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.
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.