The Breakers, Palm Beach FL

OVERVIEW of The Breakers

The legendary Breakers Hotel, located on 140 oceanfront acres on Palm Beach Island, was first built in 1896, burned down twice in the early 1900’s and today is one of the few grand hotels left in the country. The opulent Mediterranean style building is nothing short of spectacular and was modeled after the Villa Medici in Rome. The 1000 ft. red brick driveway lined with tall palms and centered with lush gardens may be the most dramatic entryway of any hotel anywhere. Seventy-five artisans were brought from Italy to complete the magnificent paintings on the ceilings of the 200-foot long main lobby and first-floor public rooms. They are worth the trip alone. Manicured gardens, intimate grottos and dramatic fountains dot the property and surround the guest with a sense of well-being.

Many of the best resorts in the country are family owned, resulting in an attention to detail and service not found elsewhere. Often these places have lots of dedicated long-term employees who feel that what they do is more than just a job they feel a part of something. Such is the case with The Breakers which has been owned by the same family since it was first built. The enthusiasm and genuineness of the staff is evident throughout the property.

The Breakers is perfect for a quiet getaway for two or as a place to take the entire family. Recognizing that traveling with the family is more important than ever, The Breakers has built a wonderful Children’s Program, rivaled by very few.

THE ROOMS at The Breakers

There are 540 guestrooms and 68 suites in the resort, yet the hotel does not have a “big hotel” feel to it. I was surprised, in fact, to find that they had so many rooms. The gorgeous rooms are elegantly decorated in hues of coral and teal and feature Italian armoires, rich fabrics, luxury linens and large marble baths. Rooms are equipped with flat screen TV and DVD/CD player, radio alarm clock with iPod docking station, in-room movies, Play station video games, in-room check-out, wireless keyboard, mini bar, hair dryer, private electronic safe, The Breakers private-label toiletries, plush bathrobes and slippers and exclusive bamboo towels. Standard and Standard Superior rooms, the lowest room categories, are a generous 300 Square feet and Standard deluxe rooms increase to 400 square feet for about $100 more. These rooms have resort views or partial ocean views (deluxe). The real treat however, are the Oceanfront Rooms with a walk-out balcony and the water so close you feel you are on an ocean liner.

The Flagler Club, is a private residence comprised of restricted access rooms on the sixth and seventh floors of the hotel and offers an exclusive concierge service and enhanced amenities including continental breakfast, fresh-baked cookies, afternoon tea, evening hors-d’oeuvres, cocktails and after-dinner cordials.

DINING at The Breakers

Breakfast and Sunday Brunch are served in The Circle an architectural marvel with soaring 30-foot frescoed ceilings with oval murals depicting Renaissance landscapes. The ocean views are magnificent and the food is delicious, albeit at a somewhat stiff tariff. Can’t imagine a Brunch being worth $115pp excluding tax and gratuity. Breakfast from 7am, brunch from 11am. For lighter and less expensive fare, The Breakers News and Gourmet Shop has coffee, tea, juice, pastries and fruit. Open from 6:30am.

The Ocean House has fantastic views of the pools, beach and the 10th green of the Ocean Course. It also has a nice wrap-around covered porch for dining outside. The lunch menu has a kind of Asian/Cajun bent to it. Lots of cool frozen and specialty drinks. From 11am.

In the heart of the beach/pool area, The Beach Club is a casual, yet elegant restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating for lunch. Specialties include the classic Tuna Nicoise and Maine Lobster Club. The tropical fruit salads, fresh vegetable and fruit juices and chicken or fish served with vegetables is ideal for health conscious diners. There’s also a great list of specialty waters. Open from 11am.

Vaulted beamed ceilings, plantation shutters, a great by-the-glass wine list and spectacular views of the Atlantic make the Seafood Bar a popular casual spot not only for guests but for locals as well. Serving both lunch and dinner the restaurant features a raw bar with fresh fish, clams, oysters, lobster, shrimp and excellent chowders. Tuna, mahi mahi, cobia, snapper and grouper are just a few of the 10-15 types of fish that arrive daily from the waters of South Florida to Hawaii. Good wine-by-the-glass list. From 11am.

Lunch is also served at the Ocean Golf Course at The Flagler Steakhouse where I enjoyed one of the best salads I have ever had: blackened chicken salad with avocados, roasted corn, grilled red onions, chopped tomatoes, black beans, pepper jack cheese and served with a cumin-cilantro vinaigrette. From 11am.

Plenty of dinner choices to suit just about any whim from French to Asian to seafood to steak and even comfort food.

Echo is a very cool concept offering tastes of China, Thailand, Japan and Vietnam in a sophisticated setting with a vibrant bar and a menu based on the Five Elements: Wind (small plates to begin the journey…Fire (the wok)…Water (beverages, sushi, seafood and shellfish)…Earth (meat, game, poultry, and produce)…and to finally, Flavor (desserts and sweets). If you like sushi and sake this is the place. From 5:30pm. Closed Monday.

What Others Say About Echo…

“Hip, young” trust-funders seeking a break from “stodgy Palm Beach” head to this “chic” venue managed by the Breakers resort featuring a “lively” bar; “inventive” Pan-Asian dishes and “amazing sushi” are “beautifully plated” and ferried by a staff that’s “spot-on”, although such a “first-class” experience certainly “ain’t cheap. ZAGAT

The Flagler Steakhouse is a clubby, wood paneled, masculine restaurant serving aged prime steaks, chops and seafood with great views of the Ocean Golf Course. Weather permitting the outside terrace is a wonderful place to dine. From 6pm daily.

What Others Say about Flagler…

“This Breakers satellite steakhouse overlooking the 18th hole of the resort’s course boasts filets and chops “cooked to perfection” and served in a grand, clubby atmosphere (a recent renovation may outdate the Decor rating); if some find the experience “pricey”, “large” portions that “you can share”, a “nice wine list” and “good” service make it a “favorite” – and suits say it’s the “best business lunch in town.”” ZAGAT

The Italian Restaurant is designed for family dining in a casual setting. It is close to the arcade and there is a glass fronted playroom where parents can watch their children play while waiting for their meals to arrive. Pizza from wood burning ovens, antipasta, pasta and other Italian staples make this enjoyable for the whole family. From 5:30pm.

The Wine Spectator Grand Award wine list is under the direction of Master Sommeliers Virginia Philip (one of only 18 female masters in the world) and Juan Gomez and has some 1600 selections and about 28,000 bottles. The list, while deep and boasting some spectacular wines, is surprisingly approachable from a cost standpoint. I was fortunate to spend some time with Gomez during my visit and his depth of knowledge was quite amazing. To become a Master Sommelier is a long and arduous course of study and testing. There are only 168 worldwide so it is some feat.

HMF , set in the Florentine Room is a throwback to yesteryear when people dressed when they went out. It has an eclectic, globally influenced menu, an acclaimed wine l

ist of more than 2,000 unique selections and an array of bespoke cocktails.

RATES at The Breakers

From $1490Peak Season Weekend

WHAT OTHERS SAY About The Breakers

AAA Five Diamond Award
Forbes Four Star Award
Wine Spectator Grand Award

“From the moment you arrive until you leave, you feel like a valued guest at this premier grande dame that still maintains her charm after all these years; despite being a little too fancy for some (the magnificent lobby has ceilings worthy of the Sistine chapel), it’s surprisingly family-friendly with terrific pools and a beachfront that was redone a few years ago, along with amazing food; just beware, the size of rooms varies enormously.” ZAGAT

PROMOTIONS at The Breakers

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