Fort Lauderdale may have some of the most expensive waterfront homes in the country. And Fort Lauderdale may be relatively close to the bright lights, celebrity energy and retro chic of Miami’s South Beach. But since Fort Lauderdale’s most exclusive waterfront neighborhoods have historically been located on the Intracoastal Waterway rather than on the beach, it’s really only since the new Auberge Beach Residences opened that Miami-level-five-star-luxury living has been available with panoramic ocean views…in Fort Lauderdale. 

And as I found out during a visit earlier this winter, living at Fort Lauderdale’s Auberge Beach Residences could actually be way better than living on Miami Beach. Here’s why. 

The Fort Lauderdale beachfront is becoming the hip, laidback beach community that Miami Beach once was. And flocks of wealthy, ocean-loving homebuyers are looking north of hyper-developed Miami Beach for a luxury home that has direct access to south Florida’s famous white sand beach and all the amenities of the finest resorts. That’s exactly what the Auberge Beach Residences deliver.

It was easy to see why Miami’s Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and the owner of the Florida Panthers, Vincent Viola (among other celebs) have residences there. The Coral Gables-based architects NBWW have created an oceanfront oasis that’s both stunning and relaxing. The large main lobby is bright, sophisticated and enhanced with museum quality art. The pool area is a decadent urban escape and the private white sand beach and limitless horizon of the open ocean is only steps away. And I can say from first-hand experience that the full-service spa completes with salt cave, sound meditation lounge and a long list of rejuvenating treatments is world class. 

The stylish and thoughtful design of the main areas (including a state-of-the-art gym, high-def golf simulator, a Napa Valley wine room filled with Auberge’s best wine selections, and a cigar bar) scored high marks with me. But I soon realized why this property has been so popular when I toured some of the units that are available for sale.

Each featured modern, flow-through floor plans and floor-to-ceiling windows to take full advantage of the views of the ocean, city, and Intracoastal Waterway. In fact, each tower has been configured so each unit gets a view of the ocean. And when you add the quality design and construction, I saw for myself when I was there, I’m not surprised the homes now available are priced from approximately $1.9 to $6.5 million.  

Most feature oversized terraces with continuous glass railings, private elevator access and entry foyers. Kitchens feature designed with Italian cabinetry, stone countertops, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, and integrated espresso/cappuccino systems. Some of the most exclusive residences also have private pools.

But the really cool thing is this: the Auberge Beach Residences may fetch the most expensive prices per square foot in all of Broward County (a recent 16th floor home was sold for $8.9M), but they are a steal compared to the prices you’ll pay for a similar property only a few miles in Miami. 

And of course, no luxury residential community is complete without 24/7 valet service and rock-star-level concierge services that make it easy for residents to do everything from booking a private yacht charter to finding in-home spa services for your dog!

And if that’s not enough to entice your north of Miami Beach. Dune Fort Lauderdale is not only one of the hottest restaurants in Ft. Lauderdale. It’s one of the hottest restaurants in South Florida. And if you live at the Auberge Beach Residences, you don’t even need to leave home to eat there.

If you are looking for luxury ocean front real estate in South Florida, do yourself a favor and check out the Auberge Beach Residences. And tell them I sent you!