Miami Living Magazine

David Bowie

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Page 127 of 179

TRAVEL 126 MIAMI LIVING A s you first enter the 1,040-foot driveway at The Breakers Palm Beach, a magnificent fountain replicated from the Boboli Gardens in Florence stands as a massive centerpiece against the Roman Villa Medici facade. Overhead, the flags atop the 1926 Italianate double Belvedere towers snap erect in the Atlantic sea breezes. A score of eager young attendants meets your car and once inside the mahogany-and-glass-doors a 200-foot-long fantasy of Renaissance splendor unfolds. From the reception area, you can gaze upon the elaborate barrel ceiling inspired by the Great Hall in Genoa's Palazzo Carrega. The phantasmagoric beige- green-red plasterwork squirms with rosettes, human faces, lions, horses and dolphins. Outside, an expansive Mediterranean courtyard flanked by loggias evoke thoughts of a near century worth of moonlit soirées, raucous birthdays, chic cocktail parties, and countless weddings. In fact, last November Modern Family's sexy Colombian star Sofia Vergara in gorgeous bridal- white performed nuptials with her beefy fiancée Joe Manganiello (True Blood) surrounded by hundreds of guests in the four sumptuous gilded ballrooms. Only oil billionaire Henry Morrison Flagler (today's ExxonMobil) possessed the big cash to create his Florida touristic vision of east coast trains and grandiose resorts. The 140-acre, AAA Five Diamond Award property with 538 guestrooms inclusive of 68 suites annually spends $25 million "in its ongoing revitalization and expansion." Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the family-owned property employs 2,000 associates with fluency in 50 languages. In some ways, The Breakers resembles a vast, complicated village as well as highly efficient, world-famous resort. While the historic rooms are small, the comfort level remains very high. My Caribbean-style, beige- and-peach ocean view room featured a mahogany frame king bed with dresser, mini-bar, 1930s sports photos, louvered windows, a 52" LG flat-screen TV, electronic safe, bathrobe and slippers, private-label toiletries, bathroom TV mirror, glassed-in stall with rainforest shower head, hair dryers, make-up mirrors, wireless and high-speed internet access, in-room movies, and wireless keyboard and PlayStation videogames. High rollers can claim a few nights in the 1,735 sq. ft. Badgley Mischka Imperial Designer Suite (starting at $3,500) with five ocean view, step-out balconies, private living room, wet bar, and dining area. All rooms boast complimentary benefits: no resort fee; unlimited wireless internet and local calls; use of the Ocean Fitness facility and classes; daily THE BREAKERS PALM BEACH FROM GRANDE DAME TO YOUNG MODERN Words by Charles Greenfield

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