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Tag Archives : beach getaway

Travel Beauty Travel Diaries: Boca Raton, Florida

Looking for a quick beach getaway that feels like a tropical vacation? My husband and I flew down to Boca Raton recently to attend the wedding of close friends. I have lived in New York City for 38 years and have never been to Boca Raton. What more, I had not visited Florida in at least 8 years, so I honestly did not know what to expect. I have to say, the bride and groom chose a beautiful spot. The wedding itself took place at The Boca Beach Club, which is part of the Boca Raton Resort & Club. It is a unique venue and is broken up into two locations, the beach club, on the beach and the resort located on the Intercoastal. I was actually able to relax somewhat (which is a rare occurrence for an entrepreneur).

Where to Stay

For those that long to be on the water, The Beach Club is for you. There is a beautiful white sand beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean’s clear blue water. It almost felt like being in the Caribbean. The beach goes on for miles, so if you like taking long walks on the beach, this is perfect for you. I recommend getting it in early in the morning before it gets hot. Note to self – make sure to take sunscreen (You can’t go wrong with Institut Esthederm, Sun Bum, or Neova) and after sun care. (I love Cosmetics 27 Huile 27 for face and decollete – very soothing and moisturizing and Sun Bum Cool Down Hydrating After Sun Lotion for body). There are two pools at the club with breathtaking views of the ocean. Pool and beach side dining is also available, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness center.

If you prefer more of an elegant, old-world experience, the Boca Raton Resort is the place for you. Situated on the Intercoastal, it is just steps away from the award winning full-service Waldorf Astoria Spa, two 18 hole championship golf courses, sparkling swimming pools, and a world-class tennis facility. The grounds are truly majestic; I was floored by the entire setting. The newly renovated Cloister building was built in 1926 and features Spanish-Mediterranean architecture. The rehearsal dinner, the night before the wedding, took place in the courtyard along side the spa. The setting looked like a royal courtyard in a Moroccan palace.

It’s All About The Trees

I could not get over the grounds that surround the Cloister building. It is an exotic arboretum. The walkway on the exterior of the hotel is adorned by 2 rows of majestic Royal Palm Trees. There are also many old unusual trees that look like they are not of this world. There is a Kapok Tree, or Ceiba Pentandra, planted 85 years ago, which is indigenous to tropical rainforests. It can grow to a height of 150 feet with roots that are 12 feet tall and sprout out with large horney spines. Next, we found a Banyan Tree, or Ficus Benghalensis, from India. It has a large tree top and tall aerial roots which become secondary roots. I had never seen anything like either of these and there are a handful scattered throughout the property.

travel-beauty-beach-club-resort

Where to Eat

I am not typically a junk food eater. I think the sea air probably got the best of me, but as we were exploring the huge corridors of the resort we happened upon Serendipity. I had no idea that there was more than one! The only one I am acquainted with is the original on East 60th Street in New York City, that I have been going to since I was 6. Well I marched right it and I ordered a 9 pound brownie sundae with coffee ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream. In case you were wondering what a 9 pound sundae looked like, this thing was ginormous. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to zip my skinny jeans again! Naturally, I went back the following day. This Serendipity was a throwback to 50s diners, with orange banquets, white and pink French bistro chairs and a proper sip and soda bar.

Dinner was at Morimoto ala acclaimed sushi master, Masaharu Morimoto. (its literally steps from Serendipity – just in case you are interested) Morimoto is contained within a narrow sleek sushi bar. The food is dynamite; don’t forget to have a little sake…but just a little! You’ll need to be up bright and early for your walk on the beach.

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Road Trip to Sullivan County, NY

The summer may be all about the perfect beach getaway for you, and we are certainly with you on that! But maybe you’re looking for something a little different, and/or want to plan ahead for the perfect place to enjoy the fall foliage? If so, get in your car and take a drive to Sullivan County, NY – just two hours from New York City. Gorgeous mountains, picturesque lakes, lush forest and The Delaware River are all right there for your enjoyment.

We’ve owned a lake house in Sullivan County for close to a decade and cannot express how much fun and enjoyment it’s brought us and our family over the years. We’ve also discovered some great area attractions that made us love the area even more. This is our round-up of favorite things to do, and is by no means exhaustive! One of the delights of the area is taking a country drive and discovering hidden treasures: antique shops, art galleries, restaurants and more can all be happened upon…not to mention wildlife! As this area of New York is right across the river from Pennsylvania, our area explorations have taken us to PA. Some of the attractions I mention are in PA, but still just a short drive from Sullivan County. And believe me, if I’ve included them, they are worth checking out!

Where To Stay

Over the years, we have seen many new businesses pop up in the area. Since we are city people at heart, we do enjoy having more of our creature comforts close at hand while we’re upstate. One such place was opened by our dear friends, but we can say, objectively, that this place rocks. Stickett Inn and Stickett Inn: The Store and Annu Juice in Barryville is a four suite bed and breakfast with a gift shop and juice bar in front. The suites are huge and incredibly chic, from the Warhol on the walls to the steam shower and deep soaking tub in the bathrooms.

If you’re coming up with a family and need a bit more space, Home Away has many beautiful homes for rent in the area. Many of the homes are on lakes and can accommodate ten or more people! If you are looking for a truly special location, perhaps to host an event, you must, MUST, check out The Floating Farmhouse…just stunning!

Where To Eat

As a New Yawker, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my favorite pizza joint in the area! Sitting right on the edge of big, beautiful Kauneonga Lake is Benji & Jakes. Though they don’t make your traditional New York style pizza pie, their creations are delicious nonetheless. They make over a dozen specialty pies, one more delicious than the next (think pesto, roasted eggplant, smoked mozzarella and more). Don’t stop at the pizza, though. The appetizers and specialty cocktails are not to be missed…nor is the homemade gelato!

Henning’s Local is a recent addition to the Sullivan County scene but has already become a favorite. Using locally grown ingredients, Henning’s offers a casual atmosphere with delicious and super-fresh comfort food. All the fish dishes are superb, and be sure to order the quinoa cake as a side. Great place for a family meal.

If you are looking for something more chic or a fine dining experience, cross the river to Milford, PA and visit Hotel Fauchere. There are two distinct dining options at the hotel, both delicious and special in their own way. Upstairs, The Delmonico Room offers fine dining, while Bar Louis is a stylish, ultra-modern environment for casual and late-night dining, live entertainment and great cocktails. Never heard of sushi pizza? Dig into some at Bar Louis!

Most Importantly: What To Do

Perhaps your entire itinerary consists of relaxing lakeside with a good book. If you’re interested in doing some sightseeing, shopping or physical activity, read on!

Outdoor Sporting

If you want some outdoor sporting, and if the weather is warm enough, spend the day rafting on The Delaware River. Kittatinny is just one of the many places from which you can rent a raft, canoe, tube or kayak to take out on the river. You can choose between a long trip or a short one (I’d stick with the short; it feels long enough). Kittatinny also offers paintball and two ziplines, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Culture & Entertainment

Did you know that Woodstock didn’t happen in Woodstock, NY? It happened in Bethel, NY…in Sullivan County! The lush, hilly grounds of Bethel Woods are still a haven for great music, festivals and there is even a Woodstock museum on site. Also of note in Bethel is Rocking Horse Ranch (literally next door to Bethel Woods) and Dancing Cat Distillery.

Shopping

There are several other towns to check out all over Sullivan County for good food and shopping. Two of my favorite:

Spa Retreat

Last but not least, there’s the spa…and a five star one at that! The Lodge at Woodloch was created by former Canyon Ranch employees and feels every bit as luxurious. Woodloch is consistently chosen as one of the top ten spas in the world by Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler. You can, of course, choose to stay there, but day passes and à la carte services are available to non-guests as well. The facilities are top notch: imagine sitting in an outdoor hot tub as you watch deer running through the snowy forest around you. This actually happened to me. As a side note, soaking in an outdoor hot tub in the middle of winter only sounds crazy. It’s glorious! There is also an indoor pool complete with waterfall, steam room, sauna and so much more. The body treatments are where the spa really shines…spring for the scrub and wrap combination treatments. They are worth every penny.

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