Amazing Dining at Palm Beach Hotels
Even if you’re not lucky enough to be a longtime homeowner in Palm Beach, or to have landed a residence in the real estate shopping rush that happened in the Sunshine State after the pandemic began, there are countless hotels happy to host you, and a myriad of restaurants eager to feed and entertain you. This season, we’ll keep you up to date with the latest information and offers from favorite spots around the county and, occasionally, beyond.
The biggest hotel novelty is the revival of the Boca Resort, which is now simply called The Boca Raton (thebocaraton.com). It was bought by billionaire philanthropist Michael Dell and his MSD partners, and not only is the iconic resort no longer pink, but it has undergone a massive renovation of common areas and a refresh of guest rooms, as well as an overhaul of its more than 10 restaurants.
Gone are Morimoto and Serendipity, but they’ve been replaced by exciting dining venues, many of which are designed and run by New York’s Major Food Group – Carbone, Dirty French, The Lobster Club – and designed by award-winning architect David Rockwell (he received Emmys and a Tony in addition to national design accolades). Flamingo Grill is a glamorous pink and green take on an American steakhouse located in the golf club. Those who miss the pink tones of the resort will be delighted to see the servers’ pink tuxedos. Sadelle’s is a New York restaurant outpost, a celebration of breakfast dishes like smoked fish and sticky rolls, and in March the group will offer an Italian concept, followed by a Japanese restaurant in April.
The hotel will also open a bakery, Maison Rose, in time for Valentine’s Day; with MB Supper Club, greet the Monkey Bar with live entertainment; the Top of the Tower fine dining restaurant and a separate fine dining restaurant at the top of the Yacht Club, which will exclusively serve guests from this area.
The Boca Raton also updated its expansive spa and fitness center, which offers 50 different classes.
PGA National Resort and Spa (pganational.com) also underwent a makeover — this one worth $100 million, including full renovations of rooms, suites, and public areas. There are two new restaurants: The Butcher’s Club, a modern steakhouse with mid-century touches from chef Jeremy Ford, who was a Excellent chef winner; and Honeybelle, an all-day dining venue from James Beard Award winner Lindsay Autry.
The colony (www.thecolonypalmbeach.com), has a hip new side. Locals and visitors alike have always loved this colorful and conveniently located hotel, but the addition of Swifty’s has made the pool scene even more fun, and this season, classes from fitness guru Isaac Boots coupled with the opening of the Pink Paradise coffee have taken it to a new level.
The four Seasons (fourseasons.com/palmbeach), which underwent a complete overhaul in 2019, was closed to the public last year as privately booked during the pandemic, and reopened last April. Florie is a Mediterranean-inspired dining room by chef Mauro Colagreco – who earned three Michelin stars at Mirazur, his restaurant in Menton – prepares offerings such as heirloom tomatoes and seasonal fruit carpaccio; local burrata with citrus salad, honey, pistachio and kuri squash vinaigrette; and lamb shank with sweet potatoes, dates, walnuts and black sesame sauce. For inspired gourmands, the hotel offers cookery and oenology classes as well as chocolate tastings.
The best place to have tea in Palm Beach is at The Chesterfield (www.chesterfieldpb.com), where it has become a tradition. Loose leaves and infusions as well as sandwiches and freshly baked scones and pastries can be enjoyed in the hotel library, outdoor courtyard or the famous Leopard Lounge.
Calabrian chef Ron Rosa has opened a branch of his popular Greenwich, CT Italian restaurant, Polpo, in luxury Water Palm Beach Resort & Spa (eaupalmbeach.com). Besides grilled polpo, of course, the menu features whole branzino and filleted Dover sole, as well as local fish and “angry” lobster cooked with white wine and hot peppers.
There’s a lot of action in Delray Beach. The Great Opal (opalgrand.com), which completed its renovation this year, added a Tammy Fender Spa, the holistic guru’s only other location outside of its West Palm Beach flagship. It competes with a salt room and treatments like Tammy’s signature facial, body scrub, and Thai massage. The hotel has also created an elegant Mediterranean restaurant, Drift, offering dishes such as baked oysters and ora king salmon a la plancha with heirloom grains, braised greens, and roasted eggplant mash.
The Ray Hotel (therayhotel.com), a modern tropical boutique, opened this fall with three restaurants and a fourth on the way from Michelin-starred chef Akira Back. Amber Grill, a chic and modern American spot is already a hit, Stingers is an all-day cafe, while rooftop lounge Rosewater offers casual global cuisine from sushi to lobster salad. As befits its location in the arts district of Pineapple Grove, it has a collection of paintings and sculptures scattered throughout the public spaces and grounds. For the sporty clientele, a fitness center, daily workout classes, and personal training are available, as well as surf and paddle board rentals and lessons.
Crane Beach House in Deray (cranesbeachhouse.com) has evolved from a laid-back beach spot to a wellness getaway. Guests can book services such as deep tissue massage and meditation in-room or in the property’s gardens, and the hotel will arrange transport to the local Bella Reina Spa for facials, body scrubs and manicures.
similarly named Meso beach house (mesorestaurants.com), a subsidiary of the Mediterranean restaurant in Rye, NY, opened in Delray with dishes such as grilled shrimp; local wahoo crudo with gooseberry, citrus, pickled peppers and olive oil; and spaghetti with sea urchins and lemon zest. The waterfront location is a perfect sunset perch.
Some of the most spectacular rooms in the area are found on the Marriott Singer Island Hotel (marriott.com/singer-island), an all-suite resort a stone’s throw from the island of Palm Beach. This season, the resort introduced an oceanfront dining experience, orchestrated by resort chef Jeffrey Armusik, who chairs the property’s signature restaurant, 800 Ocean. Sipping champagne on the sand and indulging in its four-course feast is ideal for a festive celebration for up to 12 people or for a romantic meal as a couple.
West Palm Beach is jumping, and islanders are flocking across the bridge to places like At Elizabeth’s (elisabettas.com) which has an expansive patio and serves a wide range of homemade pastas, as well as wood-fired prawns and Australian lamb chops grilled in chilli oil.
The Ben (thebenwestpalm.com) which opened in West Palm in 2020, introduced book butlers, who provide guests with lists of current and classic titles and deliver a book of choice to the room on a silver tray with a tassel bookmark custom designed.
Waterstone Resort and Marina in Boca (waterstoneboca.com), where every room has a balcony and a view of the water, was just bought by Boston-based Rockpoint Group and opened a new restaurant that allows diners to drive their boat to the entrance. SeaSpray focuses on local seafood with a creative twist, serving Mahi Reuben sandwiches, blood orange burrata, hazelnuts, fennel and orange oil. Save room for the campfire s’mores.
DC chef Jeff Tunks has opened a lively new restaurant in Boca. Corvina (corvinabocaraton.com), which has large indoor and outdoor bars and a saltwater aquarium, focuses on local catches, but also has a sushi bar and butcher’s cuts for carnivores.
Fans of Sag Harbor restaurants by Laurent Tourondel will be happy to hear that the founder of BLT, and current owner of the LT brand, has opened the waterfront DUNE (dunebylt.com) in Fort Lauderdale this fall. Alfredo Paredes, former creative director of Ralph Lauren, designed the space, and Tourondel’s menu will include a selection of nigiri as well as cooked dishes like crispy parmesan soufflé, grilled colossal prawns with caponata and organic chicken diablo .