Universal Palms Hotel

Address: 4900 Powerline Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33390, United States | 3 star hotel
Searching for availability...
*Prices above are provided by partners for one room, double occupancy and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.

How has this hotel rated in the past?

  What's this?
Discover trends in hotel experiences based on real traveler reviews and ratings. Mouse over circles to see what some travelers had to say.


This 3 star hotel, located in the Oakland Park area of Fort Lauderdale, is near Xtreme Indoor Karting, Easterlin Park, Fort Lauderdale Stadium, and Heliflite Too.
Map this hotel



    Historical Traveler Reviews Universal Palms Hotel Fort Lauderdale

    Scary and filthy


    My husband and I had an early flight out of Fort Lauderdale and this looked like a good choice. We checked in late at night and the lobby was filled with drunk and very loud patrons. We did not linger - we were also not too inclined to go back outside in what looked like an 'iffy' neighborhood. The room was smelly, filthy and gross. The water in the sink and toilet was brown and our neighbors had a very loud, possibly violent fight. My husband called the front desk to complain and the noise abated for about 1/2 hour. The fighting and the train noise made for a horrible night. I was never so glad to leave a hotel - ever. The only good part was that my children weren't with us. I'd have been terrified for their safety.

    Good value for money and hotel & admin staff helpfull


    as above the hotel was clean and well appointed.

    the staff both reception and administration were very helpfull and friendly and dealt with any queries

    quickly. i hope i will be able to return.

    Don't use ever


    I had Confirm Reservation for a special room. When I got to the hotel they stated they didn't have any information on the room. The manager didn't care and said they are over book. They could walk us over to an other place for a regular room ten miles away, and REFUSED to refund our money.The manager gave me a note saying I was cancelling my room. I was upset, I was not cancelling my room they didn't have my CONFIRM ROOM. I noted many other people that were staying there coming in with many compaints over their rooms, and three others came to check in and they didn't have there reserved reservations/room for them either. The manager was very unconcern over anyones needs. BEWARE OF THIS PLACE. Find an other place to go. I will NEVER send anyone to this place!!!!!

    The Worst


    I have never stayed at a place that made me feel so uncomfortable and dirty. Not only did we arrive at night in a sketchy part of town, we were welcomed to an unreasonably dirty room and rude service. Everything about the room was unclean--dingy drapes and bedding, carpet stains, unknown white stains on the blankets, hairs on the sheets and pillowcases, mold in the bathroom, yellow shower water and tub rings, not to mention a few spiders and a roach. I honestly felt like the room had not been cleaned after the previous few occupants. We went down to the front desk and told them of our issues, and we got moved to another room. Here, there was yet again dirty blankets and hair on the bedsheets. I felt so uncomfortable that I went back downstairs to ask for new sheets to put on myself since I doubted that the ones on the bed have been changed. Overall--very dirty, I shouldn't have felt cleaner having NOT taken a shower. In addition to this, the AmTrak track is literally right behind the hotel, as is the interstate, making for a very restless night. I would have been better off sleeping in my car.

    Avoid, avoid, avoid, avoid


    Don't be fooled by the online pictures and information. The Hotel is dirty and in a bad part of town. The security door lock was missing, the tap water was yellow, and the room was shabby. Trains and sirens were heard all night and there were drunks making noise outside our room during the night. These are just a few of the problems we experienced.

    El Palacio: Indeed, what they don't tell you is the loud railroad!


    The previous reviewer is right. We just came back from our stay in El Palacio in Ft. Lauderdale, and we did not get one night of good sleep because the hotel is located right next to a railroad. Every day and night the trains drive along, making more noise than an overflying plane, while the trains are sounding their bells!!

    Since we were staying the last 4 nights of holiday here, we thought we would just ignore this noise (even tried plugging toilet paper in my ears while sleeping, but did not help...) for these few days. Well, at day 2 the complete hotel did not have hot water. Even the cold water was coming out in a few drops. Okay we thought, just 2 more days to go, so let's not make too much of this....Even while on this second day the sink was congested. When on the third day still nothing was done about the sink, even when I asked about it twice and there still was no hot water, we decided to check out and spend our last day of the holiday somewhere else.

    Together with us, a lot more guests checked out.

    All together, this is not a good hotel to stay. It certainly is not worth the price they charge you.

    Things they don't tell you


    This hotel looks much nicer online that it actually is in person. It's kind of cheesy really. The thing they don't tell you is that it's next to a very loud train track and pretty close to the interstate noise as well. I'm not from there, but it seems like it's not exactly in a desirable area and that they rent rooms on a weekly and/or monthly basis.

    What A Dump!!!


    My daughter and I booked a room at El Palacio on a major hotel web site befor a Cruise. We arrived at 11:30PM from Las Vegas and was extremely tired. The Lobby seemed very nice with lots of lively music from the bar area. we checked in and had to take our bags up ourselves since the bell boy disappeared. After getting off the very dirty elevator things got worse. There was trash in the hall outside the rooms and when we entered our room litterly our jaws droped. There was a white suspicious sticky substance on the chair, I continued to walk in and there was rust and tabacco stains on the walls. The bed was indented the drapes and bedspreads filthy the carpet was disgusting. I proceeded to the bathroom, the bathtub has rings around it the shower curtain was moldy the toilet had urine stains. I wouldn't have bathed my dog in that tub!

    We immediately went down to the front desk and explained that the room was disgusting. We were told by the front desk to look at a better room. Well, on our way to that room we saw people hanging in a room smoking something besides cigaretts, and a few drunk women walking around. The better room was actually worse. At that point, I had enough.

    I informed the front desk that I was checking out and called to book the Westin. My daughter went back to get our luggage from the first room and she was greeted by one monster cockroach and two large brown spiders. They need to close El Palacio or change it's name to El Dumpo. Do yourself a favor and don't ruin your vacation on this place!

    The customer recieved a full refund and an offer for a free night stay in a suite.

    Our hotel is not a dump. We have spent 1 million dollars on rennovations and have many happy customers.

    Not Exactly a Palace


    First off, it looks like the management has been coming on trip advisor and padding their stats frequently. No one would take the time to write such glowing reviews for this place unless they had an interest in its success.

    Let me say that I was in Ft. Lauderdale on business and all of the hotels in the area were sold out. My search through Orbitz located the El Palacio as the closest hotel with availability. So I booked it.

    The hotel has excellent access to the highway! And it has beds! And to my amazement.....lamps!!! The hotel is not located in a good part of town and at the stop light just before the hotel there was always a homeless guy with a "Need Food" sign walking through the waiting cars. The Palacio is old and is decorated like a hotel in Old Downtown Vegas. If you like that vibe, than this might be the place for you.

    The night I stayed there the hotel was booked and the parking lot was packed full. I had to circle around it for about 10 minutes before someone left a spot. This is strange because the property is kind of in the middle of nowhere and it seems like it would be easy enough to just expand the lot.

    The real sticking point of my trip was when I checked in. I was told they did not have my reservation I made through Orbitz for two nights and they would only be able to give me a room for that night. Apparently they stopped paying attention to the Orbitz reservation records that had been coming to them. Needless to say, they said they would not guarantee me a room for the next night and I would have to go to the front desk in the morning and "hope" that someone had not decided to stay another night.

    I then call Orbitz and have them handle the situation for me. They were very nice and told me over the phone that they had made the manager honor my reservation. When I went to the front desk to confirm this, they had no idea of what I was talking about and went into the deal about the come to desk in the morning and "Hope" there is a vacancy. I told them about the call with Orbitz and they finally said they would honor my full reservation. All I have to say is SHADY.

    At night there was always a police car parked out front. Both nights I heard screaming and yelling through the walls and there was garbage and empty beer bottles in the hall. Yeah.....definitely old vegas.

    The room itself was a non-smoking room but had clearing seen smoking days. After staying there one day the smell permeated my clothes through the suitcase. I never felt fresh the rest of the trip. The room however as a whole was clean. The rooms still however have those connecting doors from room to room and the lock on mine was not functioning. When I left for the day I left nothing of value in the room. I suggest you don't either.

    When I checked out, I left in such a hurry I forgot a book in my room. I called housekeeping and left a message but no one ever got back to me. Not that I was expecting that or anything. So if you do stay at the El Palacio Sports Hotel and you see a book call "No Limit Holdem for Advanced Players" by Sklansky and Malmuth please read and enjoy. Even if you don't like the hotel, you will leave a better poker player!

    TripAdvisor Reviews Universal Palms Hotel Fort Lauderdale

    3.50 of 5 stars Very Good

    Travel Blogs from Fort Lauderdale

    USA Arrival

    A travel blog entry by tnanoble on Jun 09, 2015

    ... we were from, the one officers had a laugh as they only new of Sydney and Alice Springs haha, so we all had a laugh.

    Once we got through, we required U.S dollars and the currency exchange wasn’t open until 8am. So we had about 45minutes by this stage to fill in, so we decided to grab our first Starbucks coffee from America. As we ordered, we asked for the large, the girl pulled out what looked like double the height of us. We quickly laughed and asked for ...

    Fort Lauderdale

    A travel blog entry by kstubbs97 on Sep 28, 2014

    10 photos

    ... to the hotel in the rain, arriving saturated. Left $20 with reception to cover the cost of my bag delivery and called it a night.

    Tuesday September 30, 4.05pm
    Golden Lyon Bar, Riverside Hotel, Fort Lauderdale
    Checked with reception when I woke up, but still no sign of my bag so I rang Spirit again. Apparently my bag has arrived but the girl I spoke to yesterday didn’t write down my address. I gave it to the lady I was speaking to again and she ...

    First night in Miami and day 1

    A travel blog entry by davenwend on Aug 04, 2014

    22 photos

    ... burger while Wendy more adventurously had a gator tail sandwich. Both simple but tasty. On the way back from the Everglades the driver decided to change the order of our afternoon due to impending thunderstorms. We ended up being early for our newly booked boat ride at 2:30 and spent an hour wandering around a market area that was a little like darling harbour, eating the worlds most expensive low fat, low sugar soft serves. The boat tour was really ...

    And the Waves Rode Like Stallions

    A travel blog entry by ninapennewell on Apr 30, 2014

    6 comments, 51 photos

    ... well and we were soon out in the great, big ocean.

    Now we just had to orient ourselves. Having never followed a channel on open waters, we really did not understand what shape the structures would be that marked the channel. Our charts did not seem very specific to us other than showing a blob of white water and a few scattered markers and towers. But, we were confident we could find our way even if we could not locate the markers for our Marathon friends told us we could ...

    Day in Ft. Lauderdale ended in double OMG

    A travel blog entry by howardstein on Dec 08, 2013

    After 4 hours sleep our limo took us to our flight to Ft. Lauderdale on Westjet. How wonderful (not) to be fed coffee, cookie or pretzels and water. Oh well, after 3 hours and a bit the weather went from 27 degrees F in Canada to 27 degrees C in USA. Got our car, dumped our luggage in the hotel and set off to visit. We walked and walked and walked for hours ... In Aventura Mall. We managed to get some shopping in during our walk. Chicos, Nordstrom etc. ...