By Hayley Hutson
Since it arrived on the scene nearly a century ago, The Boca Raton has set the standard for luxury and grandeur in South Florida.
Pairing a deep appreciation for its storied history and coastal culture with an unparalleled eye for detail, this timeless property welcomes you with such open arms that you may never want to leave.
Unlike many Florida resorts, only hotel guests and club members can pass through the guard gate that separates the property from the public.
This results in a uniquely upscale experience that feels both wildly exclusive and delightfully intimate, where the waitstaff greets you by name, and you never have to worry about crowds or lines.
The Unmistakable Allure of South Florida’s Crown Jewel
From the moment you set foot on the 200-acre property, you’ll feel like you have been transported out of Boca Raton and into a secluded village designed for the elite.
The sun-soaked resort is dripping in chic coastal splendour at every turn, down to the finest details. The Boca Raton excels at curating every inch of the property in a way that makes each area feel distinctive while keeping with the overarching theme of South Florida luxury.
As you’re basking in the sunshine from Spa Palmera’s private pool, you almost forget where you are and that the outside world still exists.
Later, when you’re sipping a cocktail from a ceramic shark mug by the outdoor bocce courts at Japanese Bocce Club, this notion slips away even further as you embrace the irresistible allure of this idyllic sanctuary.
As long as you’re tucked away behind the iron gates of The Boca Raton, you feel removed from the stresses of your daily life. To call this a vacation almost feels wrong—it’s a restorative getaway in the most archetypal sense.
The Storied History of The Boca Raton
The Boca Raton opened its doors in 1926 as The Ritz-Carlton Cloister Inn, a 100-room inn designed by famed architect Addison Mizner.
The original design was inspired by Spanish-Mediterranean, Moorish, and Gothic influences, characterized by thoughtful details like barrel tile roofs, ornate columns, and intricate mosaics.
Over the years, as the property grew into a local staple, fans began to refer to it simply as ‘The Boca Raton.’ Eventually, the resort embraced the nickname as its official title.
Five Hotels, Five Unique Personalities
From the harbourside to the beachside, a collection of five impressive hotels awaits eager guests from around the world, each with its unique style and personality. First, you have the 294-room Cloister—the iconic structure where it all began.
Located just steps from Spa Palmera, Harborside Pool Club, and Golf Club, Cloister is the perfect playground for guests looking to take advantage of the resort’s most prized amenities.
A short walk from Cloister, you have the newly revitalized Tower, a 27-story building with 224 luxury suites and extraordinary waterfront views.
Set on the resort’s 32-slip marina, the adults-only Yacht Club features 112 elegant suites, each with a private balcony and personal concierge to embody refined lakefront leisure. For those planning an extended stay in paradise, Bungalows makes an ideal choice.
Tucked away in a peaceful corner of the property surrounded by lush greenery, Bungalows boasts 58 two-bedroom suites with full kitchens, dedicated amenities, an exclusive reception area, and a private pool.
The fifth hotel, Beach Club, rests on the resort’s private beach, accessible from the harborside by water taxi. The 212-room oceanfront escape features three pools, private cabana rentals, and waterfront dining.
A New Golden Era: The $250 Million Transformation
Under the reign of new leadership, The Boca Raton is undergoing “its most significant evolution to date” in celebration of its upcoming 100th anniversary.
The $250 million Phase One transformation to ring in a new golden era launched in December 2021, less than six months after MSD Partners, L.P., and Northview Hotel Group acquired the property.
“As we look toward the future, our focus remains unwavering—to provide an extraordinary experience that defines The Boca Raton as one of the world’s most renowned luxury resorts and private clubs,” President and CEO Daniel A. Hostettler said of the transformation.
Since the announcement, The Boca Raton has welcomed several new dining concepts, extensively renovated its hotels, stunningly reimagined its wellness sanctuary, and debuted the highly anticipated Harborside Pool Club.
The four-acre waterfront oasis features three pools, a floating river, luxury cabanas, a FlowRider surf wave simulator, waterfront dining venues, and the Banyan Bunch kids club.
The Boca Raton’s newest culinary concept, Harbor House, recently launched in January 2023 at Harborside Pool Club and celebrates the vibrant flavours of Caribbean and South Florida cuisine.
A World of Flavour at The Boca Raton
From exquisite fine dining to laidback waterfront bites, The Boca Raton offers 12 unique culinary experiences across its expansive property, including four signature restaurants with the renowned Major Food Group (MFG).
Channelling the grand villas of Lake Como, Principessa Ristorante features expansive alfresco seating and 1930s-inspired interiors with an inviting menu that expertly elevates classic Italian cuisine.
Japanese Bocce Club, which opened in October 2022, is located just around the corner but feels like a world away. Serving as the unofficial clubhouse of the resort, the fresh new dining concept puts a playful spin on traditional Japanese fare and overlooks bocce courts lit by string lights and surrounded by Royal Palm trees.
Inside Cloister, MB Supper Club is not to be missed. The traditional supper club with a modern twist was designed in collaboration with lifestyle expert Colin Cowie and aimed to bring entertainment back into the dining world.
From the moment you enter the space and are met with the sounds of live jazz music or the sight of Baked Alaska theatrically prepared tableside, you’re instantly transported back to the 1950s in unrivalled style.
Each of The Boca Raton’s distinctive dining concepts masterfully takes its guests to another time or place while treating them to an exceptional meal they won’t soon forget.
With so many options, it’s unlikely that you will experience them all, but fortunately, you can’t go wrong at any of the resort’s culinary destinations.
Soak up the Sun on Boca Raton’s Only Private Beach
One of the highlights of The Boca Raton is undoubtedly the addition of the city’s only private beach, a half-mile of golden shoreline that offers the perfect respite from South Florida’s often overcrowded beaches.
As you lay outstretched in a luxe cabana that overlooks the ocean, soaking up the sun and sipping an ice-cold mojito, you may never feel ready for this vacation to come to an end.
Hayley Hutson is a freelance travel writer and copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. In her free time, she’s either eating her way through a new destination or listening to one of her favourite podcasts. Her work has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Matador Network, Viator, and more.