As our part of the country heads into the rainy season, further south offers a weekend escape where sun-kissed days meet pristine beaches. Located along Florida’s gold coast, the Boca Raton Resort & Club is not where you go to make a scene it’s where you go to escape one.
For almost a century the resort has operated like a small utopian city unto itself, it even has its own president. Only members and guests have access to this Garden of Eden that’s situated on Lake Boca and the Boca inlet. The private club status has created a certain mystique amongst the Boca locals. They call it, “The Pink Palace” and often wonder what it’s like just beyond the grand pink walls and stately Royal Palms that guard the main entrance.
In order to be an insider you have to pony up 30K for a membership or arrange for a luxurious guest stay at the resort. It’s all about the guest card you’ll receive upon check-in. It’s your hall pass to a weekend where the Great Gatsby experience of yesterday blends seamlessly with the modern luxury lifestyle of today. As the Boca Beach Club prepares to celebrate its 90th birthday, it’s finished up a $30 million renovation and is now the ideal place for a spring weekend getaway where you can be wined and dined while relaxing poolside at the beach.
Where to Stay
You can’t talk about the Boca Raton Resort & Club without mentioning its benefactor Palm Beach architect Addison Mizner. The eccentric visionary who built the Spanish-Mediterranean style resort in 1926 often walked the grounds with his pet monkey Johnnie Brown. You can pay tribute to him and his best friend at The Monkey Bar by ordering Brian Fleury’s Southern Hospitality cocktail. It’s made with Bourbon, muddled blackberry and mint, topped with fresh lemon juice. Once you’ve enjoyed some Southern hospitality you’ll notice you’ll home away from home the newly renovated Cloister building.
With 361 guest rooms and suites, the Cloister building is centrally located at the heart of the property. It’s only steps away from the Waldorf Astoria Spa, two championship golf courses and a tennis facility that’s home to the Jimmy Connors Tennis Academy.
The enormous central hall exudes sophistication and elegance. The dark timber framed ceiling has been renovated with intricate contemporary white crown molding treatments that dramatically brighten the space. The Rothko inspired carpeting that used to cover the classic Mediterranean terra-cotta tile floor has been replaced by a matching slate and marble inlay that balances the space perfectly.
Richmond International Designers from London recently gutted and remodeled all of the rooms and suites. The bedroom interiors use a warm color palette that is accented with tropical floral prints. The modular glass paneled closet has two built-in chest-of drawers, hanging bar and upper and lower shelves. There is also an adjoining mini-bar that’s equipped with a fridge and various snacks.
I especially liked the way the oversized bathrooms were laid out. The designers were thoughtful when they brought the natural light into the space and the luxurious rainfall shower tiled in white marble was pure heaven.
Where to Play
Boca Beach Club
After checking into the Cloister, the first thing to do is to head over to The Boca Beach Club to have some lunch and take a dip in the ocean.
The new 212-room Boca Beach Club is a jaw dropping art deco extravaganza on what could be the best parcel of land in all of South Florida. Centered off of the main entrance is a luxurious blue mosaic tiled reflecting pool that extends out to infinity towards the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The juxtaposition of the art deco furnishings and fixtures against the backdrop of guests lounging and dining overlooking the ocean sets up the expectation that you’ve arrived at the perfect place to relax and reinvigorate your hectic life.
The outdoor pool and beach experience has something for everyone, families soak up the sun alongside guests who are enjoying bottle service and lounging on day beds. Three spectacularly designed pools are setup exclusively for adults, families and children. You can even rent a private cabana and throw a party while drinking Whispering Angel rose all day.
It’s an environment that appeals to the trendy South Beach crowd and families that desire a relaxing safe haven away from the hustle and bustle of Miami Beach.
Where to Dine
Lucca: Tuscan Cuisine Cooked with Passion
The legacy restaurant serves Tuscan cuisine in a relaxed casual atmosphere. The main dining room has dramatic double height 20’ ceilings with picture windows that overlook the Intracoastal Waterway and mega yachts moored at The Yacht Club and the kitchen is setback into a dramatic Mediterranean styled hearth that has an open style kitchen and a wood fired pizza oven. Recommended plates: Ahi Tuna Crudo, Caprese, Pan Seared Pompano and Canolli Filled Doughnuts.
The SeaGrille restaurant is a chic art deco styled restaurant with soul. The menu is centered on ocean fresh catch of the day, seasonal soups and salads. Recommended plates: Creamy Delicate Mint with Zucchini Blossom Rock Shrimp, Zucchini Purée Soup, Ocean Fresh Grouper and Mango Key Lime.