November/December  2006 





“As elegant, sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing to the eye as this resort is, The Breakers radiates a feeling of welcome and has a family-oriented philosophy without pretension. I felt right at home and knew that I needed to make the most out of my fairytale getaway. Where’s my crown?”

drove to another world in one hour and fifteen minutes coming from Miami via the Florida Turnpike (not bad during rush hour). The Breakers Resort Hotel and Spa’s twin Belvedere towers, with its arches and Florentine fountain introduced me to the palatial Italian Renaissance-style castle, nestled on 140 acres of ocean front property, that was to be my home.

The 560-room Breakers is one of the few and finest privately owned resorts in the world. It was founded in l896 by Henry Morrison Flagler, known as the Father of Miami and certainly the key figure in creating Florida’s role as a winter tourism center. The current Breakers was rebuilt by his heirs in 1926 after the original stricture burned. Modeled on the Villa Medici in Rome, the ceilings were hand painted by Florentine artists; magnificent Venetian chandeliers and paintings of great Renaissance rulers decorate the hallways.

The Breakers is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is honored with the AAA Five Diamond Award as well as the prestigious Mobile 5-Star Award. It’s in a class by itself. The Breakers reinvests an average of $l5 million a year for revitalization and expansion, a commitment made to ensure the resort remains appealing to future generations and – like myself, to wannabe kings and queens for a day.

My first stop that evening, after checking in was The Seafood Bar, casual dining at its finest with an aquarium bar that runs throughout the restaurant. The food here was wonderful, as was the view of the ocean. After dinner I relaxed in my tranquil room with its fabulous bed and moonlight shining on the water. What a good night’s sleep I had!

The next day guests scattered to their preferred activities. The Breakers has two championship golf courses, The Beach Club with its Luxury Beach Bungalows and Grand Cabanas, as well as the Oceanview Fitness Center featuring Technogym cardiovascular and weight equipment. There are water sports and tennis and great indulgence in my favorite recreational sport: shopping.

As elegant, sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing to the eye as this resort is, The Breakers radiates a feeling of welcome and has a family-oriented philosophy without pretension. I felt right at home and knew that I needed to make the most out of my fairytale getaway. Where’s my crown?

Crowning Spa

breakers-3The actual crown of my experience was The Spa at The Breakers, a haven of serenity and tranquility. Opened in 1999, it is an indoor/outdoor spa set on 20,000 square feet of tropically landscaped oceanfront property. The spa features the Guerlain Institut de Beaute skincare products and techniques. Under the direction of Mark Mantegna, the spa has 17 treatment rooms and several Spa Suites including steam and sauna. There is a variety of massages, wraps, exfoliating scrubs and skin care services; some treatments incorporate sea and citrus ingredients indigenous to Florida.

With a team of 45 massage therapists and 9 estheticians, offerings include 16 different massages, including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Blissful Medley, Thai, Shiatsu, Seastone, Aromatherapy, Lymphatic Drainage, Harmony, Couples, Stress Buster, Prenatal, Sports Stretching Treatment, Reflexology Foot Therapy, as well as the signature Alfresco Oceanside and Imperial massages.

Seven Guerlain facial and skincare treatments are available, including the Classic Facial, Absolute Facial, Radiant Glow and Go Facial, Neck and Décolleté Treatment, Retinol Eye Treatment, Purifying Back Treatment and the new Teen Facial.

breakers-6Body treatments include four body scrubs - Aromatherapy, Coconut Pumice, Citrus Body Polish, and Kur Exfoliating Mineral Scrub - rejuvenating baths and body wraps to eliminate toxins and nourish the skin, including Sveltesse, Marine Detox and Milk and Honey.

The Spa offers complete salon services from manicures and pedicures (including your take home nail polish) to make-up applications and hair services.

They are offering a new menu of signature treatments and allowing the clients to customize their own treatments; those who are at sea with the range of possibilities can consult with the master therapists and estheticians.

Spa director Mark Mantegna said, “The success of The Spa is due to the staff using their experience, expertise, and knowledge for each client.”

I was greeted with a warm robe and slippers and a tour of the facilities before my Swedish massage. I waited in the lounge on an elegantly comfy chair, sipping flavored water until I was shown into the room of Leo Kuchierskiy, the master therapist.

Kuchierskiy, who has been in the business for 23 years, asked me if I had any problem areas or aches and pains. Judging by his tall and strong stature I thought that this massage was going to be a little on the rough side, but he has magic fingers. He focused on trouble areas requested and relief was right around the corner. He told me that he didn’t like to think of himself as a massage therapist but as a therapeutic massage therapist. ABSOLUTELY!!

breakers-5I took my relaxed and rejuvenated body back to the lounge to wait for my next treatment. I was greeted by Christine Hicks, who was to perform a Classic Facial using the exclusive Guerlain Institut de Beaute products and techniques. She had me lie on her warm facial chair and began with a cleansing followed by a toner. Hicks then examined my skin with a magnifying mirror. Ugh. My skin was not looking its best but she told me not to worry; she had the precise products to make my skin look better. She exfoliated my face, and then applied a purifying masque that left my skin feeling comfortable and invigorated.

She massaged my hands and arms. I was so relaxed at this point that I didn’t want to leave the chair. Hicks also performed a lymphatic drainage massage on my face, which helps to detoxify the lymphatic system and balance the nervous system. Not only did my face feel great, but my head and sinuses were clear.

After she removed my masque, she applied a serum to my sensitive skin and a gel moisturizer and eye cream. Before I left she made me a cup of hot green tea with pineapple - can’t get any better than that. After leaving Hicks’ facial room I couldn’t wait to look at my skin. It looked so radiant, something that I had never seen before. Was this really my skin? She is truly a miracle worker. I could not wait to purchase everything that she used on my skin.

First Freestanding Geurlain Boutique

breakers-4Following my Classic Facial I had a daytime make-up application with Monique at the Guerlain Institut De Beaute boutique. I walked into the Guerlain Boutique, the first freestanding Guerlain Boutique and Institut de Beaute outside of Paris, housing the high-performance skincare, cosmetics, and fragrances. The highly trained aestheticians perform skincare services and facials in soundproof treatment rooms. The boutique was rich in marble, gold and brass details, and my make-up application was done in front of wall to wall mirrors and a palette of colors that stretched the length of the table.

Monique first sculpted my eyebrows, gently tweezing and trimming them into shape. What a difference it makes when your brows are properly shaped! She then applied my make-up in Guerlain fashion. My skin was already moisturized, since I had just finished my facial. Monique glided my foundation on with a foundation brush, which makes a real difference in the evenness of the effect. She then chose soft daytime colors for my eyes, lips and cheeks and voila ... I was now ready for The Breakers. Not only did I feel great on the inside, I was looking fabulous on the outside.

I decided not to let my rejuvenated look go to waste, so I opted to have dinner at the nearby Flagler Steakhouse that evening. Located in the resort’s old Florida-style clubhouse, it has a sporty Palm Beach ambiance with rich interiors and panoramic views of the golf course from outdoor seating. It features the finest USDA prime grade meats including delectable steaks, chops, and seafood. I decided on a crab dumpling in a cream truffle sauce as my appetizer, which was to die for, followed by a rib-eye steak done to perfection. What more could a girl ask for?

breakers-7I retired to my room that evening, enjoying the effect of my Lifestyles of the Rich stay on all my senses.

The following morning my body was singing a new tune and I had scheduled an early morning aromatherapy scrub. Christa McCourt showed me the way to her treatment room, where I lay on a bed as McCourt exfoliated my body with crushed olive pits and gel. She followed with warm water jetting all over my body and miraculously not getting my hair wet. After the scrub she used a loofah with gel. Once again she drenched my body with warm water. It was so relaxing and my body felt as smooth as glass. Christa followed with a rose oil that nourished my entire body.

With my buffed and rejuvenated body and the glow that radiated from my face, I still had some time before my life was to go back to “normal,” so I decided to end my fairytale getaway with breakfast at The Circle. Envision a round room intricately decorated with gold leaf ceilings. The Circle offers an extensive buffet that is famous for its Sunday Brunch, a real Palm Beach tradition offering luscious dining in the castle on the water.

The minutes were dwindling away and my fairytale getaway was nearing an end. I would soon be checking out and going back to my normal life. But I would be taking a refreshed body back to it, along with memories of being royalty.

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