In Hungry Concierge, we travel the world to spot hotels that operate with their guests’ food and drink needs squarely in mind — hotels, both big and small, that are located in neighborhoods rich with bar and restaurant options. Because there’s nothing worse than having your trip derailed by crummy room service.
There are a few different levels of room service. Some hotels throw together a short list of mini bar–type items or kitchen leftovers for the primary purpose of being able to say that they offer in-room dining. Others boast leather-bound menus of diverse, albeit dull and overpriced, classics. Feel like ordering up a club sandwich? A Caesar salad? Or even (gasp) a roast chicken? No problem, they’ve got you covered. It’s the third type of hotel — the one that delivers elevated or special cuisine — that is of most interest to us. A full menu from a world-famous, Michelin-starred chef, for example, would certainly qualify under this category.
Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud is at the very center — literally and figuratively — of the Brazilian Court Hotel on the beautiful island of Palm Beach, Florida. Guests and visitors alike can dine (alfresco, if they wish) at the upscale French establishment, though only the former can enjoy the food in the cozy confines of their own room. This amenity is, undoubtedly, one of the reasons the boutique hotel is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World group. Throw in its close proximity — a mere few minutes’ walk — to a renowned golf course, a sprawling beach and the heart of town, and the storied space (it first opened in 1926) hits all the criteria necessary to earn its five-star accolades.
The island of Palm Beach has played home to the rich and famous for decades. The Kennedys owned a property commonly referred to as the “winter White House,” and President Trump maintains private quarters at his own Mar-a-Lago members-only club. Much like the handful of other properties on the island, the Brazilian Court Hotel caters to a wealthy Northeastern demographic, though it relies heavily on guests from other parts of Florida during the long off season (May-November).
There are only 80 rooms at the Brazilian Court Hotel, a far cry from the several hundred available at the Breakers — the island’s most recognizable, and largest, guest property. Each room is unique and features different color palettes, though dark woods, rich mahoganies and crown moldings are present in all. Many repeat guests — “winter birds,” as they are nicknamed — spend the entire “season” at the hotel, staying for up to four months (typically, December through April) at a time in studios and one-, two- or three-bedroom suites. Many of these spacious, classically luxurious rooms are available with patios or terraces. All rooms require entry with a physical key, a classy touch that the hotel elected to keep in place following its latest full renovation in 2009. They are also all equipped with wine captains that hold around ten bottles, a nice feature for guests who want to fly down some special-occasion bottles of vino.
Though it does not lack any modern amenities, the hotel exudes “Old Palm Beach” charm inside and out. The Brazilian Court is modeled after the island’s estate homes, and its Mediterranean-style architecture blends in seamlessly with its private-home surroundings. It is built around two main courtyards, with an abundance of lush, tropical greenery encompassing the white-marble grounds (the aforementioned Café Boulud is located in one of these courtyards; the hotel’s pool in the other). A branch of the acclaimed Frédéric Fekkai salon is also located on the property. The hotel’s approach to hospitality and its unique rooms play to the overall homey feel and aesthetic of the hotel. After all, no two rooms are exactly alike in a house.
The Brazilian Court Hotel just might be the most centrally located venue on the island. Though there is no beachfront area, it’s just two blocks from the ocean (the hotel sets up chairs and umbrellas upon request from guests). It’s less than a five-minute walk from the Everglades Golf Course and just a few steps from some of the hottest tables in town. Check out Buccan for inventive American-Asian cuisine and its next-door sibling Imoto for sushi and izakaya fare. Other dining options a couple of blocks away include Italian institution Bice and the American Ta-boo, known as the only restaurant to be located on Worth Avenue itself (famous for its upscale shopping). The hotel is less than a mile away from both the Flagler Museum and the Society of the Four Arts cultural center.
Did we mention that Café Boulud is located in the hotel itself? Chef visits multiple times per year, and while the menu consists of several of his signature dishes from around the world, there is a heavy focus placed on local ingredients and produce.
The Brazilian Court Hotel
Rates from $200 per night (varies greatly, depending on season)
301 Australian Ave.
Palm Beach, FL 33480