What does Luxury Travel Advisor love the most about Palm Beach? We say its proximity to New York; a vast array of flight options usually gets us there in just over two hours. And that’s just enough to have a cocktail, contemplate the wonders of the universe, before, whammo, we’ve landed! The extremely civilized Palm Beach International Airport (which accepts private jets and helicopters) usually serves us up our luggage and rental car in no time to get us on our way to one of our favorite ocean resorts, where spa is usually all that’s on our mind—at least for starters.
|The Outdoor Spa at the Breakers includes an oceanfront whirlpool spa.|
We’ve loved The Four Seasons Resort, Palm Beach since it opened more than 20 years ago as the Ocean Grand, but what’s all-new here is its spa, which boasts a brand-new location with easy access—just downstairs from the hotel’s lobby and pool.
Not surprisingly, the 11-treatment room facility is a tranquil place with a soothing color palette and an extremely attentive staff. It’s suggested that travel advisors reserve clients’ treatments well ahead of time to avoid disappointment. Contact the spa’s director, Michael Perez ([email protected]) for advice on which treatments your clients should opt for or how their treatments can be customized.
Insider Secret: We hear that Patrick McElhenney is the most-requested massage therapist. Men are in for a treat at the spa, thanks to the Hot Towel Traditional Shave, which is administered in a private room with a real barbershop chair and a large, flat-screen TV. Kate Somerville products are used for facial treatments, which include Dermalucent Phototherapy. That’s said to utilize the healing power of light by incorporating exposure to a special LED device that increases collagen production, helps even pigmentation and targets fine lines and wrinkles. Now what’s wrong with that?
|The Spa at the Four Seasons Palm Beach has 11 treatment rooms.|
Kids in tow? Those ages 12 and under can book a Little Princess manicure or pedicure; facials for teens are also an option.
When it’s time to retire, be sure they’re booked in a Premier accommodation at the resort, which provides 100 square feet of additional space than standard rooms and offers direct ocean views (think spectacular sunrises any time of the year). The resort’s top digs include two Deluxe Oceanfront Two-Bedroom Suites and the Magnolia Suite. Note: These must be booked by calling the hotel.
For those clients who need a dash of TLC, contact Tarrah Marks-Zedower ([email protected]), who can see that every detail is attended to. (Note: For the insider track on The Four Seasons, Palm Beach’s newly redesigned rooms, see the next issue of Luxury Travel Advisor.)
Like everything at The Breakers, the spa is all about serious luxury. Using products from Guerlain, Tammy Fender and Pure Fiji, the facility has 17 treatment rooms spread out over 20,000 square feet.
|The Imperial Suite at the Breakers is newly renovated and includes personal concierge services.|
There are three signature treatments here: the 80-minute Personal Retreat massage (the most popular these days), the Orchidée Imperial facial and the Walk on the Beach pedicure. Contact Spa Director Amy Retay ([email protected]; 561-653-6687). Note: Spa services are only available for guests 17 and older.
New at the property is MyBreakersStay.com. It allows guests and travel advisors with a booking confirmation number, plan an itinerary in advance to include activities such as spa, dining, golf reservations, family programs and transportation. Want to speak to a live person? That opportunity is still alive and well at the luxury hotel. In fact, luxury travel advisors can contact General Manager Tricia Taylor ([email protected]) to make special arrangements. Another go-to person is Valerie Lund, the leisure sales manager, reachable at [email protected]; 561-653-6673.
Oceanfront accommodations are the top picks at The Breakers; for those seeking private butler service, we suggest they book in the Flagler Club, a private concierge level provided by the hotel.
The Breakers is a bit of a celebrity magnet, having recently welcomed Matt Lauer, Sting, Susan Lucci, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dan Marino, Bryant Gumbel and Sigourney Weaver.
The Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club, near the beach and Palm Beach’s posh Worth Avenue, is home to the the Frédéric Fekkai Salon & Spa. What’s good? Fekkai’s legendary stylists divide their time between New York and the Palm Beach facility, serving up haircuts, coloring and other beauty services, such as the basic Fekkai Facial, which can be upgraded with add-ons, such as a vitamin boost or an Intensive Hydra Mask. Creative Director Bernard Arapoglou oversees the facility. For VIP treatment, contact him at 561-833-9930.
When you're done with the pampering, we say it’s time for a nip or a bite at the hotel’s Café Boulud, a local crowd pleaser. Be sure to request a table outside in the courtyard and near the fountain, especially if you’re there for Sunday brunch.
Staying at the hotel? Most in demand are the 400-square-foot studios, but we say if you’re splurging, you should opt for a 1,800-square-foot Poolside Lanai Suite, which includes two bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and a patio or terrace.
Luxury Travel Advisor always thinks it’s a swell idea to live like a local, no matter where we go, and we say a visit to the Norton Museum during its Art After Dark program provides just that experience. The program runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. the second Thursday of every month and pulls in local residents anxious to enjoy a good dose of music or films and special tours with curators and docents (the program changes each month). We say it’s fun that there’s also a cash bar and food available and that all ages are welcome.
The museum always has an interesting lineup of exhibitions—for example, from December 12 through March 6, 2011, it’s running a neat show called Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation—but it’s got a fine permanent collection that’s worth a tour anytime, with works from European masters such as Brancusi, Gauguin, Matisse, Miró, Monet and Picasso, as well as by Americans such as Davis, Hassam, Hopper, Manship, O’Keeffe and Pollock.
Good to Know: Palm Beach celebrates a number of special events over the year that draw large crowds of VIPs who fill its luxury hotels, such as the Palm Beach Boat Show, the American International Fine Art Fair, Art Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Jewelry Show, the SunFest Music & Art Festival, the Equestrian Winter Festival and the U.S. Open Polo Cup. Reserve two months out for the festive season in December and other family holiday times.