Tucked between West Palm Beach and Miami, The Boca Raton is a classic Florida resort. But, as Andrew Dent recently discovered, a $200 million makeover hasn’t just polished The Boca Raton’s glamour, it’s transformed it into an incredible family holiday resort.
Change your Florida holiday mood to The Boca Raton
A Florida holiday is a great year round option for families. There is so much on offer and we typically set an itinerary where we want to rush around and discover all sorts of things. Hire a car, drive to a beach, go to a theme park, hit South Beach. You know the drill. Well, I have a new idea for you. Stay put in one place, relax and reconnect as a family. Try a resort holiday.
Find The Boca Raton just an hour’s drive north of Miami
One hour drive north of Miami International Airport is The Boca Raton resort. This is one of the most iconic resorts in America dating back to 1929. The big news is that it has recently had a facelift and the owners have spent some $200 million over the last few years, culminating in the relaunch of The Tower complex.
The result is this stunning waterfront complex which now has no less than five hotel concepts on the grounds. Add to that a myriad of options in terms of activities, swimming pools, spas and dining and there is something here for all the family – together and separately.
Old style Florida glamour meets family fun
Many resorts on this stretch of the Atlantic Coast of Florida invoke thoughts of gentle golf or tennis games between affluent retirees. This is certainly on display here, however, if you look further there are a host of amazing family activities too.
Swimming pools, splash zones and The Banyan Bunch kids club
Of course when travelling with kids a great swimming pool is a must. Here The Boca Raton excels with its ‘Harborside Pool Club’. A short walk from The Tower, the pool complex has enough to keep kids occupied for hours. There’s a Family Pool area with Cabanas, a floating river and two fun water slides, and the vibe is distinctly tropical. Just don’t be surprised to see parents trying out the slides and lazy river – using their kids as an excuse for a bit of fun.
If you want some child-free time, you can drop younger ones off at The Banyan Bunch kids club, which is fully supervised. Alternatively, if you don’t mind doing the supervision, the Kids Splash Zone, comes complete with its own Pirate Ship.
Of course The Boca Raton has a Beach Club
Pools are great, but beaches are even better. For those at The Boca Raton, you simply head over to the resort’s Beachside complex. Water taxis and bus shuttles operate regularly from the main resort over to the Beach Club and once there, the team will set you up with day beds or cabanas, and kids can go jump into the warm water.
It’s an amazingly family friendly stretch of beach with a shallow entry and it feels very safe. The waves are a perfect intensity for everyone to try some body surfing. And naturally, you can order food and drinks right to your beach spot so it’s easy to make a day of it.
Racquet sports start with no fewer than 16 tennis courts
Whilst I know most kids are happy with just a pool or beach, for those wanting more, The Boca Raton doesn’t disappoint.
The Racquet Club offers no less than 16 Hydro-Grid tennis courts, and it’s very easy to simply wander up yourself and book. However, if you do want to play with a coach or take some lessons, that’s equally easy to arrange.
Another fun option is Pickleball. Never heard of it? Well it’s the fastest growing sport in America. A combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong, it is played on a smaller court than tennis, with a lower net, and it’s perfect for families.
Find Florida’s Best Resort Spa 2022 at The Boca Raton
The Boca Raton fun doesn’t stop on court. There’s golf on-site, as well as a very comprehensive spa facility.
The ‘Spa Palmera’ is a 50,000 sq foot pink palace of wellbeing which won Florida’s Best Resort Spa at the World Spa Awards 2022. As I can only imagine how tough the competition is for that particular award, there’s no doubt this is the real deal.
Unifying mind and body with a CBD Infused Hydrotherapy Ritual
The team take your health seriously here and the spa menu is as comprehensive – and confusing – as any I have ever seen. I opted for a 50-minute CBD Infused Hydrotherapy Ritual, mainly because it sounded like the most out-there treatment.
After a quick de-stressing in the Inhalation room (pink Himalayan salt) I was escorted for my Ritual Soak in an oversized bath tub. Here the assistant applied a body scrub and ice-cold mint facial.
So far so good. But next up was a whole different mood, ‘The Swiss Shower Massage’. This is basically a deluge of warm water dropping from the ceiling with alarming power. You move your shoulders and head around in order to, ‘unify your mind and body’, or frankly, just to survive. Then the whole process is finished off with a soak in the jacuzzi. Verdict? It was a great experience and, at $165, not overly expensive.
Take a classic yacht cruise on the Intracoastal
A real must when you’re in this part of Florida is to get out on the water in your very own boat. The Boca Raton is situated on the Intracoastal: a 3,000 mile inland waterway that stretches from Massachusetts in the north all the way to the tip of Florida in the south.
Around these parts the Intracoastal is the preferred spot for the super-rich to build their mansions. This in itself makes for a fun boat trip as you can size up the eye-wateringly expensive properties as you sail.
The Boca Raton offers a selection of its own boats for charter. We went out on Relentless, a 42-foot classic cruising yacht which comfortably fits a party of 12, and we chose the sunset cruise with lots of food and drink. As the Intracoastal is always pumping with all shapes and sizes of boat out enjoying the water, it’s really fun for kids, and the cruise was definitely a highlight of our stay.
You’ll never go hungry at The Boca Raton
This being America, the dining options on offer at The Boca Raton are various and fabulous.
At the beach there’s the excellent Marisol which serves food with a Greek mezze vibe and a side of ocean views.
Back at the main resort there is an excellent Japanese, an Italian restaurant and the iconic Flamingo Grill. The latter is designed in the old-school Florida Golden Age style, and the place for local seafood, giant steaks and juicy burgers. Although, eating at The Boca Raton is always incredible and no matter where you choose, you will not go hungry.
The Boca Raton isn’t a cheap family holiday. But it is one you will remember for a lifetime and the convenience of everything being on your door step, as well as ever present Florida sunshine, caps it off. See you on the Pickleball court.
Plan your stay at The Boca Raton
How to get there
Direct UK flights to Miami take from 9 hours, 50 minutes, year round.
The Boca Raton is just under an hour’s drive north of Miami International Airport.
Where to stay
Suites and rooms at The Boca Raton Tower, from £816 per room, per night.