The Breakers Palm Beach
Unsurpassed in terms of luxury when oil tycoon Henry Flagler built it in 1896, the Breakers outdid itself in a 1926 renovation modeled after various Italian renaissance palaces and gardens. Still the Grande Dame of deep-pocketed Palm Beach, the 540-room resort, set on 140 beachfront acres, is pure drama, its palm-lined drive leading up to the twin-spired towers. Money seems to have been no object with the lobby and sitting rooms, decorated in gold leaf, Venetian chandeliers, tapestries, and hand-painted ceilings. The modern day intervenes in breezily tropical rooms, newly redesigned in white and sand tones, and in the private poolside cabanas with flat-screens and concierge service. The full tally: five oceanside pools, nine restaurants, two golf courses, a spa, and luxury shopping.