Palm Beach is, by far, the most quintessential old-money, old-school, old-charm ocean town (although the word “town” seems a bit too drab) in Florida—let alone the entire U.S. Last April, my husband and I had the (serious) good fortune to spend three nights at The Breakers; the Palm Beach luxury hotel modeled after Rome’s very own Villa Medici—and in all honesty, it is one of my favorite hotels, yet oddly, I can’t really pinpoint one or two reasons why … because it’s the combination of the lengthy terracotta-colored driveway; the palm-leaf styled ceiling fan in my room; the navy-blazer clad youth strolling the hallways; the Gatsby-like architecture; the parrots outside my window; the pools … it’s everything. And I would go back there in a heartbeat.
A turn-of-the-century hotel, The Breakers is the epitome of the Gilded Age. During the earlier part of the 20th century, it was the hotspot for both socialites and prominent magnates alike. The hotel was often visited by many of America’s original business moguls including the Vanderbilts, Astors, J.P. Morgan, Carnegie and even the Rockefellers. Additionally, the hotel has served as home away from home for foreign dignitaries, American Presidents and plenty of A-list Hollywood icons.
Now everyone has their must-haves in a hotel when they travel … I have two—other than the obvious, clean, safe, etc.—good coffee that’s ready in the earl a.m.; and a good place to run. The Breakers has both. Every morning I was able to head out the front doors, down the driveway, hang a sharp right, make a few more easy turns and within five minutes was on a pathway that serves a sort of boarder between the water and some breathtaking, beautiful properties. Just ask the concierge for directions.
During the day, a lot of guests hit the spa, but I’m a sucker for quiet pools where I can relax and feel like I’m on the edge of the world—so after a quick shower and breakfast on the terrace, poolside is where this mermaid called home for most of the afternoon.
Dinner. We ate in the hotel two nights and the food was grand—as expected—but one night we ventured out to Charley’s Crab for lobster, wine and charred octopus. Divine. Heck, the food was so damn good we actually kept a menu … I do that sometimes. When I go places or have meals I want to remember, I frame the menu, write something trivial on it, and hang it in our dining room.
I haven’t been back to Palm Beach since our time at The Breakers, but it’s on my short-list for places to visit next spring break. I hope you get the chance to go … and should you get the chance to visit, although you may not share the same last name as the tycoons who used to walk the halls, you will feel like one.