Is there any beach destination in the U.S. with more of a luxury pedigree than Palm Beach? A vacation destination for business magnates since the turn of the 20th century, its shores are fringed with opulent mansions, golf courses, and 5-star resorts. One of those resorts, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, caters to a younger crowd than the generations-old grand dames farther along the coastline. We recently stayed at this property — newly awarded with its first AAA Five-Diamond rating in 2016 — to relax and to take in some of the rarified Palm Beach air.
It’s hard to miss the hotel’s most distinct offering: Its decor is courtesy of designer Jonathan Adler, who has brought his sense of eye-popping color and vintage-inspired whimsy to the Eau Palm Beach. Custom geometric patterned wallpaper, ceramic boxes in metallic colors, oversize Slim Aarons prints — it’s all here. In fact, if you fall in love with a particular piece, you can probably buy it. Inquire at the desk for more information.
Eau Spa is among the most beautiful and creative we’ve ever seen. You can blend your own custom scrub using ingredients like clay, lavender, and vanilla; swing in a suspended lounger over a gurgling water feature; or sit on a bench with a rushing waterfall cascading over your back. Even the linens on the massage tables are a silky, soft alternative to basic cotton.
There are some resort-view rooms at Eau Palm Beach, but the ocean view rooms are the way to go. In fact, a quick search on the hotel’s web site revealed these rooms to be less expensive than the resort-view rooms. All rooms have private balconies — a perfect spot for some early morning or evening contemplation — and nothing quite beats the sound of the ocean waves outside your door. As you’d expect from a hotel called the Eau, the bathrooms are a highlight. Rain shower heads, massage jets built into the walls, and massive soaking tubs in some upgraded rooms mean that you’ll want to spend more than your typical 15 minutes in the shower.
The resort is home to four restaurants and bars, so leaving the property isn’t strictly necessary if you’re peckish after a long day of lounging. One to recommend is Angle, a special-occasion spot with a focus on seafood, although we loved the simplicity of the goat cheese-potato terrine with a side of roasted market veggies. Other dishes to try include the olive oil poached conch, a locally caught snapper entree, and a perfectly formed passion fruit soufflé for dessert. Appetizers range from $10 to $20, with entrees from $30 to $45. Note the Angle is closed for the month of August.
Who Will Love It:
Anyone looking for the ultimate girlfriend getaway need look no further. The spa offerings alone make this a hotspot for relaxing weekends spent getting pedicures and drinking bubbly. Naturally, it’s also a popular spot for weddings. Young families, too, will find plenty to love here, with a dedicated family concierge, babysitting, and club-level rooms with included, no-fuss food and beverages available around the clock.
Who Might Not:
Older couples may find the Adler designs a touch too loud or glib for a proper Palm Beach getaway.
If the leafy, idyllic opulence of Palm Beach island gets a little overwhelming, head south about 20 minutes to Delray Beach or 35 to Boca Raton for shopping, restaurants, and the Boca Raton Museum of Art. Alternatively, head north to the original center of Palm Beach’s lavish past: the Flagler Museum. Standard Oil founder Henry Flagler built this seaside mansion — now a museum — as an engagement present for his wife. Not a bad way to start off a marriage.
Deals and Offers:
With balmy summer weather in south Florida, Eau Palm Beach is offering a special that gives guests a third night free. We found weeknight rates as low as $253 in August and September — a steal for a luxury hotel anywhere, especially on Palm Beach. (Use code MKTSMS14 to book.) Without the offer, we found rates from $320 to $600 during this same period. Additionally, you’ll find discounts on spa treatments and half-off bottles of select sparkling wines at the onsite Breeze Ocean Kitchen.
Located on “the island” in Palm Beach, Eau Palm Beach is an easy 25-minute drive down route 95 from the West Palm Beach Airport. Note that most GPS-driven mapping programs will bring you south of the hotel, and then loop you back up onto the island via route A1A, where you’ll reach the property. If you’re in a hurry, don’t be tempted to cut immediately over to route A1A after leaving the airport. Traffic and the narrowness of the route means that the 95 option will get you there significantly faster. All of the major U.S.-based air carriers, plus Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines, fly to West Palm Beach. At the time of publication, some of the most affordable flights were from New York City ($190 round-trip on JetBlue) and ($192 round-trip on American Airlines).