This Florida Resort Is Considered One Of The Most Romantic In The World

Florida has more to offer in terms of resorts than landlocked theme park hubs like Disney World and Universal Orlando. Head away from Central Florida's many hotels and motels, down toward the Miami metropolitan area, and you'll see the dreamy calendar image of beaches with palm trees become a reality if you know where to look.

South Florida has no shortage of places with "Palm Beach" in the name, from the villages of North Palm Beach and Royal Palm Beach to the cities of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. However, the island of Palm Beach holds the hotel called one of the most romantic getaways in the Sunshine State, if not the world. Here, you'll find luxury accommodations with an oceanfront view of the Atlantic in a location where stars like Cameron Diaz and Elton John have stayed.

If you've never heard of The Breakers Palm Beach, it's a world-class hotel that dates back to 1896 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The original hotel burned down in a fire — twice — but the present version has been operating since 1926. It served as an army hospital during World War II and received visits from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and future President Harry S. Truman. Now, with its Florentine Fountain, grand lobby, and architecture based on the palatial Italian villas of the 1400s, The Breakers might serve as the ideal spot for a romantic retreat.

Down by the breakers

Palm Beach is a barrier island, meaning it's situated between the ocean and land and acts as a natural protective strip for the coastline. The Breakers, which is only a 15-minute drive from Palm Beach International Airport, takes its name from the breaking of the waves against the island. It originally opened as The Palm Beach Inn, when it played second fiddle to hotel founder Henry Flagler's other major property, the Royal Poinciana.

That Gilded Age hotel was once the world's largest, with three-mile hallways that necessitated bicycles for its bellhops. However, the Royal Poinciana was demolished during the Great Depression, and by then, The Breakers had already eclipsed it, as guests took to its quieter atmosphere and began requesting rooms "down by the breakers." This eventually led to the hotel's renaming.

The Breakers is still privately owned by Flagler's heirs, which has allowed it to carve out its own piece of Palm Beach luxury apart from the chain hotel system. Over the years, New York business magnates like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller (who still lend their names to Manhattan's Carnegie Hall and Rockefeller Center) also came to be associated with the hotel as guests and-or business associates of Flagler. You don't have to be a billionaire to stay here; that's what the mansions on Palm Beach's Billionaires Row are for. However, The Breakers has a long list of awards and distinctions that might make it worth a visit.

The Breakers experience

In recent years, the hotel's Flagler Steakhouse has earned awards of excellence from Diner's Choice and Wine Spectator. The Breakers itself has consistently earned AAA's five-diamond award, a four-star rating from Forbes, and further recognition from USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Travel + Leisure, and Conde Nast Traveler.

Florida's best beaches are scattered across the state; most are open to the public. But at The Breakers, you'll have access to a private beach, whirlpool spas, infinity-style swimming pools, and the Ocean Course, Florida's oldest golf course. Pull up a stool at the Seafood Bar, and you can rest your elbows on a long bar counter that's an actual aquarium.

Though The Breakers itself is too big to be considered a boutique hotel, you can find one of those housed within it — the exclusive 21-room Flagler Club, which is set to reopen in November 2023 after a renovation period. The Flagler Club offers everything from chauffeured Tesla house car service to a private lounge and rooftop terrace for its guests.

If you comb through Expedia or reviews for The Breakers, they run from "Good" to "Exceptional" on average. The hotel is undoubtedly pricey and may not live up to the hype for everyone. Still, whether it's your first or second honeymoon or just a trip to spend quality time with that special someone, The Breakers has a reputation as one of South Florida's premiere luxury hotels.