The lobby is abuzz with excitement. The globe's greatest golfers are here and Happy Hour offers an opportunity for first-rate people watching. We'd love to stay but we're travel-weary and need to check in.
The lobby's chic iBAR is a favorite Palm Beach hot spot
We enter our Junior Suite and suddenly don't mind if we miss the action at the lobby bar. There is a stylish king bed, atmospheric lighting, and a comfortable living area with sectional sofa. Our suite has a 42-inch wall-mounted LCD HD TV, dining table/work area with four chairs and a granite- and marble-appointed bathroom with walk-in glass shower. Two sets of sliding doors open to a private, furnished balcony. Dare I say my feelings of content rival sinking a 20-foot putt?
Spacious Junior Suite
The Honda Classic unfolds on the famed Champion course that has also hosted the Ryder Cup, PGA Championship and a litany of other prized professional golf tournaments. Yet this is only one of five courses on the property. The new Fazio Course is a complete Tom Fazio II remodel of "The Haig" course – PGA National's original 18-hole course designed by his uncles. It's hard to beat 90 holes of championship golf!
Our tickets are for Sunday's final round so we schedule spa treatments for Saturday morning. The 40,000 square-foot European Spa is a refreshing, light space with a boutique, 32 treatment areas and the exclusive "Waters of the World" outdoor mineral pools and café. The Spa menu offers both solitary and shared experiences, i.e. treatments for individuals, groups, and couples. All spa guests are privy to the Waters of the World pools and private women and men's lounge areas featuring steam, sauna and whirlpool amenities.
For those interested in extending the spa experience, the resort offers two 'Spa Suites'. In addition to the other luxuries (king-size beds, spacious living areas, large soaking tubs and walk-in glass showers), these suites include a second door from the bathroom leading to a private spa area complete with a professional massage table. In-room massages and facials are available on request. Is there a better way to forget that water hazard on the sixth hole?
New Fazio course
We decide to spend the afternoon exploring the property but find it hard to get past the gorgeous zero-entry main pool. It's so easy to settle in at Wave Bar & Grill, the cabana-style poolside venue for frozen cocktails and finger foods.
Sometime later we resume our meanderings and find ourselves at the Lakeside Lawn, a new permanent venue created for picture-perfect weddings. It offers a stunning vista of the tranquil lake and panoramic view of PGA National's golf courses. (Note to niece: great spot for a destination wedding.) The resort's "Bridal Suite" includes soothing champagne colors; deeply rich wool carpeting and distinctive, elegant furnishings all make for a chic amorous motif. Limestone bathroom walls, a relaxing, large soaking tub and walk-in shower complete the décor and make for an extraordinary romantic retreat.
The Lakeside Lawn
We are eager to watch the golf but discover that just walking the paths around the golf courses is delightful. There is abundant bird and wildlife including pelicans, alligators and unique creatures we can't even identify. Throughout the weekend we find that the resort offers so many experiences beyond great golf. This is a fantastic place for an active vacation under the Florida sun. There is a 33,000 square-foot Health and Fitness Center, personal training, sports performance program, racquetball, 19 Har Tru tennis courts, croquet, extensive walking paths, pools, and on-site shopping.
My wife mentions that the PGA National Resort and Spa would be an ideal spot for a girlfriends' spa and shopping escape. There is world-class shopping nearby along with the beaches and other Palm Beach attractions.
It goes without saying that this is the perfect destination for a golf buddies' getaway and I can't deny that the new one-bedroom "Media Suites" take the "Man Cave" to a new level. I also like that there are 'Club Cottages' for small groups or families looking for even more space.
So how was the tournament? Amazing. Anyone who hasn't seen the PGA live should consider it and the PGA National Resort & Spa is a great place to maximize the experience. The staff is outstanding-- such warm, genuine, attentive people -- even under the pressure of this busy weekend. Few destinations in the world offer as a wide a range of amenities as PGA National. We won't wait for the next event to return.
For more information about PGA National Resort & Spa, please visit www.pgaresort.com or call (800) 533.9386.
View hotel profile: PGA National Resort & Spa
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