Who Should Go
Families. Sunshine seekers. Golfers. Palm Beach ballers. OK, there’s no such thing as a Palm Beach baller, but if you want a somewhat more sedate and classic scene then you’ll find on South Beach, The Breakers will be up your alley.
What Impressed Me
Despite the size of the place, the level of care and service was apparent—not just in the hotel, but throughout the whole experience. There's a 44-person crew just for the gardens, and the Flagler family invests $25 million annually in overall upkeep and enhancements.
More than a dozen cities have nonstop flights to West Palm Beach airport, so it’s an easy weekend getaway. Pay no mind to reports of Trumpocalypse-related motorcade traffic and grounded planes. Mar-a-Lago's helipad is now complete and, once again, the six miles separating The Breakers Palm Beach from the airport is an easy 15-minute drive.
Where to Eat On Property
Have at least one meal at the Seafood Bar. Literally: the bar itself is a 36-foot aquarium. All of the fish is super-fresh and the cocktail list is fantastic (get the Skinny Piña Colada).
Where to Eat Off Property
There are nine restaurants at The Breakers, but I recommend wandering into town one night to see the real world (as real as it gets in Palm Beach, that is). There's a charming little Italian place called Café Flora, tucked away on Worth Avenue, where you sit on the terrace and have pasta and Dover sole.
What to Do
Golf, beach, spa, you name it, they've got it. But what impressed me the most was the gym. It's huge, with all new machines and a huge bank of TV screens to watch during your workout. They even have foam rollers, which is my personal litmus test for a well-equipped hotel gym. I loved the morning spin classes on the terrace facing the ocean.
The staff is on it. Everyone I encountered was thoughtful and attentive in a personalized way. They're also thoroughly knowledgeable—even the beach staff can tell you how every dish on the property is prepared.
When The Breakers opened over 100 years ago, rooms started at $4 a night—that's including three meals a day.
Worth Avenue: Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock.com. All other photos courtesy of The Breakers Palm Beach