T+L Reports: Bringing Back Boca
Published: April 2009
By Tom Austin
In 1926, legendary Palm Beach architect Addison Mizner ventured south to the frontier swamp of Boca Raton to build the 100-room Cloister Inn, which would eventually grow into the 1,043-room Boca Raton Resort & Club. Eighty years on, the property is undergoing an ambitious 21st-century makeover, courtesy of new owner LXR Luxury Resorts, which has commissioned an all-star ambience team to do the job. Thierry Despont, who recently put his stamp on the bar at the Dorchester, in London, has lightened the resort’s Spanish-revival promenades with oyster-hued armchairs, epic Florida à go-go murals, and marble-and-limestone floors. Alexandra Champalimaud, known for her work at New York’s Carlyle Hotel, is designing a series of Boca Bungalows with black tongue-and-groove floors, white wood furniture, and striped awnings. And Tony Chi, who just completed renovations of the Park Hyatt, in Washington, D.C., has created a sister restaurant to New York’s Old Homestead Steakhouse (the originator of the $41 Kobe-beef burger). Mizner loved a flamboyant interior, but Chi’s tongue-in-cheek Titanium Bar—hung with full-size papier-mâché cow heads—might have thrown even him for an aesthetic loop. 501 E. Camino Real; 561/395-3000; www.bocaresort.com; doubles from $459.