Tuesday, December 22, 2009
South Florida Style
It was a bit too rainy and cold for my liking this past weekend in South Florida, but that surely didn't stop me from enjoying a few of my favorite luxury hotels. In between time with family and friends, I stopped by the new Eau Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach; had dinner at the best kid-friendly restaurant in the country at The Breakers; and enjoyed Sunday Jazz Brunch and a peaceful evening at The Setai on South Beach.
To say the Eau Spa is about as different as it gets from traditional Ritz-Carlton style is an understatement at best. Here, it's all about indulging and enjoying...guests are encouraged to light candles, make wishes, eat cupcakes, even concoct their own personal "scrub & polish" to be used during a treatment (or taken home in a cute polka-dotted bag). The colors and furnishings are whimsical and fun...silver, purple, green, lots of funky mirrors, non-spa-like lighting fixtures, chic chandeliers, cush chaises & comfy chairs. Treatments themselves are given in one of 19 "Spa Villas", each individually decorated & named (my faves were Villa Naughty and Villa Sassy). Choose your own mood lighting, aromatherapy oils & music genre to totally customize the Eau Spa experience. It's a winning combination for the younger, hipper demographic Ritz-Carlton's been aiming to win over. I only hope that many sister Ritz-Carlton properties follow Palm Beach's lead!
Anyone with kids (or nephews, as in my case) must book at table at The Italian Restaurant at The Breakers Palm Beach. Not only is the food amazing (the chicken parm, veal Milanese, snapper Francese & chicken Marsala were hits at our table), but the service terrific (the entire staff truly seems to love kids). Most notably, you'll never have to worry about whiny hungry kids as they've got an entire arcade, video game room & plenty of toys and other tots to play with at the Family Entertainment Center adjacent to the restaurant (shown) while dinner's cooking and the adults are relaxing over a bottle of wine!. Why aren't there more restaurants using this formula? It clearly works, and the place is perfect for families of all sizes with kids of all ages!
My new favorite place to brunch on Sundays in Florida is at The Setai, a Leading Hotel of the World on the ocean in South Beach. Great music, a gorgeous decor & an incredible range of culinary treats--from traditional breakfast faves like omelettes & waffles to an Asian-inspired spread with signature dishes from Singapore to Indonesia--set the stage for a wonderful afternoon. Brunch is served from 11 am to 3 pm, and the local jazz trio adds to the overall experience. I've loved this hotel since the day I saw a model room (back in 2002 when construction was just underway) and it remains my favorite place to stay--and book--on South Beach. Much of the staff hails from sister GHM properties in Bali, and the level of service far exceeds that typically found at neighboring South Beach hotels. The spacious suites range from 600 square feet with city views to 1400 sq feet plus with full kitchens, two bedrooms and drop-dead gorgeous ocean/beach views. I love the three swimming pools (each a different temperature), the new evening Grill concept, the swanky outdoor Courtyard and chic Zen-inspired decor. Yes, it's true...I fell in love with The Setai at first sight, and I'm still in love.
Contact me about special Virtuoso amenities, best available rates & VIP perks available to our clients at each of these three luxury hotels via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.