Celebrating 90 Years of Coveted Opulence
Discover the summer staycation of a lifetime exclusive to members and hotel guests of Boca Raton Resort & Club
By Dale King and Julia Hebert
Society architect Addison Cairns Mizner still stands watch over his legacy of affluent designs that remains the standard of the South Florida building trade. An 11-foot-tall statue of the artisan – a draftsman’s pencil in one hand, his constant monkey companion on his shoulder – gazes southward from atop a 65-foot-tall pedestal at Mizner Boulevard and South Federal Highway in Boca Raton. Slightly southeast and over his left shoulder is the gem of Mizner’s clearly discernable Mediterranean Revival construction style, the Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. A pink paradise of worldly delights, it is home to an array of leisure opportunities for the well-to-do. The Resort transformed Boca Raton – a town better known for beans than beaches in the 1920s – into a pleasure dome for tourists of means.
Known by locals as “the Hotel” or “the Resort,” the club pays homage this year to the 90th anniversary of the famed hostelry that has accumulated dozens of awards and “Family Life” magazine’s “25 Family Destinations.”
The first structure completed on the 356-acre property was the “Cloister,” Mizner’s original structure. The pink complex encourages visitors to view its hidden gardens, archways, ornate columns,
fountains and wooden-beam ceilings.
Over the years and with different owners, the Resort has expanded and contemporized while retaining Mizner’s design dream. Retail shops and themed restaurants serving specialized selections were added. Mizner’s Monkey Bar, a libation location on the west end of the Cloister, honors Mizner’s simian buddy, Johnny Brown.
Today, the tourist Mecca also boasts the Yacht Club, the Tower, the Boca Beach Club across the Intracoastal Waterway (reopened in 2009 after a $120 million renovation); the Bungalows, Boca Country Club, conference facilities, two 18-hole golf courses, a world-class spa, seven pools, a marina and a half mile of private beach with watersports and boating availabilities.
Open only to members and guests, the Resort is a perfect “staycation” location for nearby Floridians and an excellent travel destination for all. Visitors this year can take part in anniversary-oriented events and activities. As is the custom, all guests are assigned a personal concierge to make sure every request is fulfilled.
Opulence Magazine will be your guide to some of the lavish experiences awaiting you at the big, pink house that Addison Mizner built.
Where to Play and Swim and Sport
So much to see and do — where do you begin?! The Resort’s Family Fun staff plans more than 150 adult and children’s activities monthly. Mizner’s “Quest Club” is a one-of-a-kind, family-oriented program that includes a daily supervised camp, recreational sports deck, rooftop garden with interactive stations, and an arcade. Families can enjoy the golf academy, tennis clinic and beach activities, along with the Surf Boca surf school, dual-side FlowRider and fitness centers. The marina is home to deep-sea fishing, catamaran trips and boat races, too.
Where to Lunch
Looking to lunch? Try visiting acclaimed Japanese sushi master Masaharu Morimoto of “Iron Chef” fame in his dining spot at the Resort. Designed by French architect/artist Thierry Despont, it has four chef stations and seating for 32, with décor inspired by colors of the ocean. Come in via Palm Court for sushi, sashimi and maki, along with soups, salads, hot and cold entrees and specialty beverages.
Afternoon Sweet Tooth
Satisfy an afternoon sweet tooth craving at Serendipity. An outpost of the famed, New York City restaurant Serendipity 3, this hip, family destination offers delights, such as “frrrozen” hot chocolate, deli sandwiches, fresh baked goods, Starbucks coffee, ice cream and grab-and-go items.
Where to Indulge
Bar Luna has debuted “Mangiare,” a new Italian menu featuring artisanal charcuterie selections from Chicago’s West Loop Salumi, Italian-style cured salamis, such as Finocchiona (fennel pollen salame), Chorizo, Coppa, Speck Alta Adige and Prosciutto di San Daniele. “As a child, I spent summers in Italy with my grandparents where I learned the old-world way of making cured meats,” said Salumiere Greg Laketek, who returned to Italy as an adult and trained under the famed Massimo Spigaroli. (Look for a full interview with Greg in the fall issue of Opulence.)
Where to Relax
Relaxation is job one for many visitors at the Resort. The half-mile stretch of private beach is perfect for catching some rays. Visitors can swim in the Atlantic Ocean or any of the seven pools. If you’re inclined to use the fitness center, treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment at the Waldorf Astoria Spa. (In order to access the steam room or sauna, you must have a spa treatment booked.)
Opulence Magazine Editor-in-Chief Robin Jay offered this assessment after spending time at the Waldorf Astoria Spa: “The ritual bath is an amazing experience that starts in a eucalyptus inhalation room, followed by a glorious soak in a mango-salted drawn bath with velvety mounds of bubbles and a tray with apricot body scrub, loofa and grapefruit sorbet (for eating!). Then it’s on to an invigorating cylindrical Swedish shower with hundreds of horizontal jets, followed by a soak in a single-person climb-down plunge pool and overhead deluge for the shoulders, finishing with a leisurely soak in the candle-lit Jacuzzi. Ahhhhhh!”
Where to Find Dine Tuscan Style
Whatever is new under the Tuscan sun is likely available at Lucca Trattoria, one of the fine-dining options at the Resort. With its open-arched kitchen, hand-blown Murano chandeliers and creative Tuscan cuisine, this Mediterranean-themed restaurant has an award-winning wine list and menu. At the helm is Chef Adam Pile whose farm-to-table approach to cooking with local ingredients goes back to his childhood in rural Pennsylvania. “I grew up trout fishing, working with my grandparents in the garden, canning foods, picking wild strawberries, shelling beans, trading sweet corn and raising livestock,” he said. “I still have my Grandmother’s handwritten recipes and her Betty Crocker Cookbook. At Lucca, we aim for that same ‘home cooked with love’ feel.” Lucca favorites include Lamb “Osso Bucco,” Veal Scaloppine Marsala, Black Angus strip steak and local Snapper. Wood-grilled pizza is also available.