A 14-mile-long and half-mile-wide Atlantic coast barrier island, Palm Beach beckons those searching for the ultimate luxury in Florida getaways.
Pristine beaches, Worth Avenue’s tony boutiques, five-star restaurants, and oceanfront resorts make this a place to see and be seen. At this Gilded Age winter haven of the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers, grand historical estates hide behind iron gates and high hedgerows.
The Colony Hotel
The Colony Hotel, known as the iconic “Pink Lady” (the hotel is painted a blush-rose hue), opened in in 1947 and embodies Old Floridian charm. Located on Hammon Avenue, the pretty-in-pink classic Colonial-style hotel is a breath of fresh air. The interior lobby is welcoming, with a nod to the tropics, thanks to Celerie Kemble of Kemble Interiors who has worked to give the original spaces (first designed by the iconic Dorothy Draper & Co.) a refresh. Palm frond–themed fabrics dress the club chairs, while shimmering green crystals drip from the chandelier.
At check-in, guests are greeted with a glass of Champagne before heading to their suites. Each room is decorated in a unique color palette. Comfortable and ultra-luxe, the accommodations are impeccable (in my room, I’m surrounded by swaths of pink and green). After unpacking, head to the pool, where even the sunbathers are dressed to the nines in fashionable wide-brimmed straw hats, chic Audrey Hepburn sunglasses, and Lilly Pulitzer shifts, finished off with Jimmy Choo jute mule sandals.
Couples enjoy brunch at the hotel’s restaurant, Swifty’s. The patio overlooks the pool, with many men in navy-blue jackets and shorts and women dressed in crisp white linen. The pool and the lush green lawn beyond are immaculate. Take a table on the terrace, order a salad and a sauvignon blanc, and watch the scene featuring the who’s who of Palm Beach’s elite unfold. The socialite scene is alive and well and lots of fun in this pretty pink paradise in Palm Beach.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Vibrant yellow-and-white beach umbrellas set against an azure sky, with crystal-clear waves rolling across soft white sandy beaches: It’s a setting that immediately alleviates stress and brings peace to the soul. If you’re looking for a pampering getaway, head to Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. With impeccable service and the ultimate luxury spa, this beach resort should be on your Florida-stay bucket list. Located in the small seaside town of Manalapan just south of Palm Beach, overlooking south Florida’s turquoise waters, the sprawling, Mediterranean-style waterfront escape offers two outdoor pools, tennis courts, and four exceptional restaurants, all set on seven acres of lush tropical grounds.
But amazingly enough, the luxury accommodations and the ocean views are not the main attraction for many guests. The resort boasts a 42,000-square-foot spa—a playground for adults—where all the senses are pampered and indulged. Spend any amount of time in this soothing Shangri-La and you’ll want to book your next trip right away.
Head to the co-ed Self Centered Garden, a courtyard at the heart of the spa. The garden has several soothing water features including fountains and waterfalls and is lined with bromeliads and palms. White canvas tents shade lounge chairs, plush couches, and daybeds. Rattan swing chairs float over a shallow reflecting pool—the perfect place to rock your cares away.
Separate lounges for men and women are located inside the spa, and just as the garden offers a relaxing setting, the interiors don’t disappoint. The oversized whirlpool in the women’s side is surrounded by heated stone loungers. This wet spa also houses the sauna and steam room. Guests can create their own body scrub at the Polish Bar before hitting the steam.
Nineteen therapeutic treatment rooms offer the ultimate “me time” experience. Truly a playground paradise, this stellar spa and resort experience is not to be missed.
White Elephant Palm Beach
Taking over an iconic hotel built in 1924 on one of Palm Beach’s most fashionable main streets, The White Elephant is a 32-room boutique property (with 13 rooms and 19 suites spread across four stories) that offers the glamour of the 1920s with all the modern amenities of a five-star luxury hotel.
The Addison Mizner–style facade was fully restored in creamy-white stucco, black trim, and terracotta roof tiles. Black-and-white striped awnings offer a polished, fabled look. Guests are welcomed by a seven-foot white elephant statue by Santa Fe–based artist Fredrick Prescott.
Designed by Elkus Manfredi, the hotel has more of the feel of an upscale private residence, featuring a neutral color palette, vibrant splashes of color, and more than 120 pieces of artwork on display throughout the common areas and guest rooms. An original fireplace mantel welcomes guests in the lobby.
Upon entering your spacious guest room, you are greeted with an impeccable designscape, featuring custom-designed furniture, plush couches covered in soothing gray and cream-colored fabrics. The dreamy king-sized beds are outfitted with Pratesi linens and upholstered backboards accented in a colorful palm and floral print. Everything is automated including temperature, shades, and lighting, which can be set to any mood you wish. The guest rooms are so beautiful and comfortable, you may just forgo exploring the city.
When you are ready to get some Florida sunshine, an outdoor courtyard offers the perfect spot to relax or take a dip in the pool. The perfectly manicured grounds feature mature palm trees and lush, fragrant flora. White Elephant Palm Beach’s signature restaurant, Lola 41—a Nantucket staple—serves globally inspired dishes and local seafood specialties. If you’re able to get a spot on the patio, I highly recommend it.
Gilded Age decadence is alive and well at The Breakers. The iconic Palm Beach resort has been welcoming guests for more than 100 years, offering lavish accommodations on the shoreline. In the late 1800s, Henry Morrison Flagler reimagined South Florida into a winter getaway for the well-heeled and this tradition of a luxury holiday remains to this day. Now into its second century, the resort continues its success under the ownership of Flagler’s heirs.
The architecture, based on the Villa Medici, built in Rome in the 1400s, is of the Mediterranean-style and features an eight-story palace with Belvedere towers and graceful arches throughout. The palm-lined approach road leads to a Florentine Fountain based on one found in Florence’s Boboli Gardens, and the hotel’s breathtaking lobby is inspired by the Great Hall of the Palazzo Carrega in Genoa.
The 538 guest rooms, including 68 suites, offer views of the ocean or the manicured gardens and landscape. For an intimate and customized experience, the resort’s Fllagler Club is an exclusive, 25-room boutique hotel atop the resort. With a private entrance, the club offers well-appointed accommodations and personalized service throughout your stay, including chauffeured Tesla car service and a full-service team to cater to your every desire.
With a full-service spa and hair salon; multiple pools; watersports on the half-mile private beach; 10 Har-Tru tennis courts; and 10 dining options, including Sunday brunch in the Circle, a rotunda with 30-foot frescoed ceiling and eight oval murals depicting Renaissance landscapes; there is no shortage of indulging, pampering, or entertainment. In 2022, the resort completed a full-scale renovation of the Rees Jones golf course. The resort is a must-visit on any trip to Palm Beach.
Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach
Sophisticated and stylish, the Four Seasons offers the seasoned traveler unparalleled service, breathtaking ocean views, and a relaxed vibe that melts away the stress of life. Authentic experiences abound and are inspired by the barrier island’s heritage and charm, such as a private luxury yacht sunset cruise, snorkeling in the Atlantic, or taking in a polo match while sipping Champagne at the International Polo Club. There is no shortage of unique and elevated activities at this five-star beachfront masterpiece.
With picturesque pools, six acres of private beachfront, five-star spa, fitness center, tennis classes, a luxury-goods boutique, and Krigler Perfumery, a stay at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach offers a relaxing oasis of the world-class amenities and 207 guest rooms and suites. Experience dining at Florie’s by Mauro Colagreco, the flagship restaurant and bar in partnership with the chef behind three-Michelin starred Mirazur, which celebrates Florida’s seafood and local farm produce.
The common areas and guest rooms, designed by acclaimed interior architect and designer Martin Brudnizki, pay homage to an elegant yet laidback coastal lifestyle with a fresh, modern color palette. For an elevated getaway that brings together the best of resort vacations, the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach should be on your list of stays in this Florida paradise.