Dispatch from Florida: Boca Raton Resort and Club

Long a destination for the wealthy and fabulous, the Boca Raton Resort and Club was built to be, in the words of architect and original owner Addison Mizner, “the world’s most architecturally beautiful playground.” And beautiful it is—so beautiful, in fact, we’ve spent a lot of time just strolling around the resort’s buildings and grounds, which were designed with Spanish-Mediterranean, Moorish and Gothic influences—a place of hidden gardens, finials, fountains and gleaming pink walls.

Now, youth and families may not spring to mind when you think about Boca Raton (you’re more likely to picture Morty and Helen Seinfeld ambling around their condo at Del Boca Vista), but the Resort and Club has worked hard to keep things fresh. From its original 100 rooms (back in 1926), the resort has grown into a sprawling complex that encompasses seven pools, 30 tennis courts, 36 holes of golf, more than a thousand guest rooms, nine bars and restaurants (including a sushi bar presided over by Masaharu Morimoto, of “Iron Chef” fame), and a private beach on one of south Florida’s finest stretches of white sand and turquoise waters. After a $120 million (US) renovation, they recently reopened their Beach Club, which features three seaside pools, an ocean view restaurant and fitness centre. Not everything is necessarily family-friendly—the perfectly clipped croquet courts may look like a great little park to your three-year-old, but running there is frowned upon by the white-clad players—but the resort offers a number of great features for parents and kids. The Beach Club houses gleaming new facilities for Camp Boca, a kids club with programs for tots to teens that includes everything from princess dress-up sessions to pirate parties, and boasts all of the electronic essentials (namely, Wii, Xbox 360 and Rock Band). You can drop the kids off for an afternoon (or a full day) and head off for some me time at the sumptuous Spa Palazzo, or take advantage of the resort’s menu of all-in-the-family activities. Staying at the resort isn’t cheap, but, with a variety of packages and deals on offer that just may put a few nights within your reach, now may be the time to plan a visit.

— Tim Johnson, CF‘s contributing editor

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