Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The weather in Palm Beach has been a cool 70 degrees the past few days, a bit too cold for me to swim, but there is still plenty to do in sunny Palm Beach. Yesterday, we visited the iconic Breakers Hotel, a landmarked must see for everyone who visits the area.  Built in 1896 by oil magnate Henry Flagler, this Italianate masterpiece is majestically set on 140 acres of pristine Palm Beach oceanfront. The architect Leonard Schultze cited the Villa Medici as inspiration for his design of the building's facade and in the Beaux Arts design tradition, the architect borrowed the best design elements from historic buildings to create the hotel.  Driving throught the hotels impressive driveway, lined with an allee of tall palm trees, the hotel appears massive and regal. With eleven restaurants, a Rees Jones designed golf course, several swimming pools a spa, plus miles of beach, there is something here for everyone!

Tragedy struck in 1924 when a devastating fire burnt the hotel to the ground but the hotel was rebuilt with no expense spared in 1926. Seventy five Italian artisans were brought in to create magnificent paintings on the vaulted ceilings in the 200 foot Great Hall which were inspired by the Palazzo Carrega-Cataldi in Genoa, Italy. The Great Hall is by far my favorite room, with its elegant classic lines and impressive barrel vaulted ceiling; you feel instantly transported to an ancient Italian villa.

We spent the afternoon in the Great Room enjoying a delicious afternoon tea and admiring the hotel's beautiful architecture. If you can, I suggest you plan a visit on a Tuesday, when the hotel historian gives guided tours of the property with lots of inside information about the hotel's history and design as well as interesting anecdotes about the famous stars that have stayed at the hotel through the years.

1 comment: said...

I stay at the Breakers every Fourth of July, it's wonderful as they line up hundreds of chaise lounges on the golf course for firework viewing...fabulous! Glad you enjoyed yourself...although it was cold down here in Florida...not sure how you managed to get bronze?

Just discovered your blog and I'm loving it!