The Best Hotels in Palm Beach for Enjoying the Resort City ‘Palm Royale’-Style

Beyond the vast windows of Palm Beach’s iconic Breakers resort, the ocean sparkled as women in designer florals paraded under the lobby’s vaulted, hand-frescoed ceilings. They were headed to network with Martha Stewart and Tommy Hilfiger and swap Hermès and Gucci purses for charity at a $600-per-ticket “Old Bags” luncheon.

Later, many of them joined the daily flock gathered poolside at the historic Colony Hotel, sipping cocktails served by young men in pink shirts. Apart from the rose-hued hotel’s interior update, including a new Goop-designed bungalow, similar scenes could have unfolded a half-century earlier — which is why the new Apple TV+ show Palm Royale, set in 1969, doesn’t seem very dated. The characters played by Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern and Allison Janney could have easily mingled among this crowd, and when the show incorporated shots of The Breakers, the only thing they had to adjust for historical accuracy was the cars. “It’s the last American sanctuary — that’s the way the women look at it, and in my imagination, Palm Beach only lives in the ’60s,’’ series showrunner Abe Sylvia tells The Hollywood Reporter.

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Sylvia isn’t the only one who thinks that. Palm Beach doesn’t like change, and that’s no doubt why Thomas Keller, who recently purchased the beloved bistro Ta-boo, which closed after 82 years on Worth Avenue, has decided to leave the name and signage when he reopens it next season. Things remain much as they were when socialite C.Z. Guest was photographed at her seaside pool by Slim Aarons (whom Sylvia admits to being obsessed with), and men still sport blazers and bright-hued pants as they dine at restaurants with lush gardens like Bice Ristorante and Renato’s.

Bice Restaurant - Dining Room - Palm Beach - Florida
Bice Restaurant in Palm Beach, Florida.

But now, nearby West Palm Beach is undergoing a seismic shift, as condos with prices at nearly $5,500 per square foot are going up along the Intracoastal Waterway. At the stylish new outpost of Wall Street watering hole Harry’s — boasting elegant booths and bronze accents — blazers and pastels have been abandoned. The finance guys whose companies moved south are clearly enjoying their more unbridled life and bringing their own flair to West Palm, and it’s decidedly different than the more blinged-out bacchanalia at Mar-a-Lago, where Donald Trump holds court and acts as DJ.

Harry’s, which opened last year in West Palm Beach.
Harry’s, which opened last year in West Palm Beach.

In West Palm’s historic El Cid neighborhood, retail shops are popping up and historic Mediterranean houses have doubled in price since the start of the pandemic, but still cost a fraction of those on the ocean side.

Crab cake with sautéed spinach dish at Italian spot Renato’s in Palm Beach.
Crab cake with sautéed spinach dish at Italian spot Renato’s in Palm Beach.

“The houses have a similar feel to some on the island,” says Lisa Wilkinson, executive director of luxury sales for Douglas Elliman Palm Beach. She shares that a four-bedroom historic Mediterranean jewel box that was priced at just over $3 million at the beginning of the pandemic is now trading for $6.4 million.

On the relatively undeveloped north end of West Palm, major change is coming as well: A new condo tower, Olara, will house a restaurant from José Andrés and units starting at $2.5 million; the Cipriani family is opening a Mr. C hotel; and an entirely new 40-acre mini-city, Nora, will be built from the ground up, including a hotel with a restaurant, plus a rooftop pool concept from Richard Born and Sean MacPherson (The Chelsea, The Bowery).

Ned Grace, one of the developers who conceived Nora, feels the hotel (tentatively called The Nora) will be a much-needed addition. “We are about $500 per night, two minutes from Palm Beach, and it will be super high quality in a place that hasn’t necessarily seen that yet,” he maintained.  “It will be the Chateau Marmont of West Palm.”

Nora - West Palm Beach - Rendering - Planned City
A rendering of the 40-acre Nora district planned in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Adds McPherson, “The core gestalt of Palm Beach has been consistent for a century or so, but West Palm is entirely new. It has a pioneering spirit that’s exciting, and reminds me of L.A. in the ‘80s, when people were discovering new neighborhoods.”

McPherson recalls that when he attended Santa Monica High School, Venice was still rough around the edges. “Real estate people used to call it Marina del Rey adjacent, so people made T-shirts that said, ‘Venice is not Marina del Rey.’ Well, West Palm Beach is not Palm Beach.”

Where to Stay in Palm Beach and West Palm

In the past decade, the number of visitors to the Palm Beach area has more than doubled, reaching nearly 10 million in 2023, according to tourist organization Discover the Palm Beaches.

The Breakers - Palm Beach - Main Drive
The main drive at The Breakers in Palm Beach.

“We do expect Palm Royale will generate a ‘set-jetting’ bump in interest from a whole new audience,” says CEO and president Milton Segarra.

Palm Beach island — whose famous residents include Rod Stewart, billionaire Nelson Peltz (whose daughter Nicola Peltz married Brooklyn Beckham at his posh estate) and designer Tom Ford (who’s a regular at Sant Ambroeus) — has some of the most luxurious resorts in the United States.

The Breakers: The grand Breakers, erected in the late 19th century, occupies 140 acres of coastline. (Rooms available through and

The Colony Hotel: The fun-filled, Spanish-style Colony Hotel, built in 1947, features a resurrection of New York watering hole Swifty’s. (Rooms available through and

The Brazilian Court Hotel: Set in lush gardens, the chic Brazilian Court Hotel, built in 1926, houses a Café Boulud restaurant. (Rooms available through and

The Brazilian Court Hotel - Guest Room - Palm Beach - Florida
Guest room at The Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

Eau Palm Beach Resort and & Spa: At its southern extension, the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa is a magnet, with its whimsical spa and lanai rooms that open onto the beach. (Rooms available through and In season, rooms at most of these properties can run well over $1,000 per night. (Oetker, which operates Le Bristol and the Hotel du Cap, will open the Vineta later this year in Palm Beach.)

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa - Lanai Terrace Suite - Palm Beach - Florida
A lanai terrace suite at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, Florida.

AKA West Palm: In West Palm, just a stroll over the middle bridge, the less opulent new AKA, which has modern suites complete with kitchens and washer/dryers, runs about $350 per night. (Rooms available through and

Hilton West Palm Beach: Across from Kravis Center for the Perming Arts, the Hilton, where rates start at $300, has just completed a $25 million renovation. (Rooms available through and

AKA - Hotel - West Palm Beach - Florida - Guest Room With Pool View
Guest accommodation overlooking the swimming pool at AKA in West Palm Beach, Florida.

PGA National Resort: Farther north, in Palm Beach Gardens, PGA National Resort was renovated to the tune of $100 million, with new Serena & Lily-designed cottages added to the golf course. (Rooms available through and

PGA National Resort - Palm Beach - Florida - Serena and Lily Designed Cottage
A Serena & Lily-designed cottage at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Boca Raton: And south in Palm Beach County, Boca Raton (made famous by Jerry Seinfeld) is having its own renaissance. The legendary resort The Boca Raton, where Palm Royale castmember Kaia Gerber was recently spotted, has been purchased by Michael Dell’s MSD Group and undergone a $250 million renovation including pickleball courts, four restaurants by Major Food Group (Carbone), and a private dining room and champagne terrace at its Yacht Club where rooms start at $1,200 in season. (Rooms available through and

The Boca Raton - Yacht Club - Lake View Suite - Balcony
A lake view junior suite with balcony at The Boca Raton Yacht Club.

Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel: The town has also unveiled a new “midtown” with a Renaissance hotel that has a pool scene, Wet by Meat Market, to rival those in Miami. (Rooms available through and

Also new in Boca Raton’s midtown are a Fiolina Pasta restaurant from D.C. chef Fabio Trabocchi, whose Washington restaurant Fiola earned a Michelin star, and branches of New York restaurants Limani and Gallaghers.

Renaissance Boca Raton - Pool - Wet by Meat Market - Boca Raton - Florida
The poolside setting for Wet by Meat Market at the Renaissance Boca Raton hotel.

The Private Club Scene

The new guard in West Palm Beach is paying homage to the area’s tradition of private clubs, with Nora co-founder Ned Grace and partners planning a members spot. They are in talks to open it with Austin hospitality entrepreneur Larry McGuire, who owns Clarke’s in Aspen and just purchased the Aspen Chalet. Called the 1925 Club, the West Palm Beach club will have a much larger reach than the restrictive island spots, and will be open day and night for working, networking and dining.

Grace also recently opened West Palm’s Cove Club, where the initiation is $15,000, decidedly less than that of Palm Beach’s famed havens. (“That’s the price of a dinner,” scoffs a longtime local of the Cove Club’s fee; memberships at established Palm Beach clubs can hit $550,000.) Mr. C is planning a private club as well.

Palm Beach proper’s clubs remain as exclusive as they were in the ’60s (when Wiig’s Palm Royale character Maxine tries to infiltrate them). When Palm Royale pilot director Tate Taylor and production designer Jon Carlos came to town, they tried to pop in to the Everglades Club. “They tried to pull a Maxine to see what the experience was like,” reveals Sylvia. “They walked in, sat down and were very quickly kicked out.”

A version of this story first appeared in the March 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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