A Taste of Luxury at the Boca Resort

When it comes to vacation planning, most guys I know really don't focus on spa facilities. For the most part, when looking at a hotel's web page, I might look at the rooms, restaurants or activities. Spa? Well... just not on the top of my list.

It was no different when we schedule a 2006 July 4th weekend vacation to Boca Raton, FL. With low season in full swing (even with the July 4th holiday), we found some good deals at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. Run by LXR Resorts, one of our company's clients, the resort truly offers a full-service experience that appeals to most tastes and budgets.

Before we talk about the Spa, let's talk about the resort. First off, you can choose several levels of rooms. West of the Intercoastal Waterway are the Yacht Club, the Tower, the Cloister, the Boca Bungalows and the Boca Beach Club. The only beach-side option is the Beach Club, where we stayed. We had an ocean view room with a great view of the sea.

The Cloister is in the oldest and most classical section of the resort. The architecture of the main buildings is stunning but, from what I've heard, the rooms are not as nice. I know someone who stayed in the tower and really liked his room. To me, the choice is simple - on the beach or off the beach. We wanted to be next to the beach and the rates were pretty reasonable.

For dining, there were several options on the resort. Lucca has excellent Italian food and the scallops are highly recommended (they were recommended to me so I'm passing it on...). Bar Luna is a nice place for an evening drink. Cathedral has stunning vaulted ceilings and great windowside seating but the breakfast buffet is a bit overpriced, especially if you get there late and get somewhat "pushed out". I would not recommend Cappy's or Cabana at the Beach Club - they'll work in a pinch but otherwise, you can do better. No matter what you choose, prices will be high - just expect that to be the case.

Breakfast at The Cloister

The beach by the resort is nice and wide - crushed shells and coral and fun for kids who like to rummage for shells. You can also rent jetskis for half-an-hour and hour via a beach side shack. Two pools are located right by the beach - one is more adult-oriented than the other. Both are surrounded by pool side cabanas but the prices are not worth it. The clientele, while we were there, were mostly from the northeast but you'll find that to be the case in south Florida - both tourists and residents. There is a bit of a vibe with an attitude - so much so that a waiter in town thanked us for thanking him. He said he was used to being ordered around.

So... the spa. My wife really wanted to attend a spa while we were in town and, rather than looking at options off the resort. we opted for Spa Palazzo. Signature treatments and Spa treatments are pretty expensive but probably comparable to other high end spas. There is a reason to overpay, though. If you purchase a spa treatment - and it can be something as simple as a 25 minute back, neck and shoulder massage for $75.00 (!) - you have access to spa facilities for the day. That includes very nice locker rooms and lounge areas, separate food options and an amazing pool area. To me, it was worth it just to enjoy their luxurious pool area. The atmosphere is drastically different than the "common" pools. We felt it was the best part of our stay at the resort.

The pool area at Spa Palazzo

Our last shot in Boca... you had to pry us from the pool.

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