Four Seasons Palm Beach (Trip Report with Photos)

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  1. elitetraveler1A

    elitetraveler1A Silver Member

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    Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach (Trip Report with Photos at end)

    -Booked through Four Seasons Preferred Partner
    -Room: Premier Ocean-View Suite (formerly known as the Magnolia Suite)
    -3 night stay


    Our stay at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach was excellent overall, with the service being the highlight. We were treated exceptionally well (I believe in part to the Preferred Partner status of our booking, but more so due to the fact of the suite we had booked and also my contact with the concierge ahead of time in planning special surprises for our anniversary). The hotel has an elegant, yet smaller feel – I much prefer this property over the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach or the Breakers which is just too large for my liking.

    Room: We stayed in the “Premier Ocean-View Suite” which is the largest one bedroom suite in the hotel. It was formerly known as the “Magnolia Suite” and, in fact, still states such on the door. It is approximately 1265 square feet and is situated on the left end of the 2nd floor of the four floor main building. There is a very spacious living room, with a separate dining room with 4 seat dining table and floor-to-ceiling windows with plantation style shutters. The living room has two very spacious couches and a large coffee table. Off the dining area, is the large terrace. The terrace has a table and chairs, in addition to two lounge/beach chairs. The bedroom area itself is also large (I believe the bedroom portion is the same as a “Premier Ocean-View Room” layout) with a separate couch and desk area, along with small balcony overlooking the resort pool and the ocean in the distance. There are two full bathrooms in the suite. The larger bathroom is off the living room, which is the one my wife took! There is a large shower area with rainhead in the ceiling, along with a handheld, one sink, and a toilet. Note there is no tub, but this bathroom is just more spacious. The bathroom in the bedroom is also quite nice, although a bit small. It contains a smaller shower area (no rainhead, but a traditional showerhead and also a separate handheld), a soaking tub and padded head cushion, and toilet area with door. As for closet space, there is a large walk-in closet in the living room, which had more than enough space, and also a smaller closet in the bedroom. There are 2 large flat screen TVs and DVD player for each, as well as 2 Bose Wave systems with ipod docks. Note there is no floorplan of this suite on the website nor in the Quick Reference Guide pdf.

    The newer room redesign is great and we loved the soft colors. The view on the large terrace from this suite is somewhat obstructed by a large palm tree, but you can see the ocean on either side of the tree. You are in the main building and not the wings, so you first are overlooking the resort pool and then the ocean in the distance. I also asked to see the 1BR “Oceanfront Suites” (685 square feet and the category below the Magnolia Suite) which are at the ends of the two wing sections. Immediately upon entering, you notice the great view as you are literally on top of the beach. The terrace is much smaller than the Magnolia Suite, though. If the view is your primary goal, then these suites are for you. If size is more important, then the Magnolia suite is the one to choose. Note, overall, there are a limited number of suites at the hotel.

    Check-in: Check-in was smooth and we waited just a bit in the lobby for our suite while the final touches were being put on our suite (I believe they were setting up the various welcome amenities mentioned below). Once the check-in formalities were done, the Assistant Resort Manager came to introduce himself. He was extremely pleasant and mentioned that the Resort Manager wanted to introduce himself, who then came over and spoke with us as well. The Assistant Resort Manager then gave us a full tour of the property while we were waiting. Having booked through a Four Seasons Preferred Partner agent, the included amenities were worthwhile and well-delivered. We received various welcome amenities consisting of champagne, chocolate strawberries, water bottle, and a very large fruit bowl (which was replenished each day during our stay – not sure if this is just for suites or for all rooms). We also received other treats which the concierge had sent up. Internet is also included for suite bookings, although the check-in clerk did not know about this and I had to insist and then the Assistant Resort Manager overheard me and corrected her. There is also a $55 breakfast credit each day to use as you like and an $85 lunch credit once during your stay.

    Concierge: As mentioned, I had made numerous arrangements/bookings with the head concierge ahead of time and she was absolutely excellent. In fact, she truly went above and beyond: just as one example, one night I booked a boat charter along the intracoastal with dinner being catered by the Four Seasons chef. The concierge brought a cooler from home for us to use for the food which was prepared by the hotel to bring onto the boat. In addition, she sent us off to the airport with some pastry treats and water. These examples were all in addition to her responsiveness in the months prior when I was communicating via email to plan our stay. The rest of the concierge team was excellent as well and everyone knew our plans each day. To note, I did tip her generously when we arrived, but she was just genuinely nice and believe she would have done these things with or without any tip.

    Cabana Dinner: For one night of our stay, I had planned a private cabana dinner for my wife and me. I had made these arrangements ahead of time with the Concierge. She sent me the 3 or 4 course set menu. I didn’t care much for the dishes, so asked if I could substitute, which was not a problem at all. I just chose other dishes from the various menus. In addition, I chose a separate menu for my wife and a separate menu for myself, which was not a problem either. We like trying different dishes, so this way we could each try two different dishes for each of the 4 courses. The cabana is right at the edge of the pool area near the beach. It has an electric fan in the ceiling, which can come in handy on humid or hot evenings. Luckily the weather was perfect that night for us. A floor lamp was also set up in the cabana to provide light. The only negative was there were no other special touches or candles on the table (I guess we were spoiled by our beach dinner at Amankila). In addition, they brought the wrong bottle of wine (a bottle that was about half the price of the bottle I actually ordered). Luckily I noticed, but it was after we already drank a bit, and they obviously just charged for the cheaper bottle once I brought it to their attention. In addition, our server was extremely pleasant, but our dishes were never described to us when they were put on the table. All little gripes, but just want to point out everything.

    Boat Charter: For another night of our stay, I had chartered a boat (the Geno IV) to cruise along the intracoastal. Although primarily a fishing charter boat, they also do evening charters. It was a great boat at 51’ and although it started pouring rain as soon as we got in the car from the hotel to head to the marina, it did clear up about ten minutes after we left the harbor. We brought dinner on (prepared by the Resort) as we did not want to stop at a restaurant along the intracoastal, but rather maximize cruising time on the boat. The husband and wife team as captains were excellent and would highly recommend them.

    Restaurant: For breakfast, the Ocean Bistro offers an a la carte menu or a buffet. Both options were great and the $55 credit could be used on anything (the credit was automatically deducted and any overage automatically charged). We particularly liked some of the more unique options on the a la carte menu such as the red velvet waffles, homemade pop tarts, etc. Seating is indoors or outdoors. For lunch, the Ocean Bistro is open, as well as the Atlantic Bar and Grill which is overlooking the beach/ocean. The “2800 burger” is a must get. Dinner, as mentioned, was limited to The Restaurant. Note we basically had dinners on all three nights from The Restaurant’s menu (cabana dinner, food brought onto the boat, and dinner in The Restaurant). The food overall was quite good, but not remarkable (though the rolls were amazing, paired with the truffle butter or smoked mahi mahi spread!), and service was lacking at times. Our last night’s dinner in The Restaurant was unmemorable. Service was rushed and courses brought out too quickly. I tried the special “Lobster five ways” as they were kicking off the start of lobster season – this $50 dish fell short and I only liked two of the five preparations. Note since this is the only dinner venue in the summer, they had the regular menu and then a simple plates menu.

    Gym: The gym is located on a lower floor (think basement level), but is decently equipped with newer equipment. Two different drinks were displayed (a water and a cranberry water drink) and plenty of towels, etc. They also offer free classes, including Yoga on the Beach at 8am on certain mornings, which was a great venue to conduct a yoga class right next to the waves.

    Spa: The spa has undergone a great renovation (in 2008, I believe) and used to be parking. It has obviously since come a long way and the design, fixtures, materials are all top notch. Michael Perez, the spa director, can always be found in the spa and is always there to help, chat, and offer advice. Guests can use the spa facilities free of charge, which include relaxation rooms, steam room, locker rooms, whirlpool, and showers. The design and colors are inviting and luxurious. Certain showers have six body sprays, along with showerheads. These were my favorite to use after the steam room or whirlpool. The locker area is well equipped with electronic lockers already stocked with robes, towels, and slippers. The relaxation room offered light snacks, such as nuts, fruit, and trail mix. The women’s side is supposedly identical. There is also a co-ed waiting/relaxation area prior to treatments. The beauty salon and area for manicures/pedicures is upstairs from the main spa area. One nice touch was the awesome Asian Pear Puree Tea, which is a must try. I liked it so much that I had 3-4 glasses. Once we were back in our suite, there was a knock on our door as the spa had sent up a whole carafe of the drink – nice touch and goes to show the great service at this property.

    Pool/Beach: The pool is basically a large rectangle as others have mentioned. Lounge chairs surround the pool on all sides. It can feel a bit crowded and chaotic with people next to you, behind you, in front of you. With that said, it was easy enough to get chairs and the staff did a good job setting up towels and umbrellas, bringing pitchers of water, etc. On occasion, the staff also came around with small treats, such as samples of their strawberry smoothies and egg rolls. They have complimentary magazines and sunblock, water, etc. There is also a nice bright orange ice cream cart, from which you can purchase scoops of ice cream. The beach is a quick step away from the pool area and the staff is just as pleasant. It does feel private. Waverunners and other toys are available for rental from a privately run company shared with the neighboring Omphoy property.

    Staff: We found the staff to be incredibly friendly and proactive, anticipating all our needs. I previously mentioned the concierge, but the rest of the staff were always helpful as well. Housekeeping took great care of us and the bellmen were excellent and very friendly. The Resort Manager was always walking the property throughout the day and the Assistant Resort Manager was always present as well (reminded us a bit of Amanjiwo and Amankila). Both made sure to check on us and ensure everything was to our liking. We view service as the key ingredient to a memorable stay and this property did not disappoint.

    Car Service: We utilized various transfers during our stay (airport, in-town, etc) in both S-Class sedans and Town Cars. All were booked through the Concierge (which are the same prices as if booked on your own and can be charged directly to your room). The hotel uses Park Limousine, which was excellent, has great cars that are well-kept, and has excellent drivers.

    Future Renovations: We came to learn that all the hallways will be renovated, including wallpaper and carpeting, over the next few months. Once that is done, each of the food & beverage outlets will be renovated as well. Neither of them looked too tired, so this shows the emphasis the hotel and its owners place on keeping this property fresh.

    Other: We also stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach for two nights immediately before this stay as my wife had a meeting there. I found the service at the Four Seasons to far surpass that at the Ritz-Carlton (perhaps this may be due to the fact that none of the staff “knew” us as they did at the FS). The one aspect of the Ritz-Carlton that was superior in our opinion was the pool and outdoor area. Given the two pools and the various levels of beach chairs, etc, it felt much more relaxed and private at the Ritz-Carlton when you are lounging by the pool. The true negative of the RC is their nickel and diming of their guests (charging for gym classes, charging to use the spa just for the steam room, etc). FS does not do this. One other item to note is the library in the lobby, which has two computers and printers for guest use free of charge. Complimentary lemonade and iced tea was served in the library lounge in the afternoons, along with tea and coffee in the mornings.

    Negatives: There are usually a number of items that can always be improved upon at a property, but the lack thereof at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach was a pleasant surprise; only a few items came to mind: the shuttle to Worth Avenue was 30 minutes late for pickup (the Resort offers a free shuttle drop off and pick up to/from Worth Avenue on Thurs and Sat I believe). In addition, in our Magnolia Suite, there were multiple small lizards on different days and also ants. Although housekeeping sprayed and tried to remove the lizards/ants, just having them there in the first place seems a bit out of place (they said they sometimes slip under the balcony or terrace doors). In addition, the large terrace of the Magnolia suite could be dressed up a bit so it is more appealing (it just seems uninviting and there are no beach chair towels, accessories, etc). I do think the pool area feels a bit crowded as mentioned by others and the tennis courts also need updating. By no means did these items detract materially from our overall experience.

    Pictures to follow.


    Hotel Exterior:
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    Magnolia Suite Entrance:
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    Magnolia Suite Living Room:
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    Magnolia Suite Living Room Looking Towards Dining Area:
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    Magnolia Suite Dining Area and Terrace in Background:
    [​IMG]

     
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  2. elitetraveler1A

    elitetraveler1A Silver Member

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    Magnolia Suite Terrace:
    [​IMG]

    Magnolia Suite Bedroom:
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    Magnolia Suite Bathroom - off Living Room:
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    Magnolia Suite Bathroom Shower - off Living Room:
    [​IMG]


     
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  3. elitetraveler1A

    elitetraveler1A Silver Member

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    Magnolia Suite Bathroom Tub - off Bedroom:
    [​IMG]

    The Restaurant:
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    Ice Cream Cart near Pool:
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    Complimentary Snacks Circulated at Pool:
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    Atlantic Bar and Grill:
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  4. elitetraveler1A

    elitetraveler1A Silver Member

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    Pool Area looking out towards Ocean:
    [​IMG]

    Pool Area at Night:
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    Beach:
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    Beach Area at the end of the day:
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  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    The beach at the FS-PB survived the mid-00's hurricanes much better than the RC-PB.
     
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  6. uggboy
    Original Member

    uggboy Gold Member

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    Amazing review, beautiful suite and outstanding facilities to match incl. fine food and drink! Thanks for sharing on MP!:)
     
  7. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Awesome review. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  8. elitetraveler1A

    elitetraveler1A Silver Member

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    I've added a floorplan picture of the Magnolia Suite as well, given there is no floorplan on the website or in the Quick Reference Guide pdf document for this particular suite. This is the floorplan pic from the back of the entrance door. Any questions, just ask.

    Four Seasons Palm Beach - Magnolia Suite (Premier Ocean-View Suite) Floorplan:
    [​IMG]

    Key:
    LR=Living Room
    DR=Dining Room
    BR=Bedroom
    Terr=Terrace
     

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