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Palm Beach, FL: Beach at the Breakers, Four Seasons & Ritz?

Palm Beach, FL: Beach at the Breakers, Four Seasons & Ritz?

Old Mar 24th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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Palm Beach, FL: Beach at the Breakers, Four Seasons & Ritz?

Thinking about going to Palm Beach area for a week in early May and wanted input about the beaches at these 3 resorts. I've stayed at the Breakers many times but have heard good things about the other two hotels. I'm primarily interested in the beach - pool is irrelevant to me and fancy rooms are nice, but my focus is reading on the beach, walking up & down, going in the water, etc. I've heard that the beaches @ Ritz and Four Seasons are small - anyone have any thoughts? Also, are there local restaurants or grocery stores within walking distance of both? Thanks!
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 02:21 PM
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There's a small, upscale shopping center right across from the Ritz. It has a Thai/Sushi place, a regional theater (Florida Stage), and several other shops and restaurants. Grocery stores would probably be on the mainland. Sorry, can't comment on the beach as it's been a long time. I'm sure it's just fine for reading, swimming, walking. If you're looking for a change, I doubt you can go wrong. But the Breakers definitely wins for authentic, old world elegance in my opinion.
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Old Mar 24th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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We stayed at the Four Seasons a few years ago, technically it's in Manalapan, just next to Palm Beach, and the beach and pool area was very nice. We had teen boys with us who enjoyed it too. Great service, beautiful hotel. Would stay there again.

Call the hotel directly for walking distance shops. There was a small strip mall across the street, but I don't know what all is there now.
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 12:21 PM
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The "strip mall" is actually across the street from the Ritz Carlton in Manalapan (not the Four Seasons) and it actually contains a lovely food market The Epicurian. The Ritz was redone within the past 2 or 3 years and is beuatiful. However, the beach was greatly reduced in size by a hurricnae a few years ago and is now very narrow. The Breakers definitely has the better beach as well as a wonderful location near the heart of Palm Beach. And there is even a Publix supermarket within walking distance (with a parking lot full of Rolls and Bentleys).
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Old Apr 21st, 2009, 12:36 PM
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Even though the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons are very nice, I'm a big fan of The Breakers.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Now that I'm back from my stay at the Ritz, I thought I'd provide some feedback about the hotel, beach, and food options in case anyone else is interested.

The hotel itself was fine - a typical Ritz. I did really enjoy the ocean-view balcony though for breakfast or relaxing before dinner. The hotel grounds are condensed fairly tightly. I liked the smaller, quieter pool much better than the large pool near the sauna.

I'm really a beach person and at first, was disappointed to see the entrance to the public, municipal beach right smack next to the Ritz. This meant the Ritz beach was occupied by Ritz guests, plus anyone else who wanted to plop down their towels or chairs. But, it ended up being fine. The beach wasn't crowded and many non-Ritz guests walked further down the beach. I loved the beach itself, even though it's narrow, because it extended for miles in either direction and was great for walking and viewing houses. Lots of shells, neat pebbles, etc. The Ritz provides plastic lounge chairs for the beach, towels and umbrellas ($15 per day). The beach service wasn't so great and I ended up setting up my own chairs each day - not a big deal, but I noticed most people looking bewildered until they tracked someone down at the pool to help them. The waves were perfect, although a lot of the entry points were flat, seaweedy slabs of rock that were navigable but might worry some folks. I spent each day walking on the beach, reading, watching the waves, and daydreaming. Had lunch on the beach from Breezes (their casual dining restaurant) but the menu seemed limited and high-priced.

Food options were my only big complaint about the Ritz. Typically, I like to walk to various local restaurants but the only ones close by were an ice cream parlor and a steak house across the street. The gourmet food market that used to be across the street was evicted so there was nowhere to buy snacks, except at the Ritz gift shop....poor selection and tres expensive! The hotel restaurants didn't appeal to me at all (limited, very trendy menus at top $).

I did enjoy my stay there, but will probably return to The Breakers since I know they have lots of options within walking distance, I like the rooms and their beach is wider. (Their restaurants are top $ too, but at least I can go to other spots!)
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