Courtesy of The Breakers Palm Beach
While Miami and the Florida Keys might get all the attention from the spring break crowds and bachelorette parties, there's another South Florida city that's ideal for those looking to move at a slightly slower pace: Palm Beach. The 14-mile-long island is perfect for those who just want to find a chaise lounge, pull out the latest beach read, and maybe fit in a little retail therapy along the way.
Riding a beach cruiser down the Palm Beach Lake Trail or admiring the high-end real estate standing guard alongside North Ocean Boulevard, it's easy to feel like you're in another world, or at least another country. Palm trees line nearly every road, Spanish and Mediterranean mansions hide behind towering gates, and bougainvillea bloom at every turn. And one of the best parts about Palm Beach is its convenient location: the international airport is just 5 miles from the center of the island. That means you can find yourself sipping a rum cocktail by the hotel pool within 30 minutes of landing at PBI.
Speaking of hotel pools, there are a few properties in the area that do poolside service, luxurious amenities, and unparalleled views better than the rest. Here are the best hotel pools in Palm Beach for reading, relaxing, and soaking up some Florida sunshine.
Four Seasons Palm Beach
Courtesy of Four Seasons
The first-class service and pampering Four Seasons properties are known for extends into every corner of the Palm Beach location — down to its poolside cabanas, complimentary sunscreen, fresh fruit platters, and sunglass cleanings.
To get to the pools, of which there are two, you'll have to walk through the hotel's restaurant, Florie's, an Instagrammable spot to sip on a floral or botanical-inspired cocktail and snack on some pre (or post) pool ceviche and oysters. If you're the type of hotel guest who likes to wake up early and get a prime spot by the pool, you'll have several options to choose from: classic lounge chairs shaded by umbrellas, cabanas overlooking the pool, or a few choice cabanas that look out on the ocean.
Pro tip: The cabana in the furthest northeast corner of the adult pool is, hands down, where you want to be. If you close your cabana curtains, leaving the front open to the ocean breeze, you'll feel as if you're on your own private island — but with the perks of the attentive staff. To get the most out of your stay, set your alarm for an early morning, grab a coffee and croissant from Florie's, and spend the rest of the day alternating between dozing, swimming, and enjoying the sheer luxury of the pools at Four Seasons Palm Beach.
White Elephant Palm Beach
Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects
White Elephant, a relative newcomer to Palm Beach, has made a splash in the town's hotel scene. The hotel is light, airy, and filled with one-of-a-kind artworks; it has a distinctly Spanish Revival style, an ode to its predecessor in the same location, the Bradley Park Hotel. Each of the 32 rooms has a private outdoor space, a reprieve in the era of Covid-conscious travel, and many look directly over the hotel's pool.
The pool, while compact, sits in the middle of the property, serving as the true heart of the hotel. Black and white striped awnings and umbrellas play foil to the Florida foliage — and create a photo-ready backdrop at every angle. Plus, the poolside treats (hint: they arrive in an ice cream cart) are a hit with travelers of all ages. If you don't want to leave your chair, the hotel's neighboring restaurant, LoLa 41, serves the pool area from 11 to 5 every day. A spicy tuna roll followed by pretzel parfait? You can't find a more indulgent (or delicious) combination for a restorative day spent by the water.
Brazilian Court Hotel
Courtesy of The Brazilian Court Palm Beach
Brazilian Court Hotel might not have an oceanfront location, but its sanctuary-like pool and cozy nooks made for reading or catchups over cocktails more than make up for it. Located just a 4-minute walk from the famous Worth Ave — known for its shopping, art galleries, and bevy of restaurants — Brazilian Court Hotel is one of the most centrally located hotels in Pam Beach. Don't let that prime location mislead you, though; the hotel is the epitome of serenity. The pool, especially, is a tranquil oasis. It's one of the smaller pools on this list, and fellow guests seem to have a mutual understanding that this is a place to find your zen. The swishes of the palm branches surrounding the courtyard paired with an Arnold Palmer (or something a little stronger) are a recipe for sheer relaxation.
Guests can also choose to have lunch alongside their poolside bliss. Prepared at Café Boulud, the on-site restaurant by Chef Daniel Boulud, savory bites include a lobster roll, a cobb salad, and their famous CBPB burger — you'll just want to save room for dinner if you plan to indulge at the restaurant in the evening.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa
The recently renovated Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa made sure to include the open-air pool area in its multi-million-dollar updates this year. The two pools, outlined by palm trees, were inspired by the Riviera lifestyle. Brand new lounge chairs, cabanas, and daybeds accompany the adults-only pool on the south end of the resort, where you'll also find a bar featuring cocktails, cold-pressed juices, and a pool-friendly menu.
The family-friendly pool, just a brief walk away, was updated with all ages in mind. Here, a splash pad and four larger cabanas keep the kids busy and out of the sun when they need a break. If they aren't as big of pool fans as the adults in the party, the kids' club, directly next to the pool, is outfitted with games, art projects, and brain-stimulating fun.
Eau Palm Beach is the ideal pick for travelers who want an "everything in one place" feeling paired with afternoons by the pool. Ocean access, a top-of-the-line spa, and a world-class restaurant (restaurateur Ron Rosa's Polpo opened on the property in March 2022)... there's really no need to leave — at least until checkout.
The Breakers has been around for more than 125 years, but it continues to reimagine its offerings and accommodations while keeping the property's long history intact. Each year, the privately-owned hotel invests around $25 million back into the property — helping keep every inch of the 538 guest rooms, 10 restaurants, 14 boutiques, 10 tennis courts, four championship golf courses, and a Forbes Five-Star spa updated and pristine. It's a mean feat for a hotel of this size, but The Breakers does it with its distinct class and elegance.
There's a lot to fit in, especially if you're there for a short stay, but one area of the property you have to experience is the expansive oceanfront pool area. There are four ocean-front pools, each with a different shape, atmosphere, and view. From the adult-only pool to the zero-entry pool, guests have seemingly unlimited options of where to spend their day. Some choose to sip a coconut drink from a chaise lounge with a view of both the magnificent hotel and the Atlantic Ocean; others, especially families, can rent out one of the 25 pool bungalows. Each bungalow comes with a dedicated concierge, full bathroom, stocked refrigerator, plenty of space to lounge out of the sun, and a range of custom amenities you can request ahead of time.
It's safe to say The Breakers' founder, Henry Morrison Flager, would be impressed with how the hotel has continued to introduce generation after generation to the sunshine, palm trees, and Palm Beach relaxation at its best.