What I learned about luxury services that others have overlooked
I’ve stayed at five-star hotels in Milan, Rome, Las Vegas, Hawaii and more, yet it’s my recent stay at the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida that I rave about to my friends.
“Handsome grounds with intimate settings designed to share refined experiences…”
How can an 80-room hotel that’s a block away from the Atlantic Ocean compete with some of the world’s finest brands in world-class destinations? They don’t try to compete – they find their niche and know their audience.”Handsome grounds with intimate settings designed to share refined experiences…”
As I drove along the historic and classically beautiful Australian Avenue in Palm Beach to the valet of the Brazilian Court, there were two well-crafted Ferrari’s and a Bentley gently placed along the paved driveway entrance, and patrons that looked much like a crowd I would like to get to know better. And here’s the real charm… I encountered smiles and an approachable air to all that conveyed: “Hi, care to join us for a glass of fine wine and genuine conversation?”
That’s exactly what took place, and is the secret ingredient from what’s missing from many sprawling resorts designed to isolate – handsome grounds with intimate settings designed to share refined experiences with companion guests.
Here are some of the gems that the Brazilian Court hotel offers that make you say: “mmm” and “ahh”:
Hidden nooks – Restaurants and spas and hotel suites get all the press, however, the gardens and hideaway lounge chairs discretely placed about the grounds are what I found most refreshing. Another example of not trying too hard to gain revenue from every inch of a hotel.
Lounge atmosphere – Here’s where the “ahh” comes in… singer Raquel Williams delivered elegant renditions of Frank Sinatra, Sade, Etta James and more in the hotel lobby. Conversations with intriguing guests seated nearby added to the experience.
Turndown service – OK, I know, turndown service is nothing new, yet I felt the staff truly wanted me to enjoy a tranquil night in my suite donned with luxurious fabrics, and a scent in the air that was oh-so wonderful at just the right volume. Bedside slippers, a personal note from the staff, and a chocolate is always a nice touch as well.
A real key – I don’t know why, but a good old-fashioned ‘real’ brass key to the suites just fits the ambiance.
Café Boulud – The French-American dining venue is warm and inviting, and once-again void of the hushed, snobby crowd, and filled with laughter and conversations with fellow worldly travelers, assisted by cozy and open seating arrangements. I recommend the farmer’s market inspired Kale Salad with clothbound cheddar, Florida peach, pecan and honey vinaigrette followed by the Grilled Local Swordfish with artichoke, nduja, cipollini onion and parley coulis – “mmm”.