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Spring Getaway

How to Spend the Perfect Long Weekend at The Boca Raton

Tucked away in a residential community in Palm Beach County, The Boca Raton is a sprawling five-property resort that’s great for a sunny getaway. Boasting over 15 restaurants and bars, a private golf course, a luxurious spa, and tennis and pickleball courts, the resort is a 200-acre haven with so many amenities you could spend your whole stay on the property. With so much at your fingertips, here are a few recommendations for an upcoming visit to The Boca Raton. 

Harborside Pool Club Lazy River. Photos: The Boca Raton

But First, a Bit of History 
The Boca Raton started in 1926 as the Cloister Inn, a swanky 100-room hotel. Built by architect Addison Mizner (whose work can also be seen on Palm Beach’s Worth Ave), the hotel’s Mediterranean Revival style features Spanish barrel tile roofs, intricately carved ceilings, and curved stone archways. Over the years, the property changed hands, with owners adding four more hotels: Yacht Club, Bungalows, Beach Club, and finally Tower, which was built in 1969.

Each hotel has undergone renovations since its opening and in 2021, there was a $200 million dollar, phase one property-wide renovation. Upgrades included the Cloister swapping out its pink exterior for coastal white, a top-to-bottom renovation of the guestrooms and suites at the Tower, and a new floating river at the resort’s Harborside Pool Club. 

The Boca Raton

Five Hotels to Choose From 
Each hotel at The Boca Raton has a different feel and design. The Cloister has elegant guest rooms with classic dark wood furnishings and plush carpeting. On my recent visit, I stayed in a newly updated one-bedroom Tower suite that had warm wood floors, muted linens, and a breezy, open living room and dining room area that overlooked the marina.  

The adults-only Yacht Club is the hotel’s top-of-the-line accommodations. Each of the navy nautical-themed suites comes with a private balcony, butler service, and access to Aston Martin house cars. Yacht Club guests also have access to the yacht slips located next to the property along with exclusive access to the Spa Palmera pool and Flybridge restaurant. If you want to be near the action, The Cloister, Tower, and Yacht Club properties are close to the restaurants, spa, and shops and just steps from the beach ferry that leaves every 15 minutes from the marina. 

The Bungalows are set away from the main property and are ideal for longer stays. Each two-bedroom suite has a full kitchen, a large living and dining room, and comfortable, earth-tone furnishings. Lastly, the Beach Club has spacious oceanfront rooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. 

The Boca Raton Cloister Lobby

Restaurant Choices Galore 
With over 15 restaurants and bars, you could eat at a different spot for each meal. One of my favorite restaurants was The Flamingo Grill, a retro-chic restaurant where servers donned pink blazers and oversized flamingo art decorated the walls. On my first night, I enjoyed pumpkin soup and lamb chops topped with mint jelly, followed by a refreshing slice of key lime cheesecake. 

Other great restaurants across the resort include the Japanese Bocca Club for sushi and sake and Principessa Ristorante where the handmade tortellini alla zuca is a must order. For casual eats head to the Burger Bar for premium burgers and milkshakes or stop by the Cloister Courtyard for an afternoon cocktail. Sadelle’s, located in the Cloister lobby, serves sliced-to-order salmon atop fresh bagels. 

What to Do During Your Stay 
One of the best things about my stay was that even though I had so many options, the resort still felt intimate. The service was warm and friendly, and it was easy to see why the resort welcomes back guests for years, even generations. 

You could spend your days at the resort playing a round of golf on the private course, jet skiing or paddle boarding on the beach, or floating down the lazy river in an inner tube. If you need to work up a sweat, you can head to the rooftop tennis or pickleball courts for a lesson, join a yoga or boot camp fitness class, or cruise around the resort on a complimentary bike. 

Spa Palmera

There’s also an art gallery, a whisky bar/barbershop, and a secluded spa, which I was most impressed by. Fashioned after Spain’s Alhambra Palace, the 50,000 sq.ft. Spa Palmera has stunning mosaics, majestic archways, and an idyllic courtyard pool. Spa services include detoxes, massages, and custom facials.

Though there’s so much to do, I enjoyed the quiet moments at the resort too. Early one morning, I parked myself next to the Harborside Pool to enjoy a book, and on another afternoon, I laid out on a beach lounger with only the sound of the waves. That’s the beauty of the resort — you can do as much or as little as you like. 

Mariette Williams is a frequent globetrotter whose food and travel writing focuses on Florida and the Caribbean.