The storied legacy of Palm Beach’s Brazilian Court is alive and well
Style comes naturally to the town of Palm Beach in the same way that some people are born with a quick wit or artistic eye. In fact, in Palm Beach, one could even say that to be is to be chic. No place on The Island, as it’s called by locals, better illustrates this notion than the Brazilian Court Hotel & Beach Club, a quietly glamorous 80-room boutique hotel situated in the fashionable heart of “America’s Riviera.”
Since its opening in 1926, Brazilian Court has enjoyed a high-profile pedigree, having hosted dignitaries, monarchs, and pop culture icons (Marjorie Merriweather Post and Greta Garbo are among its past regulars). Even today, with its Spanish-Mediterranean architecture and famous palm tree-shaded courtyard—a scene reminiscent of old-time Hollywood—it’s easy to see why Tinseltown elite felt at home here.
Originally designed by New York architect Rosario Candela, Brazilian Court underwent a years-long renovation in the mid-aughts, the results of which were unveiled in 2008 and included guest rooms and suites featuring mahogany crown moldings; hand-forged, oil-rubbed bronze fixtures; Provence-style wood shutters; and luxe imported bed linens. Throughout the whole process, the hotel’s history as a beloved respite among stars was carefully preserved; framed old photographs adorn the walls, and suites bear names like Bergman, Astair, Hepburn, and Brando to invoke its golden era.
A suite’s richly decorated living area.
However golden its past life, however, Brazilian Court has only gotten better with age. Today, in addition to its sumptuous rooms and suites, the hotel is home to the lavish Palm Beach outpost of Café Boulud and a chic and shiny Frédéric Fekkai Salon & Spa. For dinner at Café Boulud, which would be more accurately described as an experience, patrons make selections from four culinary categories—La Tradition, classic French fare; La Saison, the season’s best; Le Potager, vegetables found in traditional French gardens; and Le Voyage, a smattering of international influences. (Come breakfast time, Boulud’s cheese grits alone are worth waking up for.) For R&R, the Fekkai spa offers all manner of massage and skin care treatments, plus the superstar stylist’s specific brand of beautifying services.
If one must be named, the only drawback suffered by Brazilian Court is its setting a few blocks from—rather than on—The Island’s famous beaches. However, the hotel offers shuttles to the shore in luxury SUVs, from whose cushy back seats guests will surely enjoy looking out on the world through the eyes of the famous figures who played here before them.
TO DO LIST:
Stroll the length of nearby Worth Avenue, whose tenants include couture houses like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel; top-shelf department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue; posh boutiques and restaurants; and myriad art galleries.
Pay a visit to Whitehall—now known as the Flagler Museum—which was the Gilded Age estate of Henry Morrison Flagler, the famed industrialist and a pioneer in the development of Palm Beach and other parts of Florida’s eastern coast.
Buccan Do It
Palm Beach has its fair share of “it” restaurants, lounges, and bistros. Opened in early 2011, Buccan, though young, is holding its own as one of the town’s hottest spots, thanks to its divine dishes, sophisticated yet stylish décor, and prime location, which draws Palm Beach’s prettiest patrons.