Best Kept Surprises

Of Singer Island

Discover today what would have amazed the island’s namesake sewing-machine magnate

By Dale King and Julia Hebert

If your timing is right, you might spot the following advisory sign at a beach on Florida’s Singer Island: air temperature, 82 degrees; water temperature, 72 degrees; weather conditions: Awesome.

Singer Island was named for Paris Eugene Singer, 23rd child (that’s not a typo!) of sewing machine magnate Isaac Singer. A developer, Paris made Palm Beach what it is by bringing in Spanish architecture, picturesque streets and exclusive shops. Historical records say the son bought the property as a gift for his mistress, who reportedly didn’t like it. What could she possibly not have loved about this isle of paradise?

A Closer Look
This charming, undisturbed shoreline section of north-central Palm Beach County, Singer Island is a five-mile-long, half-mile wide swath of the sandy Sunshine State sandwiched between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, just north of Palm Beach and east of Riviera Beach. Traffic often arrives via the Blue Heron Bridge, a concrete causeway bringing cars across the Intracoastal and back onto terra firma.

Florida’s Atlantic coast road, State Road A1A, curves north, taking traffic past restaurants, the Ocean Mall, parks, water-related sports shops and one funky cigar bar. At the west entrance is Phil Foster Park, named for a prominent local citizen, with its guarded beach, picnicking, day cruises, jet ski rentals and boat launch facilities. Snorkeling among the rocks below the bridge is particularly fascinating as underwater adventurers find such creatures as eagle rays, pipefish, coral shrimps, sea stars and sea horses.

South of Singer Island near the Palm Beach Inlet is a small, but historically significant spot, Peanut Island, site of a bomb-proof bunker built to house and protect President John F. Kennedy, his family and staff, had war broken out at the time of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. It was recently refurbished for tourists who can visit by water taxi.

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, named for the Chicago insurance tycoon who donated the land, is between Singer Island and North Palm Beach. Munyon Island is an off-shore wilderness once home to a lavish hotel, the Hygeia, that burned to the ground in 1915. That island’s beach was once unofficially a clothing-optional strand where, among others, Walt Disney is said to have skinny-dipped.

The Secret Unveiled
But not to worry, along Singer Island’s seven-mile stretch of pristine shoreline, dubbed one of the top five beaches in Palm Beach County, there’s still one best-kept secret that may surprise even the locals. Tucked away in a sanctuary of serenity, Palm Beach County’s only all-suite oceanfront resort that’s replete with luxurious condo-style-living guest accommodations, award-winning dining and a world-class spa named among the top U.S. spas by Condé Nast Traveler in 2015. International Opulence Editor-in-Chief recently visited this gem of white-glove hospitality, the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and Spa.

“The lavish and thoughtful appointments of our upscale suite felt like a home-away-from home – with a five-star kitchen, world-class interior design and a spa-like en-suite bathroom so spacious it alone rivaled the size of an entire guestroom at other resorts,” Jay said. “SiSpa, for me, took pampering to a new level of splendor, with innovative services like the Bourbon Body Scrub that puts one in just the perfect relaxation mode in time for dinner at 3800 Ocean. The gastronomy of seafood and meat pairings, along with service that didn’t miss a beat made for a postcard-perfect staycation that had us feeling as if we were worlds away. I would visit again in a heartbeat.”

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Best Kept Surprises