Singer Island Hotels: Palm Beach Marriott

The waves gently lapped the shoreline. A swimmer drifted slowly by, fins flapping, snorkel poking out from the water. The morning sun bathed the scene in a soft light as life began to stir along the coast. I sat sipping my coffee, gazing out the window, absorbing the moment. “Why would you want to be anywhere else?” asked Roger Amidon, general manager of the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa, and my breakfast companion for the morning. I could only nod my head in agreement.

The Palm Beach Marriott, one of the best Singer Island hotels sits on one of the more famous barrier islands along Florida’s eastern coastline. Named after a member of the Singer Sewing Machine family, the island boasts more than four miles of pristine, white sandy beaches that have been recognized as some of Palm Beach County’s finest – quite an honor for the discerning tastes of one of Florida’s most sophisticated and cultured counties.

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The Resort: “This is the only all-suites oceanfront resort in Palm Beach county,” Amidon proudly states. The one and two-bedroom suites host guests in condo-style accommodation, complete with fully equipped kitchens and separate living rooms. The private balconies are the perfect spot for sipping coffee in the morning, or indulging in an evening glass of wine while watching the sun set over the Intra coastal Waterway to the west. It’s more akin to a luxury residential property than a traditional resort. Their tagline “come live with us” encourages visitors to immerse themselves in that feeling of being at home. The resort strives to create a sense of community.

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As part of Marriott’s recent great room initiative, which is geared towards the next generation traveler, the property has conducted a series of renovations aimed to facilitate social interaction among the guests. The lobby is no longer just the place where you check in, it’s a gathering point. The new granite-topped communal table in the bar area boosts conversations. The color palette is described as “coastal living,” enhancing the relaxation element of the experience by the use of creams and soft hues.The friendliness and attentiveness of the staff further confirm the standards of this upscale environment.

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The Dining: There are several dining options on site. The outdoor Reef Tiki Bar offers a casual ambiance, with beachside tables and tropical decor. Go here to grab a bite of lunch without having to sacrifice any beach time. Or be serenaded by steel drums while sipping on fresh-made margaritas at the Lagoon Cantina. This Mexican and Caribbean-themed restaurant is located in the Lagoon pool area – great for families. Moving back inside the dining options step up a notch. The 3800 Ocean Lounge boasts that blue granite-topped communal table, and tempts locals and guests alike with cocktails and a vibrant social vibe. I opted for the signature Singer Island Martini, made with fresh blackberry and blueberry house-infused vodka, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh-squeezed citrus juice, pineapple juice and cranberry juice. Complete with a pink heart-shaped ice cube.

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But the main attraction is 3800 Ocean. The sophisticated American regional cuisine of this restaurant is matched only by the beauty of the oceanfront views from its oversized windows. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a comfortable but stylish setting. Our meal began with confit of duck strudel with goat cheese, spinach, and sour cherry as an appetizer. For the main course, the grilled chicken and orecchiette with sun-dried tomato and the cracker crusted halibut with braised leek, fingerling potatoes and lobster nage left us completely satisfied.

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We paired our meal with a gorgeous glass of Sonoma Valley Kunde Estate cabernet. The wines available are impressive. In fact, Wine Spectator will be recognizing 3800 Ocean’s wine list along with The Breakers, the only two to be featured in the area. One of the things this Marriott does exceptionally well is uniquely tailored services. And dining is no exception. 3800 Ocean offers guests a special dinner called Kitchen Table. This exclusive experience includes a five-course menu for up to five guests, custom created by executive chef Larry LaValley based on freshly sourced ingredients. No two dinners will be the same. And custom wine and cocktail pairing is available upon request.

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The Spa: No luxury hotel would be complete without an award-winning spa. The Si Spa in Palm Beach has been named one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 100 U.S. Resort Spas, offering guests a retreat from it all in an 8,500 square foot facility. The space is divided between separate men’s and women’s locker rooms and relaxation areas, eight treatment rooms, manicure and pedicure areas, an outdoor patio with jacuzzi and a fitness center. I was greeted warmly upon entering the Si Spa, and after enjoying a complimentary glass of champagne in the relaxation room was ushered in one of the rooms for my treatment. I was to receive the Hydrafacial, a signature treatment specifically designed to refine skin texture and tone using a simple, non-invasive technique. My therapist was extremely knowledgeable and professional, leaving me with a glowing complexion that lasted for days.

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The Activities: Palm Beach is a magnet for beach lovers, water sport enthusiasts, shoppers and culture aficionados alike. The Palm Beach Marriott recognizes the varied interests of its visitors and makes great effort to provide a form of entertainment to suit every taste. Those keen to ride the waves can rent surf boards and take a few lessons, if need be. The more daring sportsmen and women can take a boat a short distance offshore to dive the third largest reef in the world, which stretches from Martin County south to Broward County. Anyone not keen to get wet can take advantage of one of the more than 200 cultural attractions on the Singer Island. The resort can organize anything a guest would like to do. They offer onsite activities, such as beach bonfires with s’mores, big-screen dive-in movies at the Lagoon pool. One of the more unique activities involves the local Loggerhead Marinelife Center. Guests of the resort can purchase packages for a VIP tour of the turtle rehabilitation facility and go turtle watching for females laying their eggs on the beach at night.

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The Life of Luxury Package in Palm Beach: The resort offers several packages, but the most special, and most exclusive, is the Life of Luxury Package in Palm Beach. This vacation package absolutely spoils guests with world-class service. It includes a three-night stay for four people in the opulent Presidential Suite, a 2,160 square-foot suite with two separate bedrooms with their own bathrooms, dining for up to five people and a wrap-around balcony that overlooks the ocean. Guests are transported to the resort from Palm Beach International Airport by limousine, and greeted with complimentary welcome champagne. A butler is available to sort the luggage and any clothing that needs attention. While on property, package holders receive unlimited water sports and a private beach cabana. They also enjoy an eight-hour sail aboard a 75-foot private yacht, complete with meals and beverage service. They are also treated to a candlelit dinner on the beach with live music, and an in-suite champagne breakfast on the day of departure before being whisked back to the airport, once again by limousine. And all of this VIP treatment will only set you back just over $28,000.

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Amidon and I sat in companionable silence as we finished the last of our meal. Throughout the course of the morning, I had been struck by his enthusiasm. He greeted every staff member by name, shaking their hands and showing genuine interest in their task. He graciously answered my questions and provided me with a wealth of information about the resort and local area. And his attitude perfectly embodied the atmosphere of the Palm Beach Marriott Resort & Spa – I felt entirely at home, and glad I had lived with them, if for only a night.

Amy Lynne Hayes

Amy Lynne Hayes is a freelance writer and designer best known for her absolute refusal to stay in one place for very long. After studying art and design in Orlando, London and Paris, and working for a boutique design firm in Melbourne, Australia, Amy focused her attention on her first passion: travel. Her blog, Créatrice Mondial, means “global creator” - the perfect description. She recently set up home base is Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she can usually be foundsipping wine on her balcony, dreaming up her next great adventure.

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