More than a seasonal hot spot for high-powered families like The Kennedy’s or The Donald’s (by that, we mean President Donald Trump), Palm Beach is a 16-mile, mansion-dotted, barrier island that’s earned recognition as one of the world’s most elegant outposts.
Known for postcard-perfect beaches, stellar cuisine, and majestic hotel properties whose guests are pre-warned to come ready for pampering, the Palm Beach County Convention & Visitors Bureau says summer’s economical hotel rates are reason enough to make a pit stop.
Palm Beach is also a haven for couples seeking a romantic reboot or for families with a need for no-speed.
A legendary beachside retreat for the rich, powerful, and alabaster-haired, Palm Beach is now attracting a hipper, and younger, guard of argyle-loving, soleil-seekers.
After picking through the preppy metropolis’ vast collection of culinary hotspots, don’t-miss attractions, and luxurious hotel properties, Kerry Shorr of Luxe Vivant offers up a few of her favorites and categorizes them by two traveler types: Couples and Marrieds-with-tykes-in-tow.
Stay: A top pick amongst Hollywood A-listers and global leaders, The Breakers (pictured above) is favored by couples in search of a romantic remedy. Want to bump up the sexy factor? Book a relaxing Couples Massage at The Spa and alert Room Service you want to order something special – oysters, champagne, and a big bowl of whipped cream. Hit the Egyptian cotton sheets with a copy Pauline Réage’s steamy classic, Story of O. What happens after that is up to you. Stay now through December 17, 2014 and you’ll be rewarded with an array of indulgent (and free!) offerings, including: a decadent breakfast buffet, Wi-Fi/in-room Internet and unlimited local calls.
Eat-In: Named after the hotel’s flamboyant owner, Henry Morrison Flagler, HMF (pictured above) is where the island’s cocktail culture-loving inhabitants trek to get their dine-and-drink on. Lavish, food truck-inspired bites and interpretive swills from The Great Depression reign here but wine is taken very seriously, too. HMF’s 40-page wine list features 1,600 varietals from around the world.
Eat-Out: Hungry to reduce your carbon footprint? Head over to The Cooper, Craft Kitchen & Bar, (illustrated below) a new, charming resto at PGA Commons that sources its seasonal ingredients daily from local farms and meat purveyors. Tuck into one of their signature dishes like Jerry’s Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf and sip it down with a Prohibition-inspired, no-password-necessary cocktail.
Must-Try Activity: Go reef-diving. Gain in-pool scuba instruction from a Whitecaps PADI-certified instructor before being whisked off to The Breakers Reef, an underwater wonderland teeming with tropical fish, manta rays and sting rays, sea turtles, and the occasional whale. Take a waterproof camera to snap fish-lipped selfies beneath the waves. For reservations, call 561-659-8497.
Shop: Worth Avenue’s palm-dotted street features the archetypal fashion giants but the shaded vias are loaded with jewelry ateliers, antique shops, and lesser-known bespoke boutiques. Kerry recommends: Barzina (66 Via Mizner), a cozy, treasure box bursting with one-of-a-kind furniture, home goods, and fashions from across around the globe. Nothing quite says “Palm Beach extravagance” like a pair of monogrammed velvet slippers from Stubbs & Wootton (1 Via Pariggi).
Stay: When it comes to pampering guests, Four Seasons Resort (pictured above) has it down pat. The island’s only five-star, five-diamond property understands what parents and their little mini-me’s need for a “this-is-what-spoiled-feels-like” vacation. Moms will like the tranquil spa. Kids will love the complimentary children’s program. For groom-savvy dads we have two words: “Gentlemen’s Club”. Book the “Get Away Get More” package and with everything 2-night stay, receive a $100 resort credit you can apply towards almost anything.
Eat-In: Jové Kitchen & Bar (pictured above) dishes out approachable Italian cuisine with a contemporary touch. Craving a little mommy and daddy time? Drop the little ones off at Four Seasons Resort’s “Kids For All Seasons” evening program then sit down for a romantic meal in your own private, beachside cabana.
Eat-Out: The island isn’t bursting with family-style restaurants, but there are plenty of tasteful offerings for young tribes. Kerry thumbs-up the fresh seafood bowls, baby burgers, and vegan tacos cooked up daily at Nick & Johnnies (pictured above).
Must-Try Activity: Play the Game of Kings. Take a private polo lesson with Luis Escobar (pictured above) at the Santa Clara Polo Club. The 7-goal polo star will teach you basic, intermediate, or advanced sport fundamentals including horseback riding, mallet work, and polo strategy. Enroll your children in the one-hour Kids Polo class.
Shop: With over 160 department stores, specialty shops, and restaurants, The Gardens Mall is fashion paradise for the style obsessed. Stock up on summer essentials at Saks Fifth Avenue and Lilly Pulitzer then head over to the Build-A-Bear Workshop, where kids can pick out a collectible teddy bear to outfit (clothing and accessories sold separately).
HMF interior and food photos courtesy of LILA PHOTO
Nick and Johnnies interior photo courtesy of John Kent Thurston III