. The marina has 227 berths accommodating yachts up to 150 metres, as well as a heliport. It also boasts seven restaurants and bars with panoramic views. Nearby is the famous Italian restaurant Cipriani, set against a stylish backdrop designed by Michele Bonan. After dark, head to Allure Nightclub for a unique ‘Super Club’ experience.
Pier 66 has just undergone a multi-million pound renovation and the results are stunning. The marina can now accommodate more superyachts than ever before (up to 60) and all the docks are brand new, including, for the first time, floating docks. There is also new electrical infrastructure with up to 600amp/480volt power for the larger vessels. “Our new Captain’s lounge is the perfect place to relax, watch TV or sit out on our patio and enjoy the view,” says Jenifer Cognet, marina manager. All guests of the marina have full access to the Hyatt hotel amenities, including a swimming pool, 24-hour fitness centre, tennis courts and six restaurants. Considered “Fort Lauderdale’s Best Place to see a sunset”, Pelican Landing is a casual waterfront bar and restaurant with an ardent local following and unprecedented views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Watch the boats sail past and enjoy flavourful drink specials and fresh Florida cuisine. Those who wish to partake in water sports can use the small vessels and tenders, paddle boards, kayaks and jet skis on offer. Like at Bahia, there are also high-speed pumps, but these don’t require truck-to-marina delivery, and can do up to 140 gallons per minute, so owners and crew can go about their business of the day quicker.
This Marina is truly the luxurious heart of Fort Lauderdale, incorporating a Hilton Hotel with all its amenities – such as tennis courts, swimming pool and fitness centre – a pristine beach, and only a few steps from award-winning restaurants, bars, high-end shops and nightclubs on Las Olas Boulevard. “We have 250 slips that are easy to pull into, there are no service gates preventing you from coming in at certain hours, and we can accommodate yachts up to 300 feet (91.4m),” says Charles Walker, dockmaster and general manager at Bahia Mar. Other stand-out perks include high-speed pumps that can fill up to 80,000 gallons for one vessel, dive shops with scuba training pools, commercial fishing fleet, and the icing on the cake- personalised key cards for marine patrons giving private access to their own exclusive section of the beach.