No visit to Boca Raton is complete without a stay at the The Boca Raton, an iconic resort and private club that captures the coastal elegance of this sun-kissed destination. The 200-acre resort got its start as a 100-room inn in 1926. It has since grown to encompass five hotels: the Cloister, the Yacht Club, the Beach Club, the Bungalows, and the newly opened Tower. I had the pleasure of being one of the first guests to stay in the new Tower, which recently underwent a $65 million renovation. Originally opened in 1969, the Tower has been transformed with a stunning design, elevated in-room services, and customizable suite layouts. “The relaunch of Tower is a significant milestone in the evolution of The Boca Raton,” says Daniel A. Hostettler, president and CEO of The Boca Raton. “It further defines our property as one of the world’s most distinguished resorts and private clubs, setting a new standard for luxury hospitality. It was integral to our long-term strategy to create five distinct hotels, each offering a unique experience.”
Upon arrival, I immediately felt myself embracing the lifestyle of South Florida’s Gold Coast, surrounded by beautiful architecture, Lily Pulitzer-inspired fashion, and affluence. The lobby in the Cloister, where I first went to check in, is a prime spot to people watch. Bustling with activity, it is the thoroughfare that connects to a variety of restaurants, Spa Palmera, and more.
The Tower’s exterior has been refreshed to a light Coastal Pink, paying homage to the pink hues of Boca Raton. Inside on the second floor, guests can take advantage of the Tower Lounge, a thoughtful space for guests to relax or enjoy complimentary morning pastries, coffee, afternoon snacks, or a sundae bar on weekends. There is also a listening lounge with headphones by premium audio brand Master & Dynamic, a classic games area, and an exclusive book-lending library curated in partnership with Assouline. Younger guests will be especially taken with the snack deliver from one of two Tower robot butlers, Johnnie and Ethel. They were named after the monkey pets of The Boca Raton’s original owner and famed architect Addison Mizner. Throughout the resort, I found surprising and delightful touches that left a lasting impression.
What We Love
- The stunning Tower rooms and suites
- Free shuttle to The Boca Raton Beach Club
- Complimentary bikes
- Royal Ritual Bath Experience at Spa Palmera
- The variety of fitness classes (more than 50) offered weekly
What Not to Miss
- Dining at Japanese Bocce Club
- Macarons at Maison Rose
- Cocktails at Palm Court
- Brunch at Sadelle’s
- Relaxing in a private cabana at Harborside Pool Club and a drift down the Lazy River
Seeing the room that would serve as my home base for the next couple of days, I felt a twinge of regret following my excitement over the spectacular view of the water. I had a jam-packed itinerary, but I knew already that I wanted nothing more than to hang out in the beautiful light-filled Coastal View Corner Studio Suite King. It was everything a guest room should be and more. The Tower’s 244 spacious rooms and suites have been reimagined by architecture and design firm Rockwell Group. “We redesigned the rooms with a contemporary coastal feel imbued with a sense of casual luxury to flaunt the spectacular 360-degree views,” says Shawn Sullivan, partner at Rockwell Group. “This meant adding built-in window seating, bleached wood furniture, neutral linen fabrics, fluted feature walls, and classic molding.” I loved the built-in closet so much, I snapped a few pics in the hopes I could have a contractor recreate something similar for our house upstate.
Beyond the gorgeous design, the rooms are also fitted with a host of high-tech options to control the lighting, drapes, and more. Top-notch amenities include floor butlers, flexible suite configurations, complimentary mini bar and snacks, a beach bag and flip flops, refillable water bottles, and Molton Brown bath products.
When dining at The Boca Raton, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the many venues available. Fortunately, it’s hard to go wrong. Although I didn’t get to experience them all, I did enjoy dinner at The Flamingo Grill, a mid-century chophouse, and Principessa Ristorante, which serves classic Italian cuisine. Each feature their own unique vibe and an impressive menu. I also had a delicious lunch at The Boca Raton Beach Club and breakfast at both Flybridge, set on the top floor of the Yacht Club, and Sadelle’s, an outpost of the original New York City restaurant. Healthy options abound as do more decadent choices.
Just opened, Japanese Bocce Club, a new signature dining concept, serves world-class sushi, a selection of crispy rice, and an assortment of Wagyu beef. Overlooking the resort’s bocce courts, it also features handcrafted cocktails. In early 2023, Harbor House, a casual setting offering island-inspired fare, and Burger Bar, exactly as it sounds, are expected to open, adding to the many options guests have to enjoy.
Spa and Fitness Facilities
A secluded oasis of wellness amid the resort, Spa Palmera is inspired by the elegance of Spain’s Alhambra Palace. The 50,000-square-foot spa, reserved exclusively for club members and resort guests, features 44 treatment rooms, beautiful mosaics, an inviting courtyard with lush gardens, a private spa pool, and waterfall whirlpools. It’s definitely the place to come when you’re seeking a more relaxed setting away.
I was early for my Royal Ritual Bath Experience, so I found a cozy spot in the lounge to curl up with my Kindle and a cup of tea. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the ritual bath, as I’m not really a fan of group bathing. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience, which involved time spent relaxing in the Inhalation Hylotherapy Salt Room or sauna or steam rooms. I opted for The Royal Ritual ($125 with treatment; $185 individually), featuring a soothing soak in an oversized tub infused with coconut milk, honey, pink Himalayan salt, and rose petals. I was then left to apply a cool collagen face mask and exfoliate my body with a honey scrub. An attendant also provided me with a refreshing sorbet to enjoy during my soak. After, I was encouraged to enjoy a Swiss shower, a deluge warm-water massage, and time in the Jacuzzi, which served as the centerpiece of the room. Although the clothing-optional (most bathers wore bathing suits) ritual took place in a large communal room inspired by Moroccan baths and the Alhambra Palace, the bath itself felt private with dividers creating privacy between the soaking tubs.
After my relaxing soak, I had the Instant Results ($260, 60 minutes; $390, 90 minutes) facial by Biologique Recherche. Relying on manual manipulation and cryotherapy, the facial is designed to address premature aging. It also had the added benefit of calming my rosacea-prone skin. The spa also features treatments from Eminence Organic Skin Care, Hydrafacial, Knesko, Natura Bisse, and Shankara.
The resort also features not one but two fitness clubs: Beachside Fitness Club and Harborside Fitness Club. Both offer cardio and strength-training equipment along with group classes, such as HIIT, Pilates, and Zumba.
While most guests come to enjoy the beach, pools, and idyllic setting, they’ll find there is much more to explore at The Boca Raton. From a historic golf Club Course and a full-service Racquet Club with 16 tennis courts, tennis concierge, lessons and clinics, and four pickleball courts to water sports, such as surfing, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and more, there is an endless array of experiences to be had at the resort and club. The Boca Raton also features a fleet of luxury yachts, catamarans, and other boats for public excursions and private charters. Best of all, for the wellness-minded, there are a host of outdoor workout classes available each and every day.