I go to Palm Beach every year for an industry conference. This year the conference was at The Breakers. I was quite excited about this. This hotel was a significant upgrade from the hotel that this conference normally used. I decided to bring my wife along for the trip.
We had a little trouble finding the main enterance to the hotel. The signs are small, and there are many enterences to the property. We did eventually get to the front door.
The hotel is beautiful. It could be the most beautiful hotel in the world. The 1920's lobby is just breathtaking. The facilities are maticulously kept. The place is simply stunning.
The checkin procedure was excellent. It seemed that most of the current guests were checking out and the new guests were checking in at the same time. The valet parking and the front deck were absolutely mobbed, yet the process went suprisingly smoothly. There were hotel attendents placed in strategic areas to keep things moving. I've never seen a check in done this well outside of Japan.
We recieved an upgrade to a partial ocean view room. It was small, but quite confortable. I really appreciated the view of the ocean. There were no ocean view rooms available when I made my reservations, and I was very glad to be upgraded.
The hotel staff was gracious, well trained and very friendly. I would like to give a special compliment to housekeeping. They did a spectacular job, and did it in a very unobtrusive manner. My wife wasn't feeling that good the first couple of days. She spent most of the time in our room. Yet they managed to make it up whenever the room was unoccupied.
The thing I did not like was the quality of the lotion and conditioner in the room. The soaps and shampoo were of good and very good quality respectively, but frankly the lotion and conditioner reminded me of the stuff provided at the Hampton Inn--greasy, not effective, and not pleasant smelling. This was the only thing that I considered as "bad" at the hotel.
Now why do I rate this hotel so low? One major reason--the prices here are utterly crazy. I have traveled a lot and I am not afraid to spend money at a good hotel. I am used to the generally higher prices and don't mind spending more for a quality meal or service. It is just that this hotel digs way too deep. One example is the only meal that paid for out of pocket at the hotel. My wife, my partner and I had lunch by the pool at one of the hotel resturants. None of us had any alcoholic drinks or dessert. We had a bowl of soup, a salad or a sandwich, and iced tea or lemonade. The bill? $160. $45 would have been fair. A ripoff price would have been $60. But $160? It was so nuts that we did not buy any other food or drink at the hotel, which is the first time that we have never bought anything else at a place that we have stayed any length of time. This is especially unusual since my wife and I stayed an extra two days after the conference ended. We ate quite a few meals because of the conference, and everything except for the main course at one of the dinners was very good (beef was a bit dry and overcooked for that one meal). The food was generally very good, but not worth anything near what they were going to charge.
There is a spa at the hotel. The hotel informed us multiple times that there was a 10% discount at the spa for people attending my conference. (They even left a voice mail message informing us of the discount.) With the crazy lunch price experience, I was going to be very careful on purchasing anything here. I looked in the folder in the guestroom for spa information. There was much detail on the treatments offered, but not one price. Hmmm. I called over to the spa to see what a manicure and pedicure would cost. They told me $99 plus 20% mandatory tip. I would normally expect to pay about $80 for that at a place like this. With my 10% discount, it wouldn't be out of line for a hotel like this. I was then informed that my discount was not applicable to this. It seems that this discount applied only to individually priced items. It would apply to a manicure or a pedicure but not both as a package. So basically they gave me a discount on nothing. It felt like a hook to bring me in, then rip me off.
As an aside, my wife and took our car and ended up at the Boca Raton Town Center at "Venetian Nails and Spa" and where she had a manicure and a pedicure with a foot massage for $44 including a 20% tip. The job they did was top rate, at it was one of the best jobs she has ever gotten. My wife was a runway model for years, so I've have much more indirect experience with these things then most guys. The lady who did her nails was named Lotus. 4 and 5 star hotels usually charge double the local going rate for these services, so my $80 expected price was rational.
Now if this hotel is keeping the prices way high to keep the "riffraff" out, then they are succeeding. If they want to maximize their guests enjoyment of their facilities and make more money by selling more services, then they need to rationalize what they are charging for food and services.
It is a real pity because I would like to go back and really enjoy the place, but I cannot enjoy a place where I feel that I am getting ripped off.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in the heart of the island of Palm Beach amid 140 acres of picturesque oceanfront property, The Breakers is recognized as one of North America’s iconic resort destinations. Independently owned, this legendary resort has been completely revitalized to offer a paradise for couples, families, and special gatherings. Revel in a new tropical feeling at the glorious beachfront, play the greens, and enjoy the blissful spa, delicious dining, and incredible services energized by a genuinely caring staff, integral in helping you make fabulous memories. * Nine distinctive restaurants and five bars* A private beachfront oasis with five sparkling pools, bungalows and watersports* An oceanfront spa, offering moonlit massages amid Atlantic breezes* 36 holes of championship golf including the on-site Ocean Course and Rees Jones® Course; a golf academy* 10 lighted Har Tru tennis courts and instruction by USPTA/USPTR-certified professionals* 10 on-site boutiques including Lilly Pulitzer, Guerlain and Ralph Lauren* A family entertainment center and kids’ camp; 11 boutiques.* The Flagler Club, private club level with a private concierge and residential ambiance, Interactive Family Entertainment Center and Kid’s Camp. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Breakers Hotel Palm Beach
- Breakers Palm Beach
- The Breakers Resort
- Breakers Hotel Palm Beach
- Breakers Resort Palm Beach
- The Breakers Palm Beach, Florida