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PARADISE FOUND: A Glamorous Guide to Vacationing in Palm Beach

PARADISE FOUND: A Glamorous Guide to Vacationing in Palm Beach

Slim Aarons

In 1893, oil tycoon Henry Morrison Flagler dubbed Palm Beach as a “veritable paradise”. Nearly two hundred and twenty years later, this intimate beach town has remained comfortably cocooned, preserving its reputation as the luxurious playground for old money East Coasters, wellborn trust funders, international jetsetters, and rich socialites.

In recent years, thanks in part to its high-profile residents like Vera Wang, Donald and Melania Trump, Aerin Lauder, and Rod Stewart, Palm Beach has become the go-to destination for savvy travelers, young moguls, and honeymooners seeking a luxe and laid back coastal retreat.

If a trip to this magical destination is on your immediate To Do list, “24/7” is your Palm Beach ombudsman. Whether it’s learning to play the sport of kings with a handsome polo player, sipping historically-inspired cocktails at one of the island’s most elegant resorts, or shopping along Worth Avenue with a personal fashion consultant, we’ve listed some of the best places to stay, play, dine and drink, and, most importantly: what to pack to look like an island insider.


Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach (2800 South Ocean Boulevard; 561-582-2800. Website) Sophisticated travel junkies and music industry icons return for the resort’s famed intuitive services and “anything-you-want-just-ask” requests.

Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach

Depending on your interests, or energy level, this award-winning retreat offers a plethora of must-do activities.

Here, our 3 favorite daily agendas. Sun Worshipper: Spend the day in a private cabana by the fresh water pool and enjoy complimentary Evian spritzes and fresh fruit skewers. Toast your good fortune with a round of bottomless Shark Bites.

Athletic Contender: Hit the tennis courts and work up a sweat with one of the resident pros or swap balls for the beach for a little hang ten action.

Spa Star: Be nice and love your body back with a self-prescribed day of beauty at The Spa. Opt for one of the exotic treatments, such as the Indus Valley Ritual or an Asian Bamboo Massage, or book the Island Getaway package featuring the Ocean Bliss massage, an Ocean Breeze organic facial and a lavender-infused manicure. Watch the video for a visual tour of the Resort’s über-sophisticated spa.

Four Seasons Resort Spa Video – Click HERE

Whatever you do, don’t miss: Polo. Super handsome players, high-suspension horses, and really, really long mallets. There’s a good reason why kings of old favored this sport – it’s so crazy-cool.

Polo illustration

For the ultimate bragging rights getaway, book Four Seasons Resort’s Polo in Paradise package. In addition to oceanfront accommodations, a bottle of welcome bubbly, and a La Martina jersey and polo bag (perfect for carrying your trophies!), guests can select from three customized polo-packed options:

It’s good to be the king! Learn to play polo right, like a royal. Stay & Play with the Best includes a personalized polo lesson with a top player at the famed International Polo Club, champagne, and round-trip transport to/from the Resort.

Dinner and a show. (Lunch, actually.) A Perfect Polo Picnic
 includes an epicurean-inspired feast, creatively prepared by Four Seasons’ executive chef Darryl Moiles, lots of bubbly, a polo match, and a chance to meet and say “cheese!” with the players after the match.

You went camping? Let me tell you what I did last summer…cue angels singing. Ultra-VIP Sunday Brunch & Polo 
Experience includes a gluttonous buffet, VIP seating and polo match, get up and close during one of the polo ceremonies (coin toss/trophy presentation), meet the players, and complimentary after-party access.

PB Polo photo credit Andres Hernandez

Want to experience Palm Beach polo but don’t require overnight hotel accommodations? The International Polo Club offers a plethora of exciting options, from general admission to Sunday polo-and-brunch packages. For tickets and upcoming events, click HERE.


būccan (350 S. County Road; 561-833-3450. Website)

As one of South Florida’s most renowned restaurants, we weren’t surprised when our sources urged us to snag a reservation at būccan. Inspired by his travels to Europe and South America and while working in Tokyo, chef-owner Clay Conley’s jumbo-flavored small plates truly taste like they come from another world.

Wondering what to order? Here’s our top picks: Hamachi Sashimi (pictured below) with Peruvian chilies, lotus root salad and yuzu vinaigrette; Spicy Pork Tacos packed with fresh avocado crema and salsa verde; and Florida Corn Ravioli with Hedgehog mushrooms and black truffle.

Buccan Hamachi Sashimi

Chef Conley (pictured below), who many may remember as Todd English’s protégé/culinary director and then as the executive chef at Miami Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s Azul, also opened Imoto (“little sister”) in 2012, another one of Palm Beach’s must-try tables.

Chef Clay Conley

HMF (The Breakers, 1 S. County Road; 561-290-0104. Website)

Perhaps one of The Breakers greatest attributes (and there are many!) is its healthy appreciation for its glamorous beginnings and pedigreed guests. After completing an $80 million dollar renovation in 2011, the legendary resort went on to open HMF, a new lounge named after its founder, Henry M. Flagler.

Formerly the Florentine Room, the art deco-inspired space boasts an ultra-innovative drinking and shared dining concept that beckons back a time when guests dressed up to dine and cocktail hour was, without question, the most civilized time of the day.


Modern and classic cocktails round out most of the menu but these signature sips are not to be missed: Chanel #6 blends vodka, Chambord, and pineapple juice; The “Original” Gin Fizz mixes up Beefeaters, fresh lemon and lime juice, cream, and egg white; and Railcar #91 (named after Henry M. Flagler’s private train car) combines Courvoisier VSOP, fresh lemon juice, honey, and orange foam.

Thirsty yet? Here’s a recipe for one of HMF’s most popular cocktails, Mojito Royale (shown here).
Mojito Royale

Mojito Royale


1 ½ ounces Bacardi Silver Rum
1 ounce lemongrass/Kaffir lime simple syrup
5 mint leaves
3 lime wedges
2 ounces Piper Sonoma Champagne
Splash of club soda
Lemongrass stalk


Muddle the mint and lime with the rum and simple syrup. Add ice, shake and strain into a highball. Add Piper Sonoma, top with club soda and garnish with a lemongrass stalk.

Hungry for more? Click HERE for the complete story, including a collection of must-hit boutiques and a fashion checklist of our favorite Palm Beach essentials.

Photo Credit:
Polo photo courtesy of Andres Hernandez
Mojito Royale photo courtesy of Bill Ingram/Palm Beach Post

Kerry Shorr, 24/7 Contribruting Writer
Co-Founder, Luxe File Chicago

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