Palm Beach: Playground for the Rich and Famous

There are certain places in the world that simply exude luxury with a single utterance of its name. Palm Beach, FL, is one of those places. And the gorgeous resorts sprinkled throughout the destination only add to the glamour.

Palm Beach…since its earliest days, this resort town has conjured up images of Rolls-Royces, over-the-top mansions and lavish socialite gatherings with plenty of champagne to go around.

“Palm Beach is an icon of historical wealth, political respites and home to the world’s most affluent business and celebrity famed residents,” says Janae Allison, director of leisure sales for the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa. “Its glamour prevails to this day and continues to be a notch on the belt of the rich and famous.”

And while many things have changed since Henry Flagler spent his days entertaining guests at The Royal Poinciana—which opened in 1894 as Palm Beach’s first resort—the destination has preserved a certain elegance and class that makes it a favorite among many different travelers, from the high-brow set to anyone looking for pristine beaches, golf and plenty of culinary, shopping and spa indulgences.

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Dubbed “America’s First Resort Destination” by the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Palm Beach boasts 47 miles of sun-kissed beaches, 100-plus accommodation options, 170 golf courses—Palm Beach has often been called “Florida’s Golf Capital”—more than 1,000 tennis courts, over 200 museums and historical sites, and 2,000-plus dining venues.

With Palm Beach International Airport serving approximately seven million passengers through an average of 200 scheduled nonstop flights from 25 cities, Palm Beach is easily accessible nationally and internationally. And come this fall, passengers will have even more flight options as Delta Air Lines recently announced it is adding new nonstop service from four of its U.S. hubs—Worcester, MA; Niagara Falls/Buffalo, NY; Kalamazoo/Battlecreek, MI; and Rockford/Chicago, IL—beginning Nov. 18.

When it comes to accommodations, Palm Beach is home to everything from quaint B&Bs to upscale resorts. The latest entry on the hotel landscape is The Omphoy Ocean Resort, which opened its doors in the fall of 2009.

new kid on the block “The Omphoy was designed not to fit into the Palm Beach look,” says Deborah Carr, the resort’s general manager. “As the first hotel built in 20 years here, The Omphoy brings a contemporary Zen-like design to Palm Beach that is unmatched—cocoon-like with warm woods and cool stone floors, and water as its mantra throughout the resort.”

The Omphoy features 134 guestrooms and suites, each with a space for balconies, terraces or large picture windows that open the rooms to impressive views of the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway. Onsite amenities include a palm tree-lined infinity pool with waterfall and private cabanas; The MB Terrace restaurant and Michelle Bernstein’s restaurant—both featuring cuisine by award-winning celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein; and the O-bar, featuring a special bistro menu by Bernstein, as well as billiard table and a 64-inch plasma TV where guests can catch up on their favorite sports team action.

Guests at The Omphoy can also enjoy the 8,000-sq.-ft. bi-level exhale Spa, which offers a complete menu of massage therapies, signature facials, acupuncture treatments, fitness courses and an outdoor meditation garden.

And while The Omphoy is all about luxury, Carr explains, guests can often take advantage of some pretty competitive rates. “Although slow on the uptake of the changing traveler, Palm Beach has recognized the need to offer more to the traveler,” she explains. “On the hotel side, enticing guests and families with value-added visits and affordable rates outside of season has become standard in the four- and five-star hotels in Palm Beach.” To that end, The Omphoy has a Fourth Night Free package that includes a complimentary night with any 3-night booking. There’s also the $10 Dinner at Michelle Bernstein’s at The Omphoy package, with a gourmet 3-course meal for $10 pp at Chef Bernstein’s signature restaurant when reserving an oceanfront or deluxe oceanview room. Average nightly rates start at $199-$349 per night.

marriott luxe Singer Island Beach, meanwhile, is home to the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa, which is a great option for families or clients who want to enjoy a more extended stay. In fact, Allison explains, “During the winter when our weather stays warm and fabulous, we have a lot of people coming to escape the cold of their homes. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and the entire northeast are regular winter travelers to Palm Beach. When the summer comes in,” she adds, “we get a lot of Floridians coming in for the weekends, or those who can catch a quick or direct flight from U.S. cities. The kids are out of school and it’s easy to take a day or two off to come on a little escape to our beachside.”