BOCA RATON, Fla. – Nearly a century has passed since the Roaring Twenties, but the owners of the legendary Boca Raton resort, now dubbed The Boca Raton, are about to wrap up a $200 million renovation which pays homage to life, to times and to the Mediterranean. style of architect Addison Mizner, who designed the original resort circa 1926, but also plays on the rise of the city.
The property, home to a sprawling suite of toney hotels and restaurants, began entertaining guests over the Christmas holidays after closing for a year-plus redevelopment that saw its grand lobby supplanted by an indoor sanctuary. elegant pools, bars, a waterslide and other water attractions called the Harborside Pool Club.
Management has designated January 4 as the official reopening day. The resort’s iconic 27-story tower will reopen on April 1. The tower will serve as the resort’s fifth hotel option.
And while other resort buildings have been repainted back to their original Mizner-era “coastal sand” color, the high rise will retain its signature pink.
“The historic architecture of The Boca Raton is a core aspect of our brand DNA and a unique point of differentiation,” Daniel A. Hostettler said in an email response to questions submitted Monday by the South Florida Sun Sentinel. .
“We are committed to preserving the past while leading the property into the future,” he added. “In order to do this in an authentic way, we worked with the Boca Raton Historical Society to ensure our design plans complemented the original vision for the resort.”
He said planners “spent countless hours studying the station’s original designs” that were integral to Mizner’s architectural vision, based primarily on Mediterranean and Spanish colonial styles.
The revamp comes at a time when the town of Boca Raton is undergoing its own makeover that includes a building boom with high-rise condos and luxury apartments, new stores and restaurants, and possibly a Brightline train station for commuters. travelers looking for a high-speed train. trips to other parts of South Florida and Orlando.
“It’s a huge asset to the city,” said Jessica Del Vecchio, the city’s economic development manager, who added that the resort and its rich history can be a bit of a calling card. “A technology company moved here from California. They wanted to know more about the station.
As well timed for opening, Bloomberg listed the city among the top 25 leisure destinations in the world for 2022. He likened the city to places such as Doha, the capital of Qatar; Vienna, Austria; the Galápagos Islands off Ecuador and the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
Critics have specifically named The Boca Raton as its city’s “A-room”.
“Is this a retirement haven or an extension of Miami’s party scene?” asked the article. “Boca Raton is looking more like the latter these days, attracting a younger, permanent crowd during the pandemic and spurring the development of restaurants that don’t trade in early-bird specials.”
The station, the article says, is a place “where membership has grown among forty-something professionals with children.”
“He also owns restaurants from New York’s culinary prodigies, Major Food Group, including a retro-cool takeover of the former golf club, now called Flamingo Grill.”
Opened in 1926 as The Ritz-Carlton Cloister Inn, the resort now has five hotels – Cloister, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Tower and Bungalows – on 200 acres abutting the Intracoastal Waterway.
Between 2009 and last year, the resort was affiliated with the Waldorf Astoria. But ties were severed after the new owners, MSD Partners of Santa Monica, Calif., an investment group led by computer tycoon Michael Dell, opted to create their own independent brand.
So they reverted to the name used by 1940s owners J. Myer Schine and his socialite wife, Hildegarde. It was Madame Schine’s affinity for the color pink that led to the hotel being painted that color.
Amenities include a half-mile private beach across the Intracoastal Waterway, spa, 18-hole golf course, 34-lane full-service marina, racquet club with 16 tennis courts and four pickleball courts, retail shops, four swimming pools and fitness centers.
But only club members and resort guests will be able to use them.
The majority of visitors come from the northeast, “including multi-generational families seeking sun and beach,” Hostettler said.
Many are couples who prefer a stay at the resort’s new luxury Yacht Club. “We also have many Midwestern guests driving down for extended stays,” he said.
On December 1, the station unveiled the MB Supper Club, a nod to the golden age of supper clubs in the 1930s and 1940s, when high society frequented coveted establishments for dinner and a show, the station announced last month.
The club is a tribute to the old Monkey Bar, a cocktail bar dedicated to Mizner, an animal lover who owned a monkey named Johnnie Brown. The restaurant now sports gold monkey sconces, as well as whimsical creatures appearing to romp on red wallpaper.
Hostettler said the resort unveiled the Cloister Hotel in late December, “which serves as the heart of Harborside” and features several new dining concepts.
They include Sadelle’s in partnership with Major Food Group, and the Palm Court cocktail bar, in addition to a revamp of the Spa Palmera wellness venue.
Two other signature dining concepts with Major Food Group will open this winter and feature Italian and Japanese cuisine, he said.
Chronology: approaching a century
1926: Resort opens as The Cloister Inn
1927: Auctioned to Clarence Geist, an avid golfer and utility magnate from Philadelphia, after money troubles arose from the bottom of the Florida land boom
1928-29: The property closes for renovations, adding 300 rooms, an indoor saltwater pool, a golf course, a cathedral dining room, a tiled fountain, and a statue of the daughter of Italian-born sculptor Ettore Pellegatta ( which still exists today) and a grand staircase in the east hall
1930: Reopens as Boca Raton Club as Geist’s “winter club” from January to March for members
1942 – 1944: The US Army buys and occupies the club to house its Air Corps trainees, becoming a training ground and barracks for thousands of soldiers
1944: Hotelier J. Myer Schine and his socialite wife, Hildegarde, acquire the hotel and change the name from The Boca Raton Club to The Boca Raton. Mrs. Schine’s affinity for the color pink led to the hotel being painted that color.
1956: Schines sells Arthur Vining Davis, (ARVIDA), the South Florida developer. Davis extends the tourist season by three months (January to March) from Christmas to Easter and adds conventions to the slower summer months.
1968: The Great Hall is built, seating 1,500 people (now Harborside Pool Club).
1969: The tower is built; the Golf Villas, today the Bungalows, are finished.
1970: opening of the 27th floor and the restaurant at the top of the Tower.
1980: opening of the Boca Beach Club; 212 rooms and 800 meters of private beach, with transport provided aboard a 44-foot pink yacht, “Mizner’s Dream”.
1986: Property reverts to being known as The Boca Raton Resort & Club.
1997: H. Wayne Huizenga and Florida Panthers Holdings, Inc. purchase the property.
1998: The Mizner Center opens with 128,000 square feet of convention center space.
2001: opening of the new golf pavilion; The Palazzo Spa, “designed to replicate heaven on earth,” debuts with 44 treatment rooms, butler service and a swimming pool.
2002: Opening of the eight-storey Yacht Club with a 34-berth marina that can accommodate yachts up to 150 feet.
2004: Blackstone acquires The Boca Raton and joins Waldorf Astoria Collection (Hilton).
2019: MSD Partners, led by California-based IT entrepreneur Michal Dell, purchases the property and begins a $200 million redevelopment.
2021: The resort leaves the Waldorf Astoria collection to become an independent luxury property. Renamed The Boca Raton. Cloister and Yacht Club reopen.
Timeline Source: The Boca Raton
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