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Amidst trendy new hotels with even triendier amenities -- from iPads to keyless rooms to unmanned check-in desks -- it's sometimes nice to stay at an elegant classic. Like The Brazilian Court hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, which maintains its low-key, high-polish sense of style, even 90 years after it first opened.
Budget Level: Luxe ($300+/night)
Lodging Type: Medium-Size Hotel (50-100 rooms)
Situated on a residential block amidst the mansions of Palm Beach, the hotel fits in seamlessly with its low-rise neighbors. With a fancy -- and occasionally famous -- clientele, the hotel's leafy courtyards, discrete entrances, and picture-perfect pool offer opportunities to see and be seen, or to rest unnoticed in a shaded corner. Rooms have dark-wood four-poster beds, muted botanical-print bedding, whirlpool bathtubs, and showers with typhoon-strength water pressure.
Wearing polo shirts and pearls, the crowd here spans the generations; you'll see couples and families in equal numbers. The hotel's interior courtyards are quiet during the day, save for the occasional guest chatting on a cell phone, or relaxing in one of the many loungers. In cooler months, guests can enjoy drinks here in the evening. In general, though, the mantra is quiet, rest, and relaxation. Reserve a table, or join the fashionable crowd at the bar at Cafe Boulud, which is located just inside the hotel’s entrance. Chef Daniel Boulud’s updated take on French cuisine -- with dishes like tuna tartare, stuffed squash blossoms, and sautéed mahi-mahi or trout -- is a fitting compliment to this smartly sophisticated property.
Who Will Love It
Travelers seeking solace, pampering, and a sampling of the good life on Palm Beach can't go wrong here.
Who Might Not
Travelers who need to stay directly on the beach and enjoy ocean views from their rooms won't be able to do either at this neighborhood property.
The hotel's palm tree-ringed pool is a haven in the heat. Come early to snag a lounger, then order a light breakfast, lunch, or snacks off the menu, which is also styled by Daniel Boulud.
A daily newspaper, turndown service in the evening, and free WiFi are included. The Brazilian Court can also transport guests to the beach in the hotel’s Mercedes, along with a goodie bag of bottled water and towels, plus lounge chairs.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
All food and beverages will cost extra, although we do love that all of the room refrigerators make their own ice.
How to Get a Deal
Stay in the the summer. When temperatures rise in balmy Palm Beach, prices drop. From July-September, you’ll find room rates south of $200 per night -- a great price when you consider that rooms in January easily top $500. If you’re a Florida resident, you can get even better deals in summer. And if you’d like to dine at Cafe Boulud, you can get an excellent deal at lunch during the week; the restaurant offers a three-course prix-fixe meal for $32, with wines by the glass for $8-10.
In the Neighborhood
Located on the island of Palm Beach, the hotel is two blocks from the shore. Super-posh Worth Avenue, which is crammed with luxury shops, is a four-minute walk away.
The hotel is an easy 15-minute ride from the West Palm Beach airport. If you don’t want to rent a car, a taxi or a ride service like Lyft or Uber will cost about $10-$15 each way.
Abandon empty-headed trendiness and settle into classic comfort at this luxurious -- and blissfully laid-back — Florida classic.