Lucky you! Following are recommendations from articles in Mimi’s Travel File and my 2015 trip to PB.
The following are my top two fav’s (additional hotels listed at the end of this post)–
The Colony (155 Hamon Ave.)–Love it, love it, love it!
- 80 rooms plus “villas.” The villas have two bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and balcony.
- On-site bar, restaurant and pool
- What makes it unique: The Colony has a very attractive, “intime,” 1940’s-style nightclub, with little-shaded lamps on tables for two and four, and a small stage…like NYC’s Café Carlyle.
- The dėcor screams, “Welcome to the fun, happy, tropical-glam Florida!” The guest rooms are individually decorated in sophisticated splashy colors. No beige here.
- Great location: The beach is a block away (chair/towel in nifty, lightweight backpack provided by the Colony), as are Worth Avenue’s restaurants and boutiques. The Colony is located in a pretty neighborhood, which is excellent for house-ogling, on foot or bike, available at the hotel.
- Nice touch: Their car will transport you (gratis) around town, within limits.
The Brazilian Court Hotel (311 Australian Ave.)–lovely! It is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group and Historic Hotels America. If you prefer muted-Mediterranean color schemes to splash, stay here.
- On-site bar, glamorous restaurant and pool
- Location: two-blocks from the beach
- 80 studios and suites
EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY
Café Boulud (as in, the famed Daniel) at the Brazilian Court (301 Australian Ave.) : beautiful, intimate, Hollywood Glam courtyard setting with good food, sophisticated menu, and friendly staff. Near The Colony.
Renato’s (87 Via Mizner): Charming location in one of the courtyards off of Worth Avenue; lovely, romantic Italian restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and good food; near The Colony & Brazilian Court.
Surfside Diner (314 S. County Rd., near The Colony & Brazilian Court)–classic diner food and décor, best for breakfast; recommended by an Elle Décor article (March 2015).
SEE THE SIGHTS
- The sun, sand ‘n’ surf of the wide, Atlantic Ocean beach, of course!
- Flagler Museum: Built by PB’s founding father in 1902, the FM gives interesting background on the development of PB. Right next door, but not open to the public, is PB’s oldest house, Sea Gull Cottage, built in 1886. Right next to that is the beautiful Royal Poinciana Chapel.
- Norton Museum of Art (a jewel, according to my in-the-know friend, and also recommended by Elle Décor (2015)
Worth Avenue: Some truly wonderful PB-unique boutiques are located in between the ubiquitous, upscale chains, as well as in the NOT-TO-BE-OVERLOOKED charming, small courtyards off of Worth. Specifically:
- Susan E. Riley (240 Worth, in the Hermes Courtyard)–custom-made lace dress (& other treasures) shop
- Il Sandalo (240 Worth, in the Hermes Courtyard)–handmade, STYLISH and feminine sandals, Italian, of course
- Kassatly’s (250 Worth)–since 1923, selling BEAUTIFUL linens, nightgowns and robes, as well as a sprinkling of men’s clothes
- Maryanna Suzanna (313 Worth Avenue, in a courtyard)–beautiful, beautiful Italian ceramics
- Trillium (315 Worth)–a nice, upscale traditional men’s clothing store, with some women’s clothes; recommended by Elle Décor (2015)
- Pomponner (Via Mizner, in the same courtyard as Renato’s restaurant, off Worth)–great beaded clutches and feminine, gauzy tunics, small and wonderful.
Antique Row Art & Design District (South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach)–Gotta get in a car for this BUT Elle Décor (3/2015), Travel + Leisure (12/2013), and other respected travel pub’s highly recommend it. What’s there? Antiques shops, galleries, restaurants and upscale resale boutiques.
Studio 1608 (1608 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach)–Housed in a former 1930’s car dealership, this is a collection of local artist studios, located between the Norton Museum (2 blocks) and Antique Row. Recommended by Travel + Leisure article (December 2010: old article but Studio 1608’s website looks promising).
Circa Who (531 Northwood Rd., West Palm Beach)–My design-savvy friend highly recommends this store, which specializes in stylish vintage Palm Beach furniture and decorative items. Excellent web site. Can’t wait to check out the store in person!!
USEFUL TO KNOW: PB is 16 miles from north to south and about half a mile across at its widest point, and is made up of three distinct neighborhoods–the north end (The Breakers), the south end (Four Seasons & Eau), and the middle (The Colony, Brazilian Court & Worth Ave.).
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Mid-island PB (Worth Avenue/Colony area) has it all–the beach, nice restaurants, shops, galleries and hotels–within walking distance.
NORTHERN END of PB
The Breakers (1 S. County Rd.)–This is PB’s famous resort. It’s an old-but-not-faded (they spend $25 million p/yr. on renovations!), grand dame hotel on the beach (though its beach is small) with 140 acres of grounds, including a golf course and four pools, tennis, restaurants, and a nice staff. All good but if you want to have the pleasure of walking around the ‘hood and exploring restaurants, shops and cultural sites, not happening. The distance from the front door of The Breakers to the street is not short. If you don’t mind that, the area around The Breakers is not particularly fun or interesting. IF you aren’t interested in exploring PB on foot and would prefer to totally relax in a HUGE resort setting, The Breakers is your place. 538 rooms
SOUTHERN END of PB
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa (100 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan, FL)–Ever heard of it? Probably not BUT this is the former Ritz that super-successful and cheery-with-a-capital-C interior designer Jonathan Adler recently re-did and the photos look grrrreat. Happy rooms and tropical chic! The Washington Post featured a glowing article (9/6/15) on it, as did Travel + Leisure (12/2014). 309 rooms
The Colony–The best! (see top of this post)
The Brazilian Court Hotel–Top Pick (see top of this post).
WARDROBE TIP: In the Fall and Winter, the stylish locals wear F and W colors in temperature-appropriate fabrics.
-posted January 2016