Overview: A highly refined, luxury beach-front resort
Strengths: Quality of rooms, service, views
Drawbacks: Meaningful beach erosion over the years
I’ve stayed at the Four Seasons Palm Beach well over a dozen times in the past twenty years. Across those stays, the hotel has demonstrated itself to be a very consistent and refined luxury beach resort. Of the luxury choices in Palm Beach (and nearby Manalapan), for adult travel, I find the Four Seasons to be the top choice.
I was greeted by several doormen as I arrived at the hotel and took advantage of their valet parking. The check-in process was smooth and efficient. I was told about my upgrade without having to ask for one, and all of the other FSPP benefits were explained to me.
I was offered assistance getting to my room, but I declined, being so familiar with the property.
For my recent stay, I booked via a Four Seasons Preferred Partner travel agent. This afforded me an upgrade from an Ocean-View Room to a Premier Ocean Front Room. The Premier Rooms are significantly larger than the regular rooms, and include a full size sofa and a full size balcony. (Regular rooms don’t have a sofa and have smaller, angled balconies. Nearly every room at the hotel has ocean views of some degree or another, with the majority having very good views.
To orient yourself of the hotel, picture the property as being shaped as a U, open to the ocean. The regular rooms are along either side of the U, offering angled (but still very nice) views of the ocean. Premier rooms are in the bottom part of the U, facing directly east. The limited number of suites are almost all at the ends of the U, closest to the ocean.
Their Premier rooms were re-furnished in the last two years, and while the layout hasn’t changed, the furniture has a much more up-to-date feel to it.
The bathrooms have had full renovations as well. Whereas previously only suites had separate tubs and showers, now the Premier rooms (and I think non-Premier rooms) have separate walk-in showers. This was a welcome improvement, but did come at the expense of a second sink. This was a worthwhile trade off.
The balcony overlooked the pool with direct ocean views.
There was one slight issue in my room. The modern “chain” did not catch, and even when fully engaged, the door would still fully open from the outside. Other than this, everything else in the room was in pristine condition.
A fresh orchid provided a nice touch in my room.
Spa and Gym
I pre-booked a massage during my stay. I requested a strong female therapist and was not disappointed with the massage. I was, however, the last booking of the day, and it was clear in the locker room that I wasn’t expected to linger much.
The gym is quite large (over 5,000 square feet) and has new equipment. I did not take photos.
Bar and Dining
The property offers three dining options – Jove, Graze and AB&G. Jove, the “fancy” restaurant, used to be simply known as “The Restaurant” and was ranked by many critics as one of the top restaurants in Florida. I always enjoyed eating there, though both the menu and décor were a bit tired. Now called Jove, the restaurant is fully renovated and offers a modern Italian menu. I was able to use my full $100 food and beverage credit here for dinner for one.
Graze is the “casual” restaurant at the property. It offers a diverse menu, what you’d expect from a Four Seasons “casual” restaurant. Atlantic Bar and Grill, sometimes referred to as “AB&G,” is the beach-side restaurant. Though I didn’t eat here this time, I have previously and always found both the menu and service to be good.
There is also a lobby lounge, called the Living Room. I’ve always found this to be a very comfortable spot to have a pre-dinner cocktail (even more than the bar in Jove), but have found the hours of service here to be less and less over the years. I wish there was more continuous waiter service available here.
Pool and Beach
Most importantly, the pool is kept at a comfortable temperature and the beach is just a few steps from the pool. The beach has suffered a meaningful amount of erosion over the years from all the storms. While it is smaller than in the old days, the sand is silky (no rocks) and the water is very swimmable. Those seeking large waves will generally be disappointed, but if you like to just relax in the ocean, you’ll be very pleased.
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Over the years and a dozen-plus stays, I’ve only been upgraded beyond a Premier room once. In general, Premier is as far as this property upgrades to as there are very few suites at this hotel. In that one situation, I had booked two connecting ordinary rooms and they upgraded us to what was then called the Magnolia Suite. That suite is now referred to as a Deluxe Oceanfront Two-Bedroom Suite. It has two full bedrooms and two full bathrooms as well as generous living and dining areas and a powder room.
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When you visit Palm Beach, there are three main choices for hotel – the Four Seasons, the Breakers and the Eau (f/k/a Ritz Carlton), which is down in Manalapan (the town immediately south of Palm Beach). Each of the properties has their own distinct feel. Having stayed at all three multiple times, the Four Seasons remains my favorite – though each has their own unique strengths. I’ll endeavor to review the other two in the coming months.
Four Seasons Palm Beach
Telephone: +1 561 582 2800