Thursday, September 18, 2014

On Location: Turnberry Isle Miami Resort

One of my favorite places on the planet is the French Riviera. The stunning panoramas, refined lifestyle and superb cuisine make it a phenomenal getaway. For an American translation of a Cote d' Azur resort, Turnberry Isle Miami in south Florida is a luxury golf enclave with a decided French and Italian Riviera flair.

Set on 300 impeccably landscaped acres enveloped by tropical foliage, the multi-amenity resort is a wonderland of stucco facades, terra cotta roofs, pillars and arched promenades. Best of all, the secluded environment creates an atmosphere of exclusivity and isolation, yet, you're just a few minutes from the massive, luxurious Aventura Mall and only a 20 minute drive from glitzy South Beach and a wealth of dining, shopping and entertainment options.

GOLF

The two 18-hole championship golf courses--Miller and Soffer--were originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1970 and later redesigned by PGA TOUR great Raymond Floyd in 2006.

Floyd did a masterful job of modernizing the layouts and transforming them into fun-to-play, yet challenging resort courses with lots and lots of eye candy.

The courses have lush landscaping, coquina shell waste areas, waterfalls and other aesthetic touches. Contoured fairways, clever doglegs, sculpted bunkers undulating greens and strategically placed water features present many challenges.

Masters Champion Floyd has stated he wanted to achieve a "tropical Augusta look" so his design team created rolling berms planted with colorful indigenous shrubs to frame each hole. Turnberry Isle Miami courses are among the most photogenic in Florida.

The Soffer Course finishes in grand style with a spectacular 64-foot waterfall that provides a memorable finish on an island-style 18th green.  Stretching to 7,047 yards from the championship tees, the Soffer Course is the more difficult of the twosome. Landing areas are fairly generous, however, Floyd demands accuracy on approach shots to the greens or it's bogey time or worse.

Measuring 6,417 yards, the Miller course is a bit more kinder and gentler. While the Soffer Course is dotted with tall, majestic palm trees, the Miller has tropical trees like ficus, banyon and black olive.

For a video view of the courses at Turnberry Isle Miami, click to Golf Travel Guru T.V.

ACCOMMODATIONS/AMENITIES

Four towers with Mediterranean style architecture contain 408 guest rooms, which are pet-friendly and non smoking. Each room has a private balcony and is appointed in soft neutral tones of almond and beige with hardwood floors and plush carpeting. French doors open to flower-lined balconies with spectacular view of fairways and greens or pool gardens.
My room view

Room amenities include:

--47 inch LED flat screen TV
--iHome AM/FM clock radio and docking station
--Pet-friendly services
--Keurig coffee maker
--Luxury skin and hair toiletries
--Complimentary plush robes and slippers

Resort amenities include:

Exclusive Beach Club
Spa and fitness center
Marina
Jogging trail
Tennis center
Kid's Connection program
Valet parking

10 Little Things I Like:

1. The marble appointed bathroom with whirlpool bathtub, separate shower with large shower head and Molton Brown toiletries.


2. The delicious little green apples and tangerines and ice cold water with lemons and oranges at the front desk.


3. The elegant and comfortable Lobby Lounge with its plush furniture, hardwood floors, massive chandeliers and piano, which is great place to enjoy a drink after a round or before dinner.


4. The Tiki Bar at the Cascata Pool.


5. The convenient five-minute walk to the Aventura Mall.


6. The extremely easy access to golf just outside the back door of the resort. It's only 75 steps from the pro shop door to the starter's hut.


7. My room's balcony, a great place to enjoy morning coffee or a glass of wine in the evening.


8. The 1,600-foot long Lazy River at the Laguna Pool.


9. The spectacular tropical foliage dominating the resort that serves as a natural buffer from the outside world.


10. The Keuring coffee maker in my room.


DINING & LOUNGING

Bourbon Steak Miami, a Michael Mina Restaurant--The headliner restaurant at the resort, this contemporary steakhouse with its chic mirrored walls and wood burning grill features more than 1,000 bottles in its wine cellar. If you love grilled steaks, seafood and poultry, Bourbon Steak delivers big time.

Cascata Grill--With an outdoor terrace setting, this restaurant offers excellent al fresco dining with views of the Miller golf course and tropical vegetation.

Laguna Grill--Outdoor dining by the pool with a menu featuring salads, sandwiches, burgers and frozen cocktails.

Beach Club Grill--A casual eatery with sandwiches, wraps and salads.

Lobby Lounge--A classic cocktail lounge brimming with plush, comfortable large chairs and couches, a creative appetizer menu, fireplace and piano.

THINGS TO DO

Aventura Mall--A three-minute walk from the front door of the resort, this super mall has 300 stores and restaurants and a 24-screen movie theater. Anchor stores include Nordstrom, Macy's and Bloomingdale's. Restaurants such as Bella Luna italian restaurant and Johnny Rockets.

Bal Harbour Shops--The posh Bal Harbour Shops on Collins Avenue, about a 10 minute drive from Turnberry Isle has stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, specialty shops like Michael Kors and Bulgari and restaurants such as Zodiac Cafe at Neiman Marcus, Carpaccio and Makoto.

South Beach--About a 20-minute drive south of Turnberry Isle, this dynamic beach area is brimming with fashionable hotels, an internationally flavored dining and nightclub scene and a spectacular Art Deco district. Great shopping at upscale boutiques and numerous al fresco dining options are possible on Lincoln Road, which is lined by designer stores, sushi bars, elegant Euro-style bistros and steak houses.

Calder Race Course-- Located 12 miles from the resort, this gaming and racing complex features thoroughbred horse racing, 1,200 slot machines and poker.

LOCATION

The resort is located at 19999 West Country Club Drive in Aventura approximately 17 miles north of downtown Miami. Turnberry Isle Miami is 12 miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and 18 miles from Miami International Airport.

GET THE SCOOP

For more information on the resort, click to Turnberry Isle Miami Resort. To check on rates and availability, call 866-612-7739.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Everything You Need to Know About Playing Golf in Florida

Hammock Bay Golf Club--Marco Island Marriott
Ya gotta play Florida.

There are nearly 1,400 reasons (golf courses) to tee up in the Sunshine State and more than 50 resorts with golf as their centerpiece amenity.

I've walked the fairways of hundreds of courses in the state, lost golf balls in lakes, wetlands, swamps and palmetto fields and had a great time along the way.



Check out the Guru's numerous articles for the best places to enjoy golf in Florida:

Play Golf on Marco Island, Florida 

Golf in Tampa-St. Petersburg: A Beginner's Guide

Play Golf on Florida's Nature Coast

Play Golf in South Florida

Play Golf in the Florida Panhandle in Bubba and Boo Country 

Play Golf at Streamsong Resort and Other Polk County Courses 

Play Golf in Port St. Lucie, Florida

Great Places to Tee up with Nearby Casino Gaming in Florida 

Play Golf Near Florida's Historic Towns

Play Golf Near Florida's Best Beaches 

10 Reasons for a Golf Vacation to the Space Coast in Florida 

10 Reasons for a Golf Vacation to Lake County in Florida 

Play Golf and Take a Cruise from a Florida Port 

Sarasota: Where Golf and Culture Combine for a Great Vacation 

Where to Find Great Golf and Fishing in Florida 

Play Florida's Top Resorts









Sunday, August 31, 2014

On Location: Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland


Donald Trump loves golf with a passion. 

A recent expression of that love is his purchase of the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland (formerly named The Lodge at Doonbeg) in County Clare. It's the 16th golf club in Trump's ever expanding golf portfolio.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and was impressed with the lodging, dining and golf offerings. Better still, the resort is going to improve as Donald Trump is embarking on an ambitious enhancement program this winter for the course and resort facilities. 


Set amid lush farmland and framed by the Atlantic Ocean, this luxurious resort near the village of Doonbeg features American style amenities with a distinct and engaging Irish flair and friendliness.  

GOLF

Designed by Greg Norman and opened in 2002, the golf course looks like it's been there for decades. The site, which runs along 2 miles of a crescent shaped beach and dunes, is spectacular.

Some of the dunes rise to almost 100 feet and Norman stayed true to the land. His minimalist approach on the course led to a natural routing that resulted in five par 3s and five par 5s. The greens are not contrived and generally follow the natural terrain undulations.

Like most great links courses, don't let the yardage (6,785 from the black tees, 6,239 from white and 5,553 from gold) make you think you'll have a scorecard full of birdies. Between the constant ever-changing winds, high grasses and sometimes wildly undulating fairways, the layout is a formidable challenge. 

There are five sets of tees and I highly suggest you play the correct tee for your skill level. If you don't, bring along your calculator because the numbers will add up quickly if you keep trying to navigate the winds and hit long irons into the greens.

Postcard beautiful, the course offers majestic ocean views from the tee, fairway or green on 16 of the 18 holes. You'll definitely want to pause and take some pictures along the way.

For a video view of Trump International Golf Links, click here to Golf Travel Guru T.V.


 ACCOMMODATIONS/AMENITIES 

Trump International Ireland has 218 rooms and suites. A classic links hotel room is 390 square feet. The Guru stayed in a Links Cottage, a wonderfully furnished, one-bedroom suite. The Links Cottages range in size from 1,100 square feet to 2,800 square feet.

Amenities:

--Marble bathroom with walk-in rainfall shower
--Fireplace
--Air conditioning
--Custom design furnishings
--Egyptian cotton linens
--Exceptional high quality Internet access
--42 inch LCD flat-screen HDTV with DVD player

    
10 Little Things I Like


1. The phenomenal view of the 18th hole and oceanfront from the dining room where I had breakfast.


2. The interesting golf photos and artwork in the hallways just off the lobby.


3. The fireplace in my roomy golf cottage unit.


4. The shuttle bus to the village of Doonbeg.


5. The fantastic onion rings I enjoyed at the golf grill restaurant after a round of golf.


6. My caddie Owen, who was informative and helpful to me, a disoriented, jet lagged golfer.


7. The inspiring sounds of crashing waves next to the 18th green.


8. The genealogy services offered to trace your Irish ancestry.


9. The farmland surrounding the resort that provides a soothing buffer from the rest of the world.


10. The professionalism and attentiveness of the golf staff.


DINING & LOUNGING

Trump's--On the second floor of the clubhouse with views of the Atlantic Ocean and 18th green, this warm and friendly pub-style restaurant has a fireplace, a bar with padded stools and lots of beers and ales on tap. Popular menu choices include Traditional Fish & Chips, Pan Seared Clare Island Salmon and Braised Shank of West Clare Lamb. P.S. Don't miss the world-class onion rings.

Ocean View--Voted the "Best Hotel Restaurant Ireland 2012" by the Restaurant Association of Ireland, this elegant and romantic dining experience features an extensive wine list, impeccable service and beautiful panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean surf. The menu, please...Highlights include the Seared Atlantic Scallops, Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb and Pan Fried Whole Black Sole.

THINGS TO DO

--Luxuriate at the resort's White Horses Spa

--Take the resort shuttle bus into the village of Doonbeg.

 --Enjoy popular pubs in nearby Kilkee like Murphy Black's, Greyhound Bar and Naughton's Bar. 

--Visit the magnificent Cliffs of Moher, which are located 26 miles north of the resort.

 

--Fish for salmon and sea trout in Doonbeg River.

--Hike the picturesque West Clare Loop Walking Trails. 

--Ride the historic, steam-powered West Clare Railway train. 

--On-site genealogy services to trace your Irish ancestry.

--On-site Tranquility Hair and Nail Salon

--Activities arranged by the resort concierge such as horseback riding, coastal bicycle rides, kayaking, diving and rock climbing.

LOCATION

Trump International Ireland is located near the village of Doonbeg in County Clare on the main coastal road between Ballybunion and Lahinch about a 45 minute drive from Shannon International Airport.

GET THE SCOOP 

For more information, click to Trump International Golf Links Ireland or the resort's website Trump Hotel Collection-Ireland. Telephone number is 353 65 905 560.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Product Review: Bluff Works Travel Pants

I received my Bluff Works Travel Pants several months ago. As a Florida resident, I don't get around to wearing long pants till, say, November. Even in the winter, you see more shorts than trousers on the course in the Sunshine State.

Luckily, I traveled to Ireland recently and I had more than a few chilly opportunities to wear my Bluff Works. I put them through a stern test on the Sandy Hills Links course at Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort in Downings near Letterkenny in the County of Donegal. It was a windy day with a few raindrops along the way as I walked the sometimes wildly undulating layout next to the Atlantic Ocean.

Simply put, my Bluff Works performed much better than I did that blustery day.

Before I left on my trip, the breathable polyester fabric made the pants easy to roll neatly and pack in my suitcase and they took up minimal space. While they can be used for a variety of travel activities, I found them to be excellent golf pants. There are lots of pockets to hold tees, balls and divot repair tools. Bluff Works's biggest assets-- especially when you're walking a golf course-- is they're light-weight, wrinkle-free and super comfortable.

They look good on the course and in the clubhouse and you can even keep them on for dinner (as I did) for the ultimate in versatility.
Sandy Hills Links at Rosapenna Golf Resort in Ireland

My Bluff Works (light khaki) are what I would classify as an athletic cut and, I assume, designed for fit, action-oriented sportsmen. They're also available in charcoal, velvet brown and classic gray colors.

While my Bluff Works didn't help me find any of the countless golf balls I whacked into the tall grass rough at Rosapenna, they performed admirably.

If you're looking for a multi-functional travel pant that can be worn on the golf course, on a bike ride or even during a business meeting, I highly recommend Bluff Works.

Bluff Works are available in waist sizes of 28" to 42" and cost $93. You can buy them online at: Bluff Works Travel Pants


Saturday, August 9, 2014

On Location: Silverado Resort & Spa

Arnold Palmer has poured his heart and soul into Bay Hill in Orlando (Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge) and Jack Nicklaus takes immense pride in Muirfield Village, an upscale golf-oriented community in Dublin, Ohio. For hall of famer and NBC golf broadcaster Johnny Miller, the Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, California is that extra special place.

Miller, a 25-time PGA TOUR winner and U.S. Open champion, is part of an investment group that purchased the resort in 2010. Since that time, Miller and his group have worked diligently to improve all aspects of the golf and overall resort experience.

Spread out over 1,200 acres in Napa Valley, the Silverado Resort & Spa is the ideal resort for golf and wine lovers. Miller makes sure the courses are in top notch condition and you're within an hour's drive of more than 750 tasting rooms in Napa Valley and Sonoma County. You can play golf in the morning and in the afternoon explore the wineries by private car, limousine, van, train or trolley.

Rest assured, you don't have to be a scratch golfer or wine sommelier to enjoy this part of the world. Miller's courses are very playable and enjoyable for all skill levels and the friendly folks at the tasting rooms will educate you in a light-hearted way about all things wine.

GOLF

Silverado has two 18-hole championship golf courses, which are managed by Troon Golf. The North is the headliner layout and is the site of the PGA TOUR's Frys.Com Open (October 6-12, 2014). Miller has meticulously improved the North course with the clearing of trees, adding new trees, creating new bunkers and adding new fairway grasses.

"Johnny Miller has probably played more rounds of golf at Silverado than anywhere else," Silverado's director of golf Tim Geesey told me while we enjoyed some ice tea at The Grill on my visit. "He played in several junior and amateur tournaments here and then later won PGA TOUR tournaments at Silverado in 1974 and 1975. He knows the courses very well and is doing everything possible to make them great places to play for every type of golfer."

Dotted with redwood and oak trees--some that are as old as 300 years--the courses have a parklike feel. Add in some beautiful landscaping around the tee boxes and the golf experience is exceptional. If you want to play a leisurely, somewhat quiet round, play in the afternoon because Geesey says, "Nearly 80% of our rounds are played before 1:00 p.m. because everyone heads to the wineries in the afternoon."

North Course--Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the course stretches to 7,200 yards for the pros. For the average golfer, the blue tees are at 6,793 yards and white tees at 6,302 yards. Keep in mind, too, when examining the yardages, that the ball doesn't travel as far in Napa Valley air. Miller put a lot of thought into the placement of the bunkers and when you're standing at the tee box, you can't just grip it and rip. You've got to think you're way around this layout. Everything is in front of you on this course and it's very playable for the mid-handicapper. Miller's enhancements have created an exceptional resort course experience and a worthy site for a PGA TOUR event.

South Course--Overshadowed by the North, the South Course with it's 6,612 yards from the blue tees and 6,207 yards from the white tees is a bit kinder and gentler.  If you only play a few times a year, I suggest playing the South first before moving on to the more difficult North. The South, also originally designed by Jones, Jr., offers tree-lined fairways, water hazards and undulating greens.  For the ladies, it plays at 5,376 yards from the burgundy tees.

For a video view of the courses, click here to Golf Travel Guru T.V.

ACCOMMODATIONS/AMENITIES

Silverado Resort has 380 rooms and suites. The menu encompasses standard guest rooms, junior suites with spacious king rooms with sitting areas and one-and-two bedroom suites, which have a full kitchen, dining room, living rooms, master bedroom and bath. Each suite has a wood-burning fireplace and balcony with views of courtyards, swimming pools or golf courses.

I stayed in a one-bedroom suite, which was decorated in soft muted earthtones that evoked a sophisticated Napa Valley feel. The full kitchen came in handy as there's a great Safeway grocery store about ten minutes from the resort, where you can load up on snacks and other items to make quick meals. As you would imagine, Safeway has a superb wine selection as well. A couple of small details I really liked about my suite were the large oversize showerhead, the bar style counter in the kitchen and the luxurious Euro-style linens. Too bad it was extra warm on my visit in July because I would've loved to have cranked up a fire in the fireplace.

Some highlights of my unit include:
--King bed
--Wifi access
--Coffee bar
--Egyptian cotton sheets
--Robes
--Private balcony
--Living room
--Dining room
--Wood burning fireplace
--Stainless steel kitchen appliances

Here's a partial list of the resort amenities:
--Two signature restaurants
--16,000 square foot spa
--10 swimming pools
--13 tennis courts
--Main Lounge's Patio Terrace
--Bicycle rentals
--Jogging trails
--3 Bocce courts

10 Little Things I Liked:

1. The Burger Dog available at the snack shacks on the Silverado courses. Yes, these are the same phenomenal delicacies that became famous at the Olympic Club.

2. The displays of Johnny Miller's old MacGregor golf clubs in the clubhouse.

3. Great pace of play. The members at Silverado play at a good clip and the resort guests follow the lead so a four hour round is possible.

4. The laid back atmosphere throughout the resort. The beautiful landscaping makes you feel like you're strolling through some upscale college campus loaded with great amenities like a spa and terrace bar.

5. You can walk to the William Hill Estate Winery from the resort.

6. The frosty and delicious Napa Smith Brewery pilsner I enjoyed at The Grill bar after a round on the North Course.

7. The spectacular view of the surrounding mountains from my balcony.

8. The Keurig single serve coffee maker in my one-bedroom suite.

9. The bagpiper that marches up the 18th hole in front of the Terrace Bar at Silverado on Fridays and Saturdays.

10. Tim Geesey, Silverado's director of golf, who is profoundly dedicated to making the golf experience at the resort one of the best in the world.


DINING & LOUNGING

The Grill at Silverado--Overlooking the golf courses, this casually elegant restaurant offers indoor and alfresco dining, Happy Hours on the weekdays and complimentary corkage fees on Sunday. Popular entrees include Pablo's Pollo Loco (pictured below), American Kobe Burger and Cabernet Braised Lamb Shank.

Royal Oak--It was closed for the season (I visited in July). Specialities include Angus Beef steaks and fresh grilled fish.

The Mansion Lounge--On cool evenings, it's a great place to sit around a stone fireplace and enjoy a Napa Valley wine or cocktail. You can also enjoy an outdoor setting on the patio terrace, which overlooks the golf course. From 10:00 p.m. till close, a late night bar menu is offered.

THINGS TO DO

--Visit the more than 400 wineries within a 45-minute drive from the resort. Some of the largest wineries are Beringer, Castello di Amorosa (pictured below) and Robert Mondavi. Most of the wineries in Napa Vally are smaller and family owned and fun and interesting to visit. Some of the wineries Silverado has close ties with include, Artesa, Andretti, Bell Wine Cellars, Chimney Rock, Black Stallion, William Hill and Silverado Vineyards to name a few.

--Hot air ballooning
--Olive Oil tastings
--Dine in the town of Napa, about a 5 minute drive, which has numerous restaurant options in a revitalized downtown area. Enjoy a gourmet experience on the St. Helena Highway (the main wine road for Napa Valley), where there are several Michelin starred restaurants.
--Take in a concert at Uptown Theatre in Napa.
--Shop at the Oxbow Public Market, Napa Premium Outlets and Napa General Store.

For more information on things to do in the area, click to Visit Napa Valley.

LOCATION

The resort is located at 1600 Atlas Peak Road, Napa, California 94558, about 55 miles from the San Francisco International Airport and 45 miles from Sacramento International Airport.

GET THE SCOOP

For more information on the resort, go to www.silveradoresort.com To check on rates and availability, call 800-532-0500 or 707-257-0200.

Monday, July 14, 2014

On Location: The Breakers Palm Beach

Intrepid travelers are, no doubt, familiar with the well documented images of The Breakers Palm Beach Resort in Florida. From its stately, immaculately landscaped entranceway to its historical lobby and courtyard and opulent galas and parties at the Venetian Ballroom, The Breakers oozes timeless luxury and sophistication.

Once you arrive on property, however, you quickly realize the resort, which opened in 1926, has admirably evolved into a modern, amenity-laden complex with every convenience and service imaginable. Highlighting The Breakers' spectacular offerings are its hip and happening HMF Palm Beach lobby bar, an expansive, beautifully appointed room and its magnificent pool complex, one of the world's finest, with five swimming pools, a private beach, four whirlpool spas, restaurants and 25 luxury beach bungalows.

Built by Standard Oil icon and Florida development pioneer Henry Morrison Flager, The Breakers is set on 140 acres of some of the most expensive beachfront property in the world. You're drenched in European luxury ambiance at every turn. The Florentine fountain in front of the Italian Renaissance-style hotel is similar to the one in Boboli Gardens in Florence. The main lobby was inspired by the Great Hall of the Palazzo Carega in Genoa.

GOLF

There are two 18-hole courses on The Breakers golf menu:

Ocean Course--Situated at the resort, the Ocean Course was originally laid out in 1896. It was wonderfully revitalized and enhanced by Brian Silva, a Boston-based golf architect who specializes in restoration projects. Silva transformed the layout from a relatively flat track into a magnificent, mounded, modern-day resort course by reshaping, recontouring and regrassing the entire course. The 6,167-yard, fun-to-play course has left to right and right to left holes that make you strategize and think your way around the layout. Enhancing its character are mature palms, tropical flowers and lakes. While the total yardage length is not imposing, it's a great shotmaker's course. You'll need an adequate sand game, too, with the 88 bunkers dotting the course. The turf is top notch with TifEagle Bermuda grass from tee to green. 

For a video view of the Ocean Course, click here to Golf Travel Guru T.V.

Breakers West--Located ten miles from the resort and accessible via the resort's complimentary transportation, this layout set in an upscale residential community was originally designed by Willard Byrd and artfully redesigned by Rees Jones in a neo-classic style. Stretching to 7,100 yards, the Breakers West has generous landing areas off the tee, high-profile features, phenomenal bunkering and lush landscaping.


ACCOMMODATIONS/AMENITIES

There are 540 guest rooms, including 68 suites. Thanks to an $80 million enhancement program that redesigned and reburbished the rooms and suites a couple of years ago, the accommodations are fresh and exciting with engaging contemporary color schemes.

Some of the highlights of my room included:

--Plush Euro-style bedding with luxury linens
--Large flat screen television and DVD/CD player
--The Breakers private-label toiletries
--Lush, comfortable bathrobes
--Marble bathrooms with separate shower and tub
--Step-out balcony with inspiring view
--Excellent in-room WiFi and high-speed Internet Service
--A practical and comfortable work desk
--Several outlets to accommodate electronic devices
--In-room safe
--Beautiful wall art 

Here's a partial list of the resort amenities:

--Full-service oceanfront spa
--World-Class pool complex with five swimming pools
--Two fitness centers and new fitness studio for classes and private instruction
--John Webster Golf Academy
--10 lighted Har-Tru tennis courts with resident pro
--24-hour in-room dining
--Family entertainment center with toddlers' playroom, arcade, craft area, movie room, video game room and outdoor sports court and playground
--Coconut Crew kids program
--Snorkeling, scuba diving, catamaran cruises and other water sports
--Half-mile private beach
--Historic Bicycle Tour of Palm Beach
--Banana Boat rides
--Historic Hotel Tour
--70,000 square feet of inddor and outdoor event space encompassing four ballrooms, meeting rooms, courtyards, beachfront and poolside venues.

10 Little Things I Liked:

1. The pan seared scallops I had at The Seafood Bar--The best I've had anywhere, anytime.

2. Convenient check-in. When the line became too long at the main desk, they seamlessly guided me to the concierge desk for a warm welcome and quick and easy check-in.

3. The phenomenal property tour (available to all guests) by 97-year old Jim Ponce, who once served as the resort's assistant manager and began working at The Breakers in 1951. He provides fascinating stories about the history of the hotel and Palm Beach.

4. The spectacular panorama of the Atlantic Ocean when you walk out the back door of the hotel with the sandy beach below.

5. The exceptional organic coffee served at all of the resort's restaurants and its gift shop.

6. The single malt whiskey I enjoyed at the luxurious and comfortable surroundings in HMF, the phenomenal lobby bar with an outstanding tapas style menu.

7. The key lime pie I enjoyed at The Seafood Bar and Flagler Steakhouse. (I had it twice because it's just so darn delicious).

8. The tremendous service I got from Chris and Michael at The Circle for breakfast and from Jason at Flagler Steakhouse.

9. The designer toiletries in my guest room, which came in larger than normal containers.

10. The tapas-sized gourmet meatball dish (Nonna's Meatball and Gravy) I devoured at HMF.


DINING

The Breakers has eight restaurants and eight bars.

 

HMF--A one-of-a-kind lobby bar/restaurant that blends the classic "Palm Beach cocktail culture" ambiance with a fresh, hip vibe. The menu is loaded with tapas size servings of exceptional dishes and, of course, a wide variety of cocktails and wines. Some of the amazing items I enjoyed include the Warm Onion and Reggiano Dip, Wood Roasted Sea Bass and Chicken Albondigas Tacos.

The Seafood Bar--Offering an exceptional view of the Atlantic Ocean, this unique restaurant has an aquarium bar and vaulted, open-beam ceilings. Absolutely, positively, you must enjoy the Seared Scallops (served on a bed of Florida corn and Pearl Couscous) and Key Lime Pie.

Flagler Steakhouse--Located on the second floor of The Breakers Golf and Tennis Clubhouse, this classic steakhouse with black and white photos of Frank Sinatra and other legends dotting the walls leading to the entrance, has a comfortable, clubby feel. Highlighting the menu is the Dry Aged Tomahawk Rib Chop, Steak Au Poivre with Brandied Cream Sauce and Sweet Corn and Lobster Chowder.

The Circle--Breakfast is served in this historic circular room, which has an intricate, hand-painted ceiling and beautiful ocean views.

The Italian Restaurant--A family-friendly restaurant with fresh pastas, grilled specialties and pizzas baked in a brick oven.

Echo--Located a few minutes from The Breakers in Palm Beach, this impressive restaurant features four distinct cuisines from Asia--China, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Beach Club--A perfect place for alfresco dining for breakfast and lunch that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and pool complex.

The Ocean Grill--A beachside bar and grill with views of the pool, beach and 10th green of The Ocean Golf Course.

The Surf Break--An ideal, open-air setting at the pool complex where you can enjoy a cocktail, frozen drink or ice cold beer.


ON-SITE SHOPPING

There are 11 boutiques for convenient shopping at the resort:

Lily Pulitzer at The Breakers--Tropical resortwear by the noted designer

Match at The Breakers--Resort footwear

Absolutely Suitable--Designer swimwear

Coconut Crew--Designer fashions for youngsters

Guerlain--Beauty care products

Mix at The Breakers--Jewelry and accesories

Ralph Lauren--Selection of fashions from the American designer

Signature Shop--Private label clothing with The Breakers logo

The Breakers News and Gourmet--Resort gift shop with everything from fresh coffee and newspapers to elegant gifts and souvenirs

The Sports Pro Shop-Sports oriented merchandise

Beach Shop--Beach items from sunscreen to toys and flip flops


THINGS TO DO

Here are some entertainment and recreation suggestions if you decide to venture from the resort:

--Shopping on Worth Avenue, the ritzy district a few minutes from the resort which has every major designer shop imaginable from Louis Vuitton to Gucci to Cartier. Worth Avenue is Palm Beach's answer to Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive.

--Shopping at CityPlace in downtown West Palm Beach, the open-air, Italian inspired, upscale shopping complex with over 100 stores and restaurants.

--During March, spring training baseball in nearby Jupiter at Roger Dean Stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins play games.

--The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, the fascinating 73-room mansion of the wealthy founder of The Breakers, who played and influential role in making Florida accessible to the masses.

--Deep sea fishing. You can secure a charter boat at Sailfish Marina in West Palm Beach and be fishing for catches like wahoo, dolphin and sailfish in less than thirty minutes. 

--For some nighttime revelry, head to Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach, about a 10 minute drive from The Breakers, where you'll find nightclubs, live music, restaurants and historical landmarks. Some popular spots include Bar Louie and Duffy's Sports Bar & Grill.

HOW TO GET THERE


The Breakers Palm Beach is located at One South County Road, Palm Beach 33480 about seven miles from Palm Beach International Airport. If you're driving, exit on Okeechobee Boulevard from I-95 and head east about nine miles and travel over the Intracoastal Bridge to South County Road.

GET THE SCOOP


For more information on the resort, go to www.thebreakers.com. To check on rates and availability call (888) 273-2537 or (561) 655-6611