A beautiful masterpiece designed by architect Addison Mizner, the Boca Raton Resort & Club is definitely one of the most beautiful, luxurious resorts I’ve visited. A Waldorf Astoria property located on 365 acres, this Florida vacation destination offers plenty to do. You’ll easily find the pools, the beach, restaurants, and beautiful gardens.
However, there are some special things to do and ways to save a little money while lodging in luxury. I scouted them out for you.
The Boca Raton Resort Hit List
1. Thursday Wine Tasting at Mizner’s Monkey Bar
Mizner’s Monkey Bar is the resort’s cigar, cocktail and wine lounge and is a fun place for a drink stop any evening. However, if you go on a Thursday, make sure to hit the wine tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. $25 gets you a tasting of the week’s featured wines. On my recent visit, I sampled 5 wines by Napa Valley winemaker Joseph Phelps, the most expensive of which retailed for around $200. The cost also gets you a nice wine glass to keep. Not bad!
2. Eat Ragu e Polenta at Lucca
A rich, sherry-filled, savory mushroom stew served over the creamiest, most indulgent grits ever. I don’t care how many calories are in it; I want to eat it every day. The rest of the authentic Italian menu at Lucca is also delicious, but it’s this dish I’ll be wishing for over and over again.
3. Taco Tuesday at Shaka
$5 tacos and half price margaritas in Shaka Bar & Grill, the pool bar at the main resort, heck yeah! On my visit I absolutely loved the regular skinny margarita, which was packed with lots of fresh lemons and limes instead of a ton of sugar. For those who are a bit more adventurous, try the spicy corn margarita, which features jalapeno-infused Don Julio tequila, corn broth, Reyes Anchillo Pepper Liquor, and fresh lime juice—I really liked the corn and pepper flavors here, but it’s not for those who fear spicy. Any cocktails are also available in shareable shakers.
While you sip your drinks from Shaka, you can lounge by this lovely pool.
4. Take a Moonlight Walk
When you stay at the Boca Raton Resort, you also get access to the Boca Beach Club, which can be accessed by a walk, a shuttle that runs from 6 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., or a water taxi. The three pools are the perfect spot for poolside lounging during the day and the half-mile stretch of beach is always private to the hotel. With the shuttle’s extended schedule, it’s quite nice to head over later in the evening after dinner, grab a drink to-go from the upstairs bar, then walk down to the beach for a private sunset or moonlight walk. Not only is this a beautiful way to take in the water, but it’s also fun to get a glimpse of the luxury hotels, apartments and condos that are all lit up.
5. Plan Your Spa Day Strategically
The Boca Raton Resort Spa has been named the number one spa in the world by the Conde Nast Reader’s Choice Awards and has been featured in numerous other travel awards and publications. A visit makes it easy to see why: the spa is 50,000 square feet designed after the Alhampbra palace in Spain. What you might not know when booking is an appointment gets you all-day access to the spa. There’s a peaceful pool that’s only available to spa customers alongside luxurious gardens, saunas, and private whirlpools. If you’re a Jacuzzi fan, it’s also the only spot on the property with them. After my massage and facial, I took advantage of the inhalation room. When you step in here, an attendant helps you lay down in a steamy sauna-like room and places an aromatic compress along with cucumbers over your eyes. On her way out, she sprays an aromatic blend of menthol and eucalyptus oils along the floor. You relax for about 15 minutes and breathe in the soothing scents—as someone with chronic asthma and sinus issues, I loved the way this room helped me to relax and clear my head. Depending on your appointment time, you might want to go early and plan to hit the spa or other amenities before your actual appointment.
6. Stop by Happy Hour at Blue
I thought it was pretty neat that although the Boca Raton Resort’s restaurants did reflect the somewhat expensive resort prices you’d expect, there were happy hours to be found. My favorite was in the bar at Blue, the beautiful scenic restaurant on the 27th floor of the Tower section of the hotel with large windows and the best views at the resort.
On weekdays from 5 to 7 there are $2 oysters, $7 small plates (I recommend the French fries), $7 glasses of selected wines, and $7 special cocktails. I went for the traditional oyster pairing with a glass of Veuve du Vernay Brut—not to be confused with the champagne, this is a light sparkling wine with delicate fruit flavors.
If you stop by not during happy hour, I found the wine list at Blue to be my favorite and the most creative in the hotel. I’d also suggest trying the Ferrante Winery Pinot Grigio—it’s an award-winning wine that’s more full-bodied than your typical pinot grigio—oh yes, and it comes from Ohio!
Many members of my group—both fans of stronger and lighter drinks—also fell for the restaurant’s take on the classic Paper Plane cocktail made with bourbon, amaro, Aperol, and lemon juice.
In terms of food, anything seafood was amazing. For land lovers, I barely got a taste of the cider-braised pork belly appetizer served with creamy polenta and apple-fennel slaw as the savory dish got gobbled down by the rest of the table quickly. The key lime cake is also delicious and nontraditional—layers of key lime mousse and sugar cookie crumble are piled high for an indulgent, bright, tangy treat.
7. Brunch at 501 East Kitchen & Bar
I hate to say it, but the lack of breakfast options was my one little disappointment at the Boca Raton Resort. With the exception of room service or the café, all I could find was a $35-before-taxes-and-tip buffet that I thought was okay, but not worth the price tag. What was worth the price tag, however, was brunch on the patio at 501 East Kitchen & Bar.
Located outside the resort’s main building in the golf club area, this restaurant is beautiful inside and features a spacious patio with a stunning view. Lunch and dinner daily are both delicious, but Sunday brunch, which starts at 11, was a standout choice.
I went for the Mexican lobster chilaquiles, which featured layers of crunchy corn tortillas, salsa verde, over easy eggs, cheese, guacamole, and generous chunks of succulent lobster. Two people could probably share this dish alongside a lighter dish as I barely made it through half of the overflowing cast iron skillet of goodness. I skipped the $15 bottomless mimosas, but this is another great deal. I ate on the spacious patio, and was solo for most of my meal, making for a relaxing and luxurious way to start my Sunday.
After soaking up the patio, no one will blame you if you decide to return for drinks at sunset. The view is absolutely gorgeous and there’s even a little fire pit for chillier evenings.
If you’re looking for a cocktail, try the Mizner’s Old Fashion, which features 1972 Small Batch Bourbon, chocolate and orange bitters, which adds a rich undertone to a classic beverage.
8. Splurge on a Snack at Morimoto
This high-end sushi and raw bar features quality fish with the prices to back it up. Even if you don’t want to spend the money for a full meal at Morimoto, I’d stop in for a snack. Since you aren’t paying for a meal, you can afford to go a little fancy with one dish and I’d suggest the toro tartare. Fresh, clean, flavorful tuna belly is chopped super fine and blended with just a few bits of fried tempura batter to add crunch. That’s served topped with finely chopped chives and caviar and over a tangy ponzu sauce. A little blob of fresh wasabi is served on the side, but the delicious flavors—savory, salty, clean, tangy, and even a little sweet—really don’t need any additional spice. To finish, you get a sweet, tangy umeboshi—a pickled Japanese ume fruit—as a palate cleanser.
9. Save Time at Serendipity
Another gem at the Boca Raton Resort is an outpost of New York’s famous Serendipity. This spot serves the famous frozen hot chocolate, as well as delicious breakfast quiches (my favorite breakfast on the go in the hotel), Starbucks coffee, salads, sandwiches, pastries, and impressive ice cream treats. Since it is the only place with fast breakfast and coffee within the hotel, Serendipity gets busy in the morning and the line can be long. If you are looking for a cup of Joe on the go, you can skip it! Just walk up to the island in the middle of the café, grab a cup, fill out a form with your room number, and take your coffee with you. You’ll be automatically charged.
The coffee bar also features whipped cream on demand with vanilla and another flavor that changes daily so you can make your coffee fancy even without waiting in line.
If you’re headed to the beach or pool, the café is also a good spot to grab small bottles of wine, wine in cans, or single beers. The prices are lower than what you’ll find most anywhere else in the hotel.