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Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa Still Dazzles on the 10th Anniversary of Its Name Change

For a decade, the 309-room Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa has occupied a curious space, both literally and figuratively. For one thing, its location—around 10 miles south of the Breakers—is apt to confuse drivers, since it tends to show up on navigation systems as in nearby Lantana (which is on the mainland), as opposed to its oceanfront position on Manalapan, the minuscule beach town that has been home to an impressive number of boldfaced names (F. Lee Bailey, Tony Robbins and Larry Ellison among them).

And there’s its complicated history: The palatial independent resort is a former Ritz-Carlton that the London-based Lewis Trust Group purchased in 2003 for $67.5 million. The property retained the marquee hospitality name, but in time the marriage turned rocky, with the Lewis family initiating proceedings to wriggle out of their union with Marriott/Ritz-Carlton. When the split finally arrived, in 2013, the Ritz-Carlton became the Eau (“water” in French), referring not just to its beachfront position, but also to its spectacular water-themed spa.

With the Lewis family pouring millions into multiple renovations both before and after the rebranding, the Eau earned an enviable place on South Florida’s luxury landscape, an attractive destination for corporate gatherings (the resort boasts 32,000 square feet of meeting space), spa aficionados (the spa is 42,000 square feet), and luxury enthusiasts from around the world. After putting the property on the market in 2019, the Lewis family found satisfactory offers wanting and pulled it back. The Eau is a member of the prestigious consortium Preferred Hotels & Resorts, which helps to keep bookings brisk, with happy guests frolicking in the two seaside pools, the Atlantic crashing just feet away.

If the property still recalls the architecture of the Ritz-Carlton aesthetic of the 1980s and ’90s, epitomized by the brand’s properties in Maui and Laguna Niguel, Calif., it also recalls the ways in which the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel successfully transitioned to its current contemporary interior design. The look is fresh and shimmering, with Murano-style glass chandeliers, layers of molding, and tubular glass and metallic floral arrangements. Shagreen can even be spotted in the elevators. The resort layout is configured in such a way that some prime suites enjoy panoramic terraces, complete with daybeds and hanging egg chairs suspended from the ceiling.

But to save the best for last, Eau’s true standout is its Italian restaurant Polpo, an outpost of the beloved original in Greenwich, Conn. Prepare to savor the most finely balanced caponata you’ve ever eaten (at once savory and sweet), and an outstanding grilled polpo (Italian for octopus), which is perfectly offset by delicate arugula and hearty, flavorful cannellini beans. Meanwhile, pasta lovers will rightly gravitate to the ravioli in truffle sauce or the “Sunday Sauce”—rigatoni, enriched with sausage, braciola pork rib and meatballs—no matter what day of the week it is.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.