Vacation stops feeling like vacation when: You have to arrange travel, hotels and rentals, figure out where to eat and what to do, and determine how to keep yourself from going mad when there are three kids in the back of the van asking, “Are we there yet?”
But we live in a premier vacation destination, meaning a summer staycation is your solution to vacation anxiety. You don’t even have to figure out where to go. Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa on Manalapan just south of Palm Beach is a 7-acre, white-sand wonderland, and with all its amenities you never have to leave the premises. Here’s how to spend 36 blissful hours of your staycation.
Pull the car into the sprawling, iconic orange-roofed resort in Manalapan and leave your keys with the valet driver. You won’t need them for 36 hours.
Step inside Eau Palm Beach and accept your complimentary champagne. There will be many more opportunities for free champagne, but this first one is meant to melt away all your cares from the moment you walk in. As you sip, look straight ahead of you. Through the plush lobby furniture, elegant chandeliers and warm, luxe interior, you’ll get a pristine view of the ocean.
Once you’ve settled into your room and examined the modern yet familiar ode to Palm Beach in the décor and furnishings (designed by Jonathan Adler), suit up and head down to one of Eau’s two pools. If you have kids, go to the Resort Pool, but if you’re a fully grown adult who likes being around other adults, enjoy yourself at the Tranquility Pool. They both have views of the ocean and are prime people-watching posts.
By now the pool, heat and champagne may be getting to your head. No need to go inside to eat. Breeze Ocean Kitchen, at the northeast end of the property, is situated just above the beach. The outdoor seating is cozy and lively, and you can eat right next to the waves if you choose. You can also eat at the bar under a customizable awning in case of wind or rain.
Breeze is the newest restaurant at Eau, and its focus on light, fresh dishes is evident by items like Tuna Poke Lettuce Cups and Local Caught Ceviche. Daily summer specials like $12 margaritas, burger & beer combos and half-price Veuve Clicquot make it a hard restaurant to pass down.
Take a trip to the beach! Staff will set up lounge chairs and umbrellas for you, and if you’re feeling adventurous you can rent jet skis, paddleboards, boats and more.
Each evening, the hotel “turns down.” For what? (I’m so sorry). For you! The lights dim, more complimentary bubbly is consumed, and hundreds of lit candles set the mood. The outdoor fire pit starts to roar, and the hotel changes from relaxed getaway to, somehow, an even more relaxed getaway.
Dine at Angle, the resort’s premier fine dining restaurant. Intimate, excellent and under the direction of Chef de Cuisine Manlee Siu, the focus is on seasonal and local products as well as prime meats and line-caught seafood. The “Creamsicle” Ricotta Cheesecake on the $65 summer prix fixe menu is as smooth-rich as the brown velvet walls of the restaurant.
If for whatever reason you are possessed with the desire to work out, Eau’s fitness center is open 24 hours a day and features premier exercise equipment.
Go back to bed. You’re on staycation.
Enjoy the breakfast buffet at the hotel’s main restaurant, Temple Orange Bistro. Israeli-inspired dishes like shakshuka, cured fish and baba ghanoush add variety to the buffet, which also offers classics like eggs, bacon, fresh pastries and breads, cheese, charcuterie, salads and way more. Gluten-free items are also on display, which reminds me: This resort seriously wants to do anything to make you happy. You can order any taco (remember Breeze Ocean Kitchen?) in lettuce, and the staff even lets you know if the deep fryer is designated gluten-free or not. Temple Orange Bistro also has a la carte breakfast items and dinner, brunch and wine specials throughout the summer.
If you’re staycationing with kids, you can let them loose to their own devices … or you can let them hang out at AquaNuts or Coast. The former is for kids 5-12, where they can rock-climb, perform onstage, hang out at the pool or beach and even get dressed up and made-over. Coast is for teens 13-17 and offers a sleek teen lounge with video games, a pool table, special beach activities and more.
When at Eau, go to the spa. Eau Spa has been rated a Forbes 5-star spa for three years, meaning it’s virtually flawless (Forbes’ words!). The spa is whimsical, zany and magical. Little rubber duckies follow you throughout the spa campus, as do champagne and mini cupcakes. The dry and steam saunas can be customized with aromatherapy (as well as all the treatment rooms and villas). The philosophy behind this spa is that it’s all about you. It’s about playing and being happy and eating candy and laughing. In the Self-Centered Garden you can float above a pebbly shore on hanging chairs or dine under the vine-covered terrace. With 50-minute treatments starting at $109 this summer, this staycation just got even more economically friendly.
Maximize your beach views by renting a cabana overlooking the Atlantic. You can pretty much do whatever you want in there. Staff will install televisions, bring you food and drinks, arrange spa treatments—anything to make your staycation feel as far away from home and as close to paradise as possible.
36 hours is up! But it’s so late; you might as well book another night. Florida resident rates start at $229 through October 31, so go ahead, stay ‘till Sunday. Real life can wait.
This post was paid for and sponsored by Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. For more information please visit eaupalmbeach.com or call 800/328-0170.
All photos provided by Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa.