Palm Beach, Florida is synonymous with luxury and affluence so it was no surprise to find the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach nestled in Manalapan. Just two years ago, the seven-acre beachfront property received a massive $130 million facelift and its investment has certainly paid off.
Drive up the main entryway and step inside the opulent lobby to a welcome respite from the warm south Florida sunshine. This luxury property offers families with children a variety of amenities, including the AquaNuts Ritz Kids facility and Coast Teens Lounge, a 3,000-square-foot oceanfront terrace with evening fire pit. There are also two outdoor pools complete with private cabanas (available for rent) which can be spotted from the main lanai terrace guestrooms.
Our suite had breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean complete with private balcony, separate living room and adjacent king bedroom. The enormous marble bathroom was furnished with separate shower and rain showerheads as well as a beautiful soaking tub (bath butler available upon request). The best rooms here though are to be found on the Club Level accessed with special keys via the fourth floor.
There is a dedicated Club Lounge with Concierge, who was only too happy to accommodate any request we may have had. We checked out the afternoon culinary presentation one day (there are five selections here daily), which included light snacks like ahi tuna with seaweed salad, shrimp cocktail, vegetable dip and a cheese assortment. There was also a nice selection of wine, champagne and mixed drinks available as well.
We enjoyed dinner one evening in Angle, the hotel’s contemporary supper club. Here, the focus is on locally-grown ingredients and South Florida specialties such as line-caught fish and dry-aged beef. Our server, Lisa, was extremely attentive and knowledgeable of the menu, suggesting we sample the specialty Florida stone crab dish. The flavorful plate featured tender knuckle meat cannelloni with lavender mustard aioli.
Main dishes here also include scallops and Berkshire shank with crisp apple. We sampled the deliciously fresh Arctic char and 28-day dry-aged New York sirloin, which was cooked to a medium rare perfection. The extra rich lobster whipped potatoes served in a Staub pan should not be missed. For dessert, be sure to share the enormous apple cobbler with black currants and golden raisins topped with vanilla ice cream.
The next morning, we headed downstairs for an al fresco breakfast at Temple Orange on their outdoor patio. The restaurant is known for its traditional Italian comfort food but the breakfasts here are certainly worth noting. We loved the “From the Farm” signature skillet, a delicious combination of grilled chicken, sundried tomato, asparagus, and white cheddar. The ham and cheese omelet was just as good served with a generous side of crisp hash browns.
We decided to relax for a while poolside before heading over to Eau Spa, a massive 42,000-square-foot peaceful retreat. Inside, the focus is based on a “Pause, Play and Perfect” philosophy encapsulated in the idea of ‘me time,' or taking some well deserved time away from daily worries to spend on yourself. Upon arrival at Eau Spa, I was greeted and given a floating candle to place in a wishing well before heading to a private room for a 90-minute self-centered massage and dry-float “Traveler’s Tonic.”
My massage therapist allowed me to choose the color of the mood lighting and presented a selection of fragrant aromatherapy options from which to choose. This massage is tailor made to relieve tension and muscle aches so no two massages (which come in the form of Swedish, deep tissue and Shiatsu) are the same as they focus on each individual’s concerns. The sensory float upgrade should not be missed. Once the massage is complete, you are led to another relaxing room where you are then wrapped in a bed where you will literally float peacefully in water for the next 15 minutes. Life certainly doesn’t get much better than this.
The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach is located at 100 South Ocean Boulevard in Manalapan, Florida. For more information, call (561) 533-6000 or visit RitzCarlton.com.