Want to live it up in Palm Beach like a fabulous local? We asked the team at The Chesterfield Palm Beach, which is part of Red Carnation Hotels and a member of Small Luxury Hotels, what they’ve been up to, and it turns out they’ve taken their former Penthouse and turned it into a most snazzy Presidential Suite. What we love: The suite has a lounge, a bedroom with a king-size bed and two full bathrooms. Best part? The private stairwell that leads up to the suite now sports leopard carpeting, a chic nod to the hotel’s Leopard Lounge restaurant and bar downstairs.
More about the Presidential Suite: The hotel, which is just off Worth Avenue, has a cozy vibe and designers have made the most of the suite’s intimate 694 square feet of space. The bedroom has a new four-poster bed with soft, white and pink coverings. Other sweet touches: Plantation shutters that were purchased at auction in the U.K., custom-designed carpets, Knoll sofas and marble his-and-hers bathrooms. Watch for new amenities to be included in a stay in the suite soon. Fun Touch: A series of VIPs stayed in the former penthouse, including President de Klerk of South Africa, the late Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Catherine Deneuve and Tommy Hilfiger.
When it’s time to head out, Matthew Roebuck, concierge at The Chesterfield Palm Beach, recommends starting off with breakfast at the hotel’s Courtyard restaurant; think palm trees, dappled sunlight and a traditional English breakfast or smoked salmon Benedict. This should gear you up for a stroll on Worth Avenue, just steps away, to shop at Gucci, Tiffany, Chanel, Saks Fifth Avenue and Salvatore Ferragamo, to name a few. The chic street even has its own website: www.worth-avenue.com.
Want the inside scoop on how the affluent lived in days of yore? “To immerse oneself into the life of a local, one must start at Henry Morrison Flagler Museum,” says Roebuck. “Here you will discover the Gilded Age, the most fascinating period of one of America’s most beautiful homes and Florida’s first museum.” The stately mansion also hosts a formal biannual gala in its grand hall for $1,000 a ticket called Bal Poudré to raise money; it will be held this year on February 17. While you may have missed that opportunity, all is not lost. The Grand Hall, almost 5,000 square feet in size, is available for rental and that means you’ll have access to space that has a dramatic double staircase, dome ceiling paintings, opulent gold leaf finishes, and marble throughout. Guests also get access to the first-floor rooms, including the library, music room, dining room, ballroom and drawing room, and docents will be available to answer any questions about the museum, the collection, and its history.
The Chesterfield has a new Presidential Suite carved out from its former Penthouse. Elegant touches include antique plantation shutters and custom carpeting to complement a decidedly pink theme.
Want some pampering while you’re enjoying your “in town” visit to Palm Beach? Roebuck suggests two venues: Salon Margrit and Frédéric Fekkai.
For dinnertime indulgence, Roebuck notes, “Palm Beach also offers some well-established restaurants for libation and exquisite dining. Tempt your taste buds with some trendy tapas at Buccan. Indulge in an inventive cocktail at Bice or Cucina Dell’ Arte and satisfy that sweet tooth at HMF or Café L’Europe for their famous baked Alaska.”
Need to dance off some calories? Head back to the Chesterfield for some live entertainment at The Leopard Lounge. “That would certainly end the day exactly how a fabulous local truly lives in Palm Beach,” he says.
If you’re staying longer, there’s more shopping to be done. Antique Row is 10 minutes away by car; it’s a charming district with over 40 antique shops offering 17th- to 20th-century antiques, fine and decorative arts, period deco, modern furnishings and much more. For more, visit www.westpalmbeachantiques.com.
Want more shopping? CityPlace is seven minutes away by car and has more than 100 shops and restaurants in an outdoor setting. Traveling with family? There’s also a 20-screen Muvico cinema complex and IMAX theater, the Improv Comedy Club and The Harriet Himmel Theater for the Performing Arts.
This is Palm Beach, after all, which means the ocean is just three blocks away from the Chesterfield. Off Worth Avenue, there’s a pedestrian path that runs for miles with stunning views of the water. It’s also home to a classic clock tower you may have seen in photos, with an arched window that nicely frames the beach view.
Worth Avenue in downtown Palm Beach is a destination unto itself, with restaurants and shops and plenty of resting areas with flowers and dappled sunlight.
On the horizon: The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach is undergoing a huge expansion and renovation under the direction of Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Lord Norman Foster of Foster + Partners. The “New Norton” will hold the establishment’s collection of 7,000 works of art in a more spacious and modern setting than its current location, which does remain open during the transition. The new building will open sometime next year. Additions resulting from the renovations will include an additional 12,000 square feet of gallery space for exhibitions, an education center with two new classrooms and a student gallery, a 210-seat auditorium, a 9,000-square-foot sculpture garden, a 4,000-square-foot Great Hall, a dining pavilion with a garden terrace, and six restored, historic houses to accommodate the museum’s artist-in-residence program and the director’s house.
For those in the area before the renovation is complete, don’t worry, the museum will stay open during the transformation.
If you’re in the area with children, take advantage of The Norton’s Family Studio event, open every Saturday morning from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for children ages five to 12 (and their accompanying grown-ups), who can participate in a thematic tour followed by an art-related workshop. We recommend signing up in advance on the Norton Museum of Art’s website.
For a night without the kids, we recommend heading to the museum’s Art After Dark program. Available Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., the free-admission event offers patrons an eclectic mix of art, music, film and more, incorporating docent-led tours exploring particular themes throughout the museum or special exhibitions. Art workshops and demos are also part of the fun, so check ahead of time to see which Art After Dark night most interests you.
Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton is part of a development that will include luxury retail, a private club and golf amenities.
Things To Look Forward To
Brightline rail service is expected to begin this summer, connecting West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale in 30 minutes and to Miami in 60 minutes. Phase two of Brightline will connect West Palm Beach directly to the Orlando International Airport in just two hours.
Mandarin Oriental, Boca Raton will open at the end of the year with 158 rooms, a rooftop restaurant and a spa with a focus on “holistic rejuvenation and relaxation,” which will also includes a fitness center and a rooftop pool. The hotel is part of a luxury mixed-use development. The Residences at Mandarin Oriental will be located in an adjoining tower.