33480, the Richest Zip Code in the US!

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By Trish Utter

The doorman whisked the car away. We walked through a small, tropical courtyard and ushered to a desk in the lobby that was filled with roses. A glass of sherry was put in my hand along with a… key! Yes, the Chesterfield gives you a brass key. The glass of sherry made me laugh as it brought back memories of my Scottish aunt who always offered sherry to her guests upon their arrival… a good old British tradition for arriving guests.

My daughter and I had arrived at the Chesterfield Hotel Palm Beach, located in a residential neighborhood of multimillion-dollar estates and three blocks from the beach. It’s around the corner from the famous Worth Avenue. The property is part of the British-owned Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The hotel was built in 1926 and is part of the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation and a historic landmark.

Oil paintings from England are scarred throughout the property. A painting of Sir Winston Churchill hangs in the beautiful conference room and a photograph of Margaret Thatcher, who stayed here, is in the library. Guests have included Cyndi Lauper, Tommy Hilfiger, Mike Wallace and an endless list of others.

Along with vast displays of flowers are dishes of candy and freshly baked cookies, all for guests to nibble on…free of charge. We took the small elevator to the third floor, which is the top floor of this small, boutique property with just fifty-three exquisite rooms. Our room was filled with beautiful, white Florida-style furniture and plantation shutters filtered the afternoon sun onto patterned carpet. We both immediately got on the free Wi-Fi that was super easy to access, so that we could post our photos of this jewel box of a hotel. A real, red carnation was in our room which is a symbol of the hotel chain. As we unpacked, I noticed that there was a fridge with free bottles of water and lots and lots of room to hang clothes and put everything we had brought away. And believe me, two girls in a hotel room for a week bring a lot of stuff!

It was midafternoon and just as any Brit would do, we had afternoon, High Tea. This is a highlight at the Chesterfield. Tea is served in the wood-paneled, library… of course! It was a cozy room that has wonderful books that you can borrow. This intimate room has a fireplace and gives you the feeling of being at a beautiful, English Country Estate. Smoked Salmon, egg salad, cheese and tomato and cucumber finger sandwiches, scones, and miniature cakes are all made and cooked from scratch by the hotel chef. A large assortment of teas is there to choose from. I sipped on traditional black tea while my daughter decided on mint. We finished by nibbling on fruit tarts and mini pastries, and I enjoyed a glass of Champagne. Soft music and the smell of fresh flowers filled the air. It was time to relax.

In the evening, we went into the famous Leopard Lounge. The striking black and mirrored room with lush, green plants and stunning, modern art painted by local artist Lino Mario are very luxurious. They have various types of entertainment every night. Live music, DJs, pianists – they all bring the room to life. You might bump into someone very famous in here, as locals often pop in for dinner or a drink. The bar is fully stocked and even offers Pimm’s, a British bar staple. The bartenders have been there for years and know everyone that walks in and what they want. Little bar snacks are free and they serve as a nice compliment to your drink. My daughter and I got on the dancefloor and had a fantastic time.

When we returned to our room that evening we found that we had Turn-Down Service. A homemade cookie and the weather forecast for the following day was left on our pillows. The ice bucket was filled and the nightlight in the bathroom was turned on. What a nice touch, but it is these small personal touches that make this such a unique and luxurious experience.

I sat in the lush, cozy courtyard for breakfast. The Chesterfield offers all kinds of wonderful items on their menu, but I went straight for their Traditional English Breakfast. Eggs, sausages, bacon, home fries and grilled tomatoes… mmm. I sipped on my cappuccino and enjoyed the tranquil surroundings.

A shiny, dark green antique Rolls Royce pulled up at the hotel entrance. The chauffeur opened the door and my daughter and I stepped in. What luxury – I had to pinch myself. I felt like a princess. Ken, our chauffeur from Liverpool, England, took us for a drive around Palm Beach. He pointed out where the Kennedy’s lived, pulled up outside the vacation home of President Trump’s, named Mara Largo, which is a registered landmark. Ken showed us local restaurants such as Buccan, and other bars and shops. Guests at the Chesterfield can book the Rolls for tours, weddings, or other services.

The Chesterfield is extremely pet-friendly. In fact, the entirety of Palm Beach is pet-friendly. People take their dogs into every shop and restaurant here. I wish I had brought our black lab, Daphne, with us, but that just gives us another reason to return home.

On our last day at the Chesterfield, my daughter and I were enjoying our breakfast, when the restaurant manager, Carl Stewart, walked over to us with a box of homemade cookies and said that he knew we were leaving and wanted to give these to us for our trip home. Gosh, how thoughtful!

We got to know all the employees at the hotel. That is one of the many things that sets this property apart – the staff, which notice everything and left no detail unattended. One day, my daughter was not feeling well and all of the staff were asking how she was.

The Chesterfield won #9 in the Top 20 Hotels in Florida for Nest Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and is a 4 Star AAA winner.

I really felt like I was Lady Mary Crawley from Downton Abbey, and by the
end of our stay, I was believing that I was indeed the Lady Crawley. Oh, how hard it was to say goodbye to the Chesterfield Hotel, but we will return… with our beloved dog Daphne.

Things to do in the area

Island Living, Palm Beach

One of the first things I like to do in a new environment is to take a tour. This way, I get a sense of my surroundings, and if there is something I want to explore on my own in more depth, I know ahead of time what that thing is. We did this with Leslie Diver from Island Living, Palm Beach.

Leslie drove us around the beautiful island of Palm Beach. She also offers walking and cycling tours. We went past the home of Rod Stewart …

… and stopped at the Flagler Museum, where Leslie went into detail on the history. This was so interesting and helpful. Leslie took us down side streets that we would never have found on our own. We walked around Worth Avenue. This street is lined with stores such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and lots of unique boutiques. While on Worth Avenue, she took us through passageways that were hidden and had, even more, boutiques and restaurants. We drove past the local police station and learned about the underground firing range. The island has twice as many police as any other place in the U.S., and now also has the FBI. Diver told us about the bridge that connects West Palm Beach to the island of Palm Beach. Diver explained about the gates on the bridge for security and that every car that comes over the bridge has its license plate photographed for security. She said that Palm Beach is one of the safest places on the planet. This tour was well worth doing. It taught us about the history of the island and its inhabitance and she showed us places we would never have found or known about. Driver even showed us the local Goodwill store that has Louis, Prade and other famous designers!….Heaven!

islandLivingPB.com 561-868-7944

The Blend Bistro

It had been suggested that we visit this restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach at The Gardens Mall. I googled the menu and saw many healthy items. Although I like to eat healthy, I would not say that I am vegan or a salad diehard, so I was very skeptical as to whether this hamburger loving girl would like this California style food. When we arrived, I met restaurant owner, Linda Butler. She sat us down in large cozy, upholstered booth. The place is very metro in style and the environment is comfortable and relaxing. Butler explained that she had lived in California and now wanted to offer a taste of California to Floridians. Butler said she wanted healthy, but tasty meals that offer something for everyone…even meat eaters like myself.

Being venturous, I ordered their Black Bean Burger. Oh my goodness, if I had a choice of a hamburger over this I would choose this Black Bean Burger any day! Everything, including the bread, is made in-house, including their fresh, homemade lemonade, kombucha, and smoothies. Additionally, everything is gluten-free. The restaurant features organic wines from South Africa and gourmet coffees. We ended our meal with a slice of chocolate fudge cake. Oh my goodness, that was GOOD! Again, it was homemade. The motto of this organic eatery is, “Where Health meets Delicious”…and they are so right. I hope that you will visit this fantastic restaurant and that they soon start one in our area, as I would be a regular here.

BlendBistro.com 561-331-8766

This privately owned restaurant is located at City Place, which is a well-designed outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment venue. The Mexican restaurant is quite colorful and has booths and outdoor seating. Since they are known for their tequila drinks, I ordered a Golden Margarita which had the perfect balance and flavor, made with El Mayor Anejo Tequila, Grand Marnier, freshly squeezed orange juice and fresh citrus. Carbo Flats make their own drinks from scratch and food is all made in-house with fresh, local ingredients. The salsa and chips were delicious. You can really tell when things are homemade, such as their made from scratch guacamole that is so incredibly creamy. We ordered tacos and avocado fries. The fries are creamy on the inside with a crisp outside. My daughter likes her taco wrapped in lettuce. You could really taste the fresh ingredients in the tacos. The portions were huge and the flavor was fantastic. We ended the meal with their signature dessert – fried ice-cream, which is ice cream wrapped in pound cake and then rolled in Captain Crunch. It was delicious.

CarboFlats.com 561-300-5343

This party boat, called the Hakuna Matata, sets sail just before sunset. It will take you out past jaw-dropping mansions, giving you the best time and location to take photos. Guests are able to bring their own picnic, including drinks, although snacks are available on board. Some guests dangle their feet over the catamaran hull while others dance into the sunset.

VisitPalmBeach.com 561-881-9757

You can find even more useful information on the area by visiting the website or calling The Palm Beaches, Visitors, and Convention Center. They can tell you about places to visit, local events and accommodations.

ThePalmBeaches.com 561-233-3064

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