If you make it to Miami this week, it’s easier than ever to break from the black-clad Art Basel set and head north to cheery Palm Beach, Fla.
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The Brightline (now Virgin Trains) will whisk you to West Palm in just over an hour with drinks, cheese and charcuterie included in the first-class fare. The high-speed train is also planning to unveil a station in Boca Raton, Fla., by next year.
But high rollers will want to arrive via a 20-minute seaplane jaunt, operated by Blade ($1,950 for up to eight people). The app-based luxury flight company added a new Miami lounge and an in-flight food partnership with BLT this year.
Better still, Blade passengers are invited to the airline’s Thursday night Art Basel bash on Faena’s Pao terrace, which overlooks the ocean and Damien Hirst’s gold-encrusted woolly mammoth skeleton. If two people travel round trip, Blade throws in a two-night stay at that hotel.
Once you’re on the island, there are plenty of new sights to see, beginning with the island’s most iconic hotel, The Breakers.
First opened in 1896, the grand waterfront society spot just renovated its 200-foot-long lobby. The refresher, by New York-based designer Adam Tihany, adds bronze consoles boasting African St. Laurent marble; bronze and glass cocktail tables; upholstered lounge chairs (matching the hand-tufted carpet inspired by French symbolist Odilon Redon); and new paintings.
There’s also new art at the Eau Palm Beach resort, including playful paddleboards designed in collaboration with Estée Lauder creative director Donald Robertson, painter and textile designer Lulu DK and photographer Nicholas Mele. A number were already auctioned off, but the rest will remain on the property this season for guests to enjoy.
And no trip to Palm Beach is complete without a little retail therapy. Royal Poinciana Plaza, which is eclipsing Worth Avenue as the town’s shopping epicenter, is adding six new stores this year, including: Oscar de la Renta; NYC lifestyle brand LoveShackFancy; Italian fashion house Kiton; luxury florist Renny & Reed; contemporary art spot Gavlak Gallery; and Aussie resort-wear brand Zimmermann.
Meanwhile, Paul Labrecque, the New York salon that opened in the shopping plaza last year, is expanding its spa, offering a “society facial’’ complete with LED lights, microdermabrasion and Cryo-Sticks, as well as platelet-rich plasma microneedling treatments in the scalp to increase hair growth.
So far, the season’s biggest dining hits are Italian spots on the south end of Palm Beach County in Delray, Fla. — Elisabetta’s Ristorante on Atlantic Avenue and Rose’s Daughter in the Pineapple Grove Arts District.
In Palm Beach Gardens, Laurent Tourondel of BLT fame has left the French fold and unveiled a coastal Italian trattoria called Scusi.
A string of New York’s toniest bistros are also slated to open southern outposts: Almond Palm Beach is due in January, with Le Bilboquet to follow off Worth Avenue and La Goulue on South County Road.
See you on the beach!