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The Weekender: Palm Beach, FL

How to spend a weekend on the ultra-luxe island

If you regularly flock to the Hamptons for a summer escape from New York City, think of Palm Beach, Florida as your winter version of that getaway. Extravagant mansions, luxury shopping, and beachside resorts mirror that of a East Hampton, but with palm trees and a resort feel. Manhattanites cruise along the 16-mile-long island, passing Donald Trump’s over-the-top Mar-a-Lago estate and sprawling ocean views dotted with surfers. Not only is the area rich with wealthy residents, but also with stunning historical architecture that conjure a time when the Kennedys’ vacationed on the island, the family’s former property selling for $31 million back in 2015.

We created the ultimate itinerary for an idyllic weekend of sun, sand, and exceptional spa time.

Friday night:

Check in to the Four Seasons Palm Beach if you want to feel like Floiridian royalty. The grand hotel offers every amenity: L’Occitane bath products, thick terry bathrobes, 24-hour in-room dining, and incredible balconies overlooking the ocean and sparkling pool. You likely won’t want to leave your room, but make an effort to at least head downstairs to the hotel’s restaurant Jové Kitchen & Bar for fresh oysters, and a bottle of Champagne (you’re on vacation, after all).

Four Seasons Palm Beach bedroom

Saturday morning:

Call room service for a pot of coffee, a decadent breakfast, and a copy of the New York Times on your terrace, then get some sunshine. Lounge back by the heated pool’s 180-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean, while the server offers popsicles, a sunglass cleaning, or a spritz of Evian.  Post-sun bathing, take a car to Worth Avenue for browsing the town’s chicest shops: Cartier, Chanel, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, with a few high-end antique shops and art galleries sprinkled among them.

Four Seasons Palm Beach

Saturday afternoon:

“It’s seriously the best spa experience ever,” a Palm Beach resident gushed about the Four Seasons’ spa services. “You have to go.” Whether you’re staying at the hotel or not, the spa  is a must-try. We recommend the Ultimate Kate Somerville Facial, a multi-part experience using the technology of oxygen spray and a DermaLucent red light to stimulate collagen and elastin production, as well as a variety of Kate Somerville skincare products. Be sure to arrive early to take advantage of the 11,000 square feet of services like the whirlpool and sauna.

Four Seasons Palm Beach Spa

Saturday night:

New Yorkers will appreciate the just-opened St. Ambroeus, a restaurant and bar that has a few locations in NYC. The design is inspired by the “Gran Caffes” of 1950s Italy, with modern lines, mahogany, and an Italian stone bar. Don’t skip the pizza and pasta, but more importantly, the perfectly-mixed house cocktails.

Go for a post-dinner drink and snack at Buccan, a stylish but cozy space, where patrons can convene around communal tables or comfortable couches, while sipping on fruity cocktails or small plates; the Warm Brussels Sprouts Caesar will change your life.

Sunday morning:

After more in-room dining, head into town to explore Palm Beach’s art and historical museums. The Flagler Museum, a 55-room mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and features guided tours, changing exhibits, and special programs. Pop into the Norton Gallery of Art to see its current exhibition, the Rudin Prize for Emerging Photographers. Then, walk through the nearby Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, a serene space that photos can not do justice, ideal for a morning stroll or reading among the flowers. 

Sunday afternoon:

Take one last walk on the beach and breathe in the salty-sweet air and savor the sunshine, before you jet back to winter.