The famed five-star oceanfront Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida took luxury to a whole new level with The Flagler Club. This intimate 25-room boutique hotel within a hotel, tucked away on the top 2 floors of the already fabulous Breakers, features a private access club with unsurpassed amenities. Guests can use all of the facilities on the beautiful 140-acre resort and then return to their exclusive sanctuary.
The cosseting starts with a pre-arrival call from charming French born Bernard Nicole, assistant hotel manager, Flagler Club: to arrange anything and everything according to your personal preferences from your room set up, restaurant and spa reservations, to activities – ensuring the utmost customized stay. He will also coordinate your pickup by the Club’s own chauffeured Tesla at the airport. Approaching the property, the gates open to reveal a long lush royal palm tree lined drive and Florentine- style fountain fronting the Grand Hotel. Welcome to Palm Beach Paradise.
The Breakers was founded in 1896 by oil tycoon Henry M Flagler whose railroad fueled the development of South Florida. Notable guests included the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and Astors, among many others. Today this acclaimed Palm Beach icon, a favorite winter retreat for the fashionable and fabulous – continues the tradition of excellence under the ownership of Flagler’s heirs who spend more than $30 million a year to preserve and renew the legendary hotel. And it looks it. A paragon of elegance and glamour with exquisite devotion to detail, the historic property is meticulously maintained.
An architectural marvel done in Italian Renaissance style, the Breakers façade is inspired by Rome’s Villa Medici. Interiors are equally spectacular. Over seventy-artisans were brought from Italy to complete the magnificent paintings decorating the vaulted ceiling of the 200-foot-long main lobby that has been recently adorned with a new vibrant custom-designed, hand-tufted carpet. Striking murals, graceful arches, regal columns and dazzling chandeliers create an ambiance of noble grandeur.
Flagler Club guests are escorted to a private reception area and given a personalized black key card used for elevator access to the ultra exclusive sixth and seventh floors, where members enjoy unrivaled luxury. The staff know every guest by name, give you their cell numbers to reach them at any time and pride themselves on accommodating every need – always replying, “ It’s our pleasure.” No request is too small and there’s no standard too high.
Posh rooms and suites with contemporary décor stylishly decked out in sophisticated hues of cream, dove grey and brown contain supremely comfortable PranaSleep adjustable beds, plush Frette linen and robes, a 55-inch HD Smart TV and a minibar full of beverages and treats. And the marble bathroom has gobs of Jo Malone amenities as well as the coveted state-of-the-art Dyson Hair Dryer.
The swank Adam Tihany designed Flagler Club Lounge and Terrace offers guests an endless array of complimentary goodies throughout the day provided by a dedicated team of 19. It’s stocked with newspapers, the best espresso and cappuccino, my beloved ginger and lemon grass Tea Forte plus other tasteful teas, coconut water, fresh fruit juices, soda, tasty bites and an extensive bar with premium top-shelf liquor and Master Sommelier- curated wine. Cushy sofas and chairs create an ambiance that feels more like a living room in your wealthy friend’s mansion – a relaxing oasis of understated luxury.
Some of the Flagler Club Lounge’s gastronomic delights included a lavish breakfast buffet with delicious brioche and luscious lobster rolls at lunch. Sunset cocktails at social hour on the rooftop terrace were complemented by black cod with miso, avocado filled with crab, and sushi hors d’oeuvres, all against the backdrop of the glorious sky. Post dinner, what better way to cap off the night than a brandy, cognac or glass of bubbly along with some decadent desserts, outdoors on the panoramic deck. For even more indulgence; there’s a whole box of chocolate truffles on your pillow at bedtime. Sweet dreams!
With 9 restaurants, the Breakers Hotel offers an impressive array of culinary options. Flagler Club guests can either walk the 2 short blocks or take the club’s chauffeured Tesla to the Flagler Steakhouse, renowned for prime steaks that are tender, juicy and perfectly grilled. Dining on the eatery’s scenic veranda I savored superb stone crab claws, oysters, a tasty heirloom tomato and gorgonzola salad and the best tomahawk rib-eye steak paired with fine wine, while listening to the soundtrack of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
Seafood aficionados will swoon over the chic oceanfront Seafood Grill with its nautical accents and splashy bar that’s actually an aquarium with live fish. Here I feasted on tuna tartare, scallops and lobster tails. Other dining options: Echo for Asian fusion, HMF for sharing plates tapas style, The Circle for breakfast and Sunday Brunch, The Italian Restaurant, and the more casual Beach Club, Ocean House and Surf Break.
Flagler Club guests have access to all of The Breakers’ facilities including: 4 stylish oceanfront pools and private beach with sun loungers and attendants aplenty; water sports center for aqua activities such as snorkeling, diving, paddleboard, kayaking or perhaps a sunset Catamaran Cruise; fitness center with complimentary classes; tennis courts and golf at 2 championship courses.
With 12 on-site boutiques, there’s plenty of opportunity for excellent retail therapy. My favorites: Lilly Pulitzer’s colorful resort wear has been synonymous with Palm Beach since 1959; Match designer shoe salon, Mix, a marvelous mecca of jewels and voguish accessories; and Guerlain for gorgeous fragrances, top skincare and cosmetics direct from Paris.
For the ultimate pampering head to the luxurious Spa, a haven of tranquility with a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. Three spacious indoor lounges decorated in white and ivory plus an out-door courtyard area with tropical foliage, white chaises and sofas around a reflecting pool are serene spots to unwind before or after a treatment while enjoying a gelato. I opted for the Rose Quartz Massage: Lying on a therapeutic heated bed of flowing alpha-quartz sand I was massaged with warm quartz stones as aromatic pure essence of rose oil scented the room. I closed my eyes as the healing sounds of Tibetan singing bowls transported me to a state of bliss.
Private chauffeur car service is offered in the Club’s Tesla should you want to go off the grounds. But why leave Paradise.
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