This Iconic South Florida Resort Just Got a Massive Transformation — With 5 New Hotel Concepts and a $65 Million Pool Club

The Boca Raton is refreshed and ready for its close-up.

Try as I might to stifle the sound, my giggles were echoing throughout the spa. I’d just had my first taste of mango gelato — served to me on a silver spoon while neck-deep in a bath of bubbles and orange slices.

On my way here, I’d marveled at 50,000 square feet of Moorish tiles, elaborate arches, and gardens reminiscent of Spain’s Alhambra palace. Though residents of the Alhambra probably weren’t lucky enough to experience a Tropical Fusion Ritual Bath. That only happens at The Boca Raton.

Aerial view of a palm-flanked pool in Florida
The new Harborside Pool Club at Florida’s Boca Raton resort.

Courtesy of The Boca Raton

“We know the past is our legacy,” resort president and CEO Daniel Hostettler told me over breakfast at Sadelle’s, an outpost of the beloved brunch spot from New York’s Major Food Group. “But the vibe we’re going for is historic mansion meets 21st century.” The Boca Raton began life in 1926 as the Ritz-Carlton Cloister Inn, designed by architect (and Boca Raton city planner) Addison Mizner. It changed hands many times over the years — gaining a golf course and racquet club — and until recently was managed by Waldorf Astoria.

The airy white lobby of The Cloister, at the Boca Raton resort complex in Florida
The lobby of the Cloister, one of five fully renovated hotels on property.

Courtesy of The Boca Raton

Then, in 2019, the property was acquired by tech billionaire Michael Dell, who charged Hostettler and his team with creating a new vision for the resort’s next century. A massive transformation by the Rockwell Group, whose client list includes the José Andrés Group and Nobu Hotels, has repositioned The Boca Raton as an all-ages enclave with spaces for every type of traveler.

These 200 waterfront acres now have five new hotel concepts. The 294-key Cloister, in the original Mizner-designed inn, has space for large groups and meetings. The Tower, the tallest structure in Boca, has 224 suites and butler service, and the 212-room Beach Club offers three pools and a private stretch of shoreline. Families will find the comforts of home at the Bungalows, a collection of 58 two-bedroom suites with full kitchens and a separate gated entrance. All offer easy access to the $65 million Harborside Pool Club — complete with lazy river, kids center, and a pair of three-story waterslides.

The black and red decor of the supper club at the Boca Raton resort complex in Florida
The Boca Raton’s MB Supper Club, which regularly hosts live entertainment.

Courtesy of The Boca Raton

Those looking for a more grown-up vibe will find that, too: at the adults-only pool, the 1930s-inspired MB Supper Club, or the elegant (and kid-free) Yacht Club, with its 112 suites overlooking the 27-slip marina.

There are 14 dining venues to choose from, including the mid-century-style Flamingo Grill, also from Major Food Group. From the moment I entered the flamingo-pink doors, I felt transported to a classic era: waiters sported pink jackets and monstera-green suspenders, the walls were covered in Floridian flora-motif tiles, and the smell of tableside bananas Foster filled the air.

A version of this story first appeared in the December 2022/January 2023 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline "Forever Young."

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