Boca Raton Resort & Club
Boca Raton, Florida
This luxury mega-resort can be compared to one of those you may find in Hawaii. It is a vast and luxurious retreat which, to a large part because of its location, relies on the most demanding of travelers; New Yorkers. Purchased in 2004 by investors (Blackstone Group)and orriginally conceived by Addison Mizner who was the king of South Florida Meditteranean architecture, the hotel has received a much needed makeover. The hotel's nucleus, the six-story Flagler-era, Spanish-Mediterranean-style Cloister built in 1926, is a gem to look at with its barrel-tile roofs, mosaics, finials and beamed ceilings of cypress. This is even more striking with its new well places windows and updated furnishings. In season, the lobby can be crowded and busy but the environs are elegant, from such enchanting spots as the lobby espresso bar with its adjacent alfresco section, and the irresistible cluster of leather club chairs.
Dining is refined with new selection of eateries in place since the renovation. Lucca's, an elegant Tuscan restaurant offers wood-burning ovens and an open-air kitchen, and a lounge supplies cocktails, grappas and wines. Luna Bar provides an elegant setting for evening outings. The newly opened Old Homestead is a reworked version of the original Manhattan steak house. Its sleek contemporary design and New American format focus on red meat. Also new is Cieolo, chef Angela Hartnett's culinary detour. Situated in the Tower building, it offers memorable dining and stunning panoramas at lunch and dinner. A new upscale sushi restaurant has also been added amd guests can always grab a quick steak or salad at the golf clubhouse.
Recreation is superb: five pools, three health clubs, 34 tennis courts (nine lighted), croquet lawns, two championship golf courses, four racquetball courts, a 25-slip marina, a watersports center and a half-mile of private beach. Boats ply the waters between the Beach Club and the buildings on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Guest rooms are getting better all the time. Decor runs from traditional to ultramodern, with custom fabrics and furniture, refrigerators, plasma-screen TVs slowly appearing, and phones with voice mail and data ports in place. Wired and wireless Internet access is now part of the amenity roster in every room.
Traditional Cloister rooms are the smallest, with cypress beams, off-white walls, high-quality furniture, minimal closet space and good-sized baths. Premium rooms within the Cloister offer free Continental breakfast, tea, hors d'oeuvres and beverages, while Tower rooms are contemporary and afford good views of the ocean or waterway.
Newly renovated Boca Bungalows show exceptional style and attention to detail. All of these one-bedroom suites and apartments overlook the fairways, and enjoy a private pool and gym. A shuttle whisks guests to and from the main building and dining outlets.
Room service never stops. Pets are not permitted.