PALM BEACH, FL –The biggest surprise to those long familiar with The Breakers Palm Beach, a luxury hotel built by Henry Morrison Flagler at the turn of the last century, is the thriving family market it has developed in recent years. The legendary oceanfront resort transformed from a grand dame of formality into one of the most timeless vacation destinations in the world, with an extraordinary accommodation to families.
Recognized by the Wall Street Journal as a “Best Family Vacation,” the resort radiates an irresistible charm that engages adults and children, thanks to its genuinely family-minded and resourceful staff, an aura of casual sophistication, and an array of dining options and recreational amenities. Even with its palatial, Italian Renaissance design, the hotel has the feel of an inn for discerning families. Accommodations and guest services ensure that comfort is on par with the elegance one would find at a grand residence.
The Breakers’ Family Entertainment Center, outdoor playground and Camp Breakers satisfy today’s families who want their children to enjoy memorable experiences while on vacation. At the same time, adults have the option to savor indulgences on their own, such as The Spa, a lively evening of drinks and sharing plates at HMF, or a romantic dinner at one of the resort’s multiple restaurants.
According to Tricia Taylor, senior vice president & general manager of The Breakers and the mother of two children, “We want to enhance the overall resort experience for guests of all ages and to make their stay as memorable as possible. This commitment is evident in virtually every area of the hotel, and fosters great loyalty among our clientele – including the little ones,” she continued.
The Breakers accommodations were redesigned with families in mind, and a number of its rooms are connected. Families have the opportunity to reserve in advance up to three adjoining guest rooms, including king and double-bedded rooms to give adults more privacy while the kids are in close proximity. As always, children 16 and under stay free in the same room as their parents, and have the choice of a rollaway bed or sofa bed (where available).
At the time of reservation, many details can be covered in advance of arrival to ensure the optimal experience for families. Guests or their travel agents can provide helpful information to the resort
during the booking process (such as estimated time of arrival, food allergies and ages for childproofing), to give parents greater peace of mind and to create a safer environment for youngsters. Services and amenities include:
- Childproofing is available at time of booking. Names and ages of children are entered into the guest’s record, and if there are infants or children ages one to three, this service is offered. If requested, plastic bags are removed from garbage pails, horizontal surfaces are cleared, furniture corner guards are added; outlet sockets are covered; and for infants specifically, an infant bath can placed in the tub and its spout covered. Bottle warmers and nursing equipment are also available and can be requested at the time of reservation. Bed rails and diaper changing tables are also available if needed.
- Step stools for children; available for families/guests with children three years of age and older, upon request
- Childcare specialists experienced in caregiving for infants, toddlers and children of all ages, with certification in CPR, first-aid and automated external defibrillator (AED), and first-hand knowledge and familiarity with the resort. It is recommended to book in advance of arrival and 24-hours in advance of babysitting reservation.
- Mini-refrigerators can be reserved in advance. The fridge can be stocked with child-friendly items such as juice boxes upon request.
- Strollers available for use during guests’ stays, for nominal fee
- Media options: in-room movie system offers games or age-appropriate movies. All rooms feature family-friendly cable channels such as The Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network™
This unique and captivating program provides children to create memorable experiences. Camp Breakers is a seven-day-a-week program offering fun-filled, organized activities flexibly based on children’s developmental skills, recreational and social interests. Activities are specially designed for ages 3 to 5 (Shortboards) and 6 to 12 (Longboards), with a focus on creativity, imagination, arts & crafts and outdoor adventures. Campers also partake in activities such as sports to promote health and fitness, water games to enjoy the resort’s oceanfront location and various crafts designed to create a special memento of a child’s stay.
Operated by a staff fully-trained in CPR, AED, and first aid, camp maintains a one-to-six counselor-to-child ratio for land activities and a one-to-four ratio for swimming activities. They encourage sun protection and help children to re-apply sunscreen regardless of weather conditions. Participants are provided with water and snacks throughout the day. Lifeguards are present at all water events.
Camp is flexibly scheduled and priced per morning session (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.), and full-day session (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.), as well as evening (5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.), to accommodate family and individual preferences. Night camp sessions include a dining experience, followed by outdoor activities such as lawn games, playground activities, star gazing, and bonfires on the beach.
Signature Recreational Amenities
Inclement weather never puts a damper on happenings at The Breakers. Children and their parents can visit the Family Entertainment Center – a secure, self-contained 6,100-square-foot complex that is open daily. Resort staff members float throughout the facility at all times, readily available to provide guest service. The Center features:
- Arcade featuring a video game lounge with Xbox® One and PlayStation® 4 surrounded by more than 20 classic and contemporary games
- Toddler and children’s playroom surrounded by glass windows (allowing patrons of the adjacent family-friendly Italian Restaurant to view their children inside)
- Camp Room, featuring a 1,000 gallon Salt Water Aquarium filled with indigenous marine life
- Indoor activities include seasonal themed parties, magic shows, juggling shows, face painting, indoor “photo” scavenger hunt, etc.
- Outdoor activities include bonfires on the beach, catamaran cruise, outdoor carnival, kayak races, snorkeling, drive-in movies on the golf course in golf carts and dive-in movies in the pool, among many other seasonal and holiday-specific activities
- Outdoor sports court featuring basketball, floor hockey, dodgeball, hopscotch, and more.
- Playground 4,500 square feet of outdoor space featuring slides, tunnels, bridges, puzzles and interactive games featuring sensory components. Benches are nearby for parents to supervise comfortably whether under the area’s sunshades by day or lights at night
- Bicycle rentals are available for personal use or as part of a guided tour of Palm Beach; helmets are available and must be worn by all children under 16 years old
- Four pools are on the premises; one specifically for families - the Active Pool with zero depth entry.
- Luxury Poolside Bungalows near the Active Pool are available for day rentals. Families can enjoy each pool area and having the conveniences of a home, such as a refrigerator, TV, Playstation® 3 games, full private bath and a Bungalow Concierge to fulfill requests, whether it’s a new pool toy or an ice cream treat
- Pool activities can include Kids’ Intro to Scuba and poolside activities such as glitter tattoos and spin art
- Swimming lessons and water sport activities are available upon request for an additional fee
- The Ocean Golf Course features Family Fun Golf after 3:00 p.m. for at least one adult and one child of any relation. Adults pay a nominal fee for club rental, shoe rental and greens fee, and children 5-16 are free. Children’s club rentals are complimentary and children's tees and scorecards are available. The Ocean Course is recognized by U.S. Kids Golf and Play Golf America as a Family Friendly Facility.
- Junior Golf Academy instructors cover a variety of topics including full swing, chipping, putting and on-course play. Summer camps, after-school programs, holiday and spring break clinics are available
Daily Family Events and Activities For All Ages
Events designed for family participation are scheduled year round at The Breakers. A roster of Daily Activities & Entertainment enchants guests of all ages and varying interests, from hotel scavenger hunts, environmental and historic hotel tours, and bicycle tours of Palm Beach, to family fun golf, guided snorkeling adventures and catamaran cruises. À la carte family time sets up parents and children to enjoy a private activity together at the multi-faceted resort – a snorkeling excursion, bike ride, kayaking trip, golf or tennis round-robin or even an eco-tour.
“At The Breakers, a pleasurable time eating out does not have to translate into ‘babysitter!’” affirms Nick Velardo, vice president of food and beverage – restaurants, and the father of two boys. “In fact, guests thoroughly enjoy our restaurants with their children, as a wonderful backdrop for shared experiences,” he continued. Each of the resort’s distinct restaurant concepts – regardless of the level of formality – is family-friendly, thanks to its staff preparedness and responsiveness. The resort features a wide range of dining options from casual to elegant settings, including seven on-site and one situated off-property. Children three years of age and under eat free of charge when ordering from the children’s menu.
All restaurants, with the exception of HMF, have children’s menus (including healthy options) with coloring books and crayons, and the team at each restaurant ensures that service, the atmosphere and food are tailored to the needs of the young, by offering the following:
- Incorporating organic ingredients to provide healthy yet tasty menu items for kids
- Customizing menus to accommodate food allergies and dietary restrictions
- Fast service, with kids’ orders placed immediately so they can have their entrees while parents enjoy leisurely, multi-course service
For the in-between snack, there is a full in-room dining menu for children and News and Gourmet for packaged items, cold-pressed juices, fruit, and ice cream.