Slightly off the beaten path, the Ritz-Carlton is something of a departure — it’s not in Palm Beach proper, but eight miles away in the tiny town of Manalapan, at the southern tip of Palm Beach Island. Thus it’s not the first choice for those out to make some kind of Palm Beach scene, but rather an escape, a private and secluded retreat with all the charm of Palm Beach’s natural geography and none of the surrounding bustle or development.
The hotel dates back only to the early Nineties, but it’s convincingly built in an early 20th-century architectural style, and stocked with century-old antiques and decorated with the kind of classic elegance that’s familiar to Ritz-Carltons everywhere. Each of the 270 guest rooms and suites has a private balcony, overlooking the gardens and courtyards or the spectacular Atlantic view, and each one comes with all the trappings of modern luxury, from plush king beds and marble bathrooms with double vanities to high-speed internet access and Technology Butler service.
Facilities, naturally, are comprehensive, including a palatial fitness center, a kids’ program, tennis, water sports and access to a number of nearby golf courses. The Grill is the fine dining restaurant, all chandeliers and wood paneling, Soleil is a more modern and casual venue with outdoor seating, and the Lobby Lounge is the place to take afternoon tea, a Ritz-Carlton tradition. It’s something of a self-contained oasis, perhaps even a parallel-universe version of an alternative Palm Beach; the same sandy barrier island and prime Atlantic exposure, but no town, no noise and no hassle — just one quietly elegant resort.
100 South Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach
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