Perched on the wide, sandy shores of Riviera Beach in northern Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa offers an intriguing blend of amenities, including the multi-hued, ever-restless Atlantic. With a seemingly endless expanse of beach extending off a natural oceanic reef, two swimming pools, a robust activities program for kids, dining options from deli to gourmet, an award-winning spa, and lavish suites, the property lives up to its moniker, “There’s No Place Like Here.”
Room to Run
Seriously, I could have run laps in our nearly 1,200 square foot suite. But that would border on sacrilegious, as each accommodation is thoughtfully designed for the utmost in relaxation. Ours was a tastefully furnished two-bedroom, two-bath unit with a separate living room, fully-equipped kitchen, and – Holy Convenience – a washer and dryer complete with laundry detergent.
But what really stood out was the warmth of the space. The contemporary décor unexpectedly exuded a welcoming vibe. Perhaps it was the wood-grained cabinets in the kitchen, and the brown leather furniture in the living room. Or the floor to ceiling views of sand and sea.
And don’t even get me started on the cushy down bedding and pillows. It’s worth a stay here if only for a blissful night’s sleep. In fact, due to popular demand, guests can actually purchase the bedding online.
Views, Venues and Menus
Water, water everywhere, and plenty to drink as well. Tantalizing refreshments are served beachside, and at both the infinity pool, and the uber child-friendly lagoon pool. Though we were here on a romantic getaway, the resort – with its unusually reasonable rates and host of family-friendly amenities – is also idyllic for couples with kids as well as for small groups.
Meals at the resort’s Oceana restaurant are events in themselves. The dining room overlooks the beach and the tempestuous waters of the Atlantic, providing dynamic entertainment courtesy of Mother Nature. Crab Eggs Benedict was my breakfast of choice; and with sides of potatoes and fresh fruit, the portion was enough for two.
Dinner? Filet Mignon and sea scallops. All of the menus are varied and creative, and the chefs put an innovative spin on traditional faves. For less formal, in-room or on-the-go healthy meals and snacks, the offerings at the deli are fresh and delectable.
The Face of Palm Beach
It is readily apparent why SiSpa was voted by Conde Naste as one of the Top 100 Spas in the United States.
We voted it the Best Place to be Pampered. SiSpa is comprised of eight treatment rooms, a tea bar, hot stone relaxation beds, sauna and steam rooms and more, much like other high-end spas. But what drew me in was a fairly new treatment that is only offered at this particular Marriott. And now I’m hooked on HydraFacials.
This celebrity favorite treatment is at once more aggressive and gentler than microdermabrasion. The process begins with a deep cleansing followed by dermabrasion, using patented hydropeel tips that dislodge impurities while safely scrubbing the skin’s surface. Hydration, LED lights, and a wonderfully soothing face massage completed the transformation. This non-invasive, non-surgical procedure delivers instant results with no discomfort or downtime. SiSpa goes one step further by offering an add-on Hyperbaric Oxygen treatment that infuses oxygen and further hydrates and smooths the skin.
While conveniently located just minutes from many of Palm Beach County’s glittering attractions – world-class museums, shopping, nightlife and a wide variety of recreational activities, the resort holds its own as a vacation destination. We spent the majority of our time luxuriating in our surroundings, but after our concierge enlightened us about the proximity of the above, we decided to venture away from our opulent oasis.
First stop, the Dive Bar – which was anything but a dive – where we met up with Enid Atwater, a dear friend and colleague. This quirky, picturesque place was ideal for our casual rendezvous. Inside, the centerpiece of the bar was a kaleidoscope of marine life swimming about a massive aquarium.
Outside, our table overlooked a quaint harbor with seabirds flitting about. Our feast of salmon steak, ceviche and oysters tasted even better in this maritime setting.
The next day, we drove less than five minutes from the resort to the world-renowned Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens. Serendipity! Sales were ubiquitous as summer fashions were giving way to fall debuts. Here we discovered a diversity of stores, from high-end Jimmy Choo to the much more modest H&M. The corridors were peaceful and graced with tasteful collections of museum-quality art, making this a most unique shopping excursion.
In Florida, where there are beaches, there are turtles. As animal conservation is one of our passions, our final excursion was particularly meaningful. The Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach is located adjacent to one of the most heavily nested turtle beaches in the world. The Center is recognized locally and internationally as the leading authority in sea turtle education, research and rehabilitation. We got up close and personal with patients in their “hospital beds” or tanks, learned about ground-breaking technologies created here and even adopted Meghan, a recovery Olive Ridley sea turtle who had been injured and stranded on Lantana Beach.
Waves of Gratitude
We encountered some of the friendliest folks on the planet, from shopkeepers to marine scientists, and at the resort, from bellmen to concierge; restaurant servers to sales staff, not to mention fellow guests. Everyone seemed happy and having a good time, whether on or off the clock. And why not?
While Palm Beach proper certainly holds its share of charms, Northern Palm Beach County is a rare gem on Florida’s Gold Coast. One best explored from the luxurious comfort of Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa, close to everything, away from it all, and where the motion of the ocean is outside your door.
Feature story by Lisa Codianne Fowler
Photos courtesy Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Resort & Spa, Gardens Mall, and Patrick Fowler Photography