Palm Beach may only be a two and a half hour drive from Central Florida, but the relaxation, adventure and beach-side thrills offered up will leave you feeling miles away from everything you thought a Florida vacation could be. I discovered this for myself over the course of a four-day excursion that gave me a brief yet eye-opening look at all that the magical destination of Palm Beach, Florida has to offer its millions of annual visitors. The destination presents no shortage of award-winning hotels to call home during your stay, and I had the rare opportunity to experience not just one, but two of these fabulous options. The adventure began at Boca Raton’s Premier Waterfront Property, the Waterstone Resort & Marina. My accommodations at the luxurious Four-Diamond boutique hotel featured a private balcony with breathtaking water views that truly set the mood for what was to come for myself and my companions. The elegant, intimate hotel also boasts exquisite dining options with two fabulous restaurants conveniently located on property.
Patrons of Boca Landing Restaurant get to enjoy the area’s only on-the-water dining experience with cozy seating overlooking Lake Boca and the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway. This signature dining experience is certainly a must while staying at the property, but for my companions and I, we found that the Waterstone Rum Bar & Grill offered the easy-going atmosphere we sought after and this was where we happily spent our first evening at the property. The simple menu maintained a tasty variety of classic grilled food and refreshing specialty drinks with just the right amount of authentic Boca Flair, such as my succulent entree of Pan Seared Wild Black Grouper. Sipping post-dinner cocktails surrounded by laughter, delicious aromas, and the company of new friends was all it took for me to see why the Waterstone Resort & Marina has been called the “Ultimate South Florida Retreat” and this was only my first evening in Palm Beach. To say we started off strong is an understatement and the next day also did not disappoint. The following morning kicked off as all vacations should in my humble opinion… with a relaxing, therapeutic spa treatment at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.
The historic, private resort is a sight to behold, and guests could literally spend an entire week at the magnificent property without ever dining at the same restaurant or sleeping in the same accommodations. It was an experience of pure luxury from the moment we drove through the grand entrance, and in true Waldorf Astoria fashion, the spa experience was equally exceptional. Inspired by Spain’s Alhambra Palace, the award-winning Spa is truly a piece of art featuring everything from a 10,000 square foot Spa Garden to a private Spa Pool with underwater music. A lengthy Spa menu offered an abundance of treatments, but a destination as one-of-a-kind as Palm Beach calls for something a little more unique than your typical massage, and that was exactly what I experienced during my signature ritual bath treatment. The highlight of the six step process was a luxurious personal soaking tub with aromatic bath salts, body scrub, and refreshing citrus splash that created a unique and memorable experience of stress-releasing relaxation and indulgence.
Throughout my stay in Palm Beach, I was struck time and time again by the pure beauty and sheer splendor of the pristine destination, and there’s only so much you can see from a car so my companions and I opted for a more freeing method of transportation in order to see and experience a different side of the area. Island Living Tours provides entertaining, yet educational bicycle tours of Palm Beach that showcase the high-society life of the Island from past to present. Led by Leslie Diver, our scenic tour highlighted the area’s world-class architecture, colorful history and its residents both famous and infamous. Leslie’s love and passion for the city was evident at every stop as fascinating facts, stories and city secrets effortlessly flowed out of her. The relaxing tour also provided us with an exceptional, up-close-and-personal view of Palm Beach that easily became my favorite experience of the entire weekend.
In continuing the trend of relaxation and authentic South Florida experiences, it was only fitting that the last half of our stay in Palm Beach be spent at the AAA Four Diamond award-winning Hilton West Palm Beach. The casual elegance of the hotel captures the lively atmosphere of the surrounding area, and its prime location means guests can enjoy premiere Palm Beach shopping right across the street. From the first moment we stepped inside, I immediately knew I was going to have a difficult time saying goodbye to the stunning property once my time in Palm Beach had come to an end. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking city and pool views, the temptation to leave my spacious accommodations and explore the area was strong. As countless others can attest to, it’s simply impossible to not get caught up in the buzz and excitement of all that the Hilton West Palm Beach has to offer on its premises and just a few steps away. Both locals and tourists alike show up to the property daily to take advantage of every luxurious experience from sunbathing and sipping tropical cocktails by the zero entry resort-style pool to enjoying an exceptional dinner at the property’s signature restaurant, Galley.
Galley is where I can confidently say I had my favorite dining experience in all of Palm Beach, and quite frankly, it stands to rival many restaurants that exists even beyond this destination. Galley staff members Jason and Aaron took such great care of my companions and I that I would’ve returned for dinner every night, if not for a greater desire to experience all the many other must-have dining options located throughout the Palm Beach area. Fortunately, our dinner at Galley took place on a Friday evening, which meant we had the pleasure of kicking off our weekend with Galley’s live music entertainment in addition to enjoying the craft cocktails and chef-driven creations that are available every day of the week. All evening long we feasted on creative, uniquely crafted dishes such as wood-fired master grilled skirt steak and authentic margarita pies straight from the Galley pizza oven. Naturally we washed it all down with refreshing beverages from the experiential mixology bar, which boasted drinks infused with fruit flavors, local brews and twists on classic cocktails such as a Smoked Old Fashioned masterfully presented in a smoking globe.
No matter how many days you stay in Palm Beach, you’ll always be longing for one more, and that’s just part of the magic that has transformed Palm Beach into one of the world’s most celebrated resort destinations. From a peace-inducing morning yoga session outside of Grandview Public Market to exploring the unique culinary and cultural experiences located within, each attraction in Palm Beach offers a multitude of ways to enjoy and experience all it has to offer. Foodies seeking a six course plated wine dinner by nationally recognized Master Chefs will enjoy the farm-to-table offerings of Swank Specialty Produce’s Master Chef dinners. The sheer elegance of RH Rooftop Restaurant located across from Hilton West Palm Beach will provide you with a timelessly classic dining experience, while both Gary Rack’s Farmhouse Kitchen and Batch New Southern Kitchen & Tap feature sustainably sourced and prepared cuisine that’s farm-to-table fresh. Whatever you desire from your next beachfront vacation, you will find all of it and more by discovering The Palm Beaches.
Discover The Palm Beaches
2195 Southern Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33406