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COVID Cautious Florida Vacay Part 1

written 12.02.20

We needed a vacation. Some of you may think, but wait – you just took a vacation at the beginning of the school year when you drove out west to see the National Parks.  No, that was a trip.  Trips and vacations are both types of travel – so what is the difference?

Vacations are an extended period of relaxation and leisure.  Trips require some work.  For example, renting a vacation rental and making your own meals allows you to be in a new place, but does not allow for as much relaxation.  Renting a villa gives you the extra room of a vacation rental, but somebody does the work for you so that is a vacation.  

The actual activities one does during a trip versus a vacation differs by one’s interest. For me, sightseeing is a trip, and sitting in a cabana staring at the sea with a cocktail in my hand is a vacation.  For others, a multi-day hike is a trip, and skiing at a luxury ski resort is a vacation.  During our international travel, we always mix the two types of travel, trips and vacations. 

We like exploring, but we need to offset it with some relaxation as well.

For our family, staying at a resort is how we vacation.  During the early days of the pandemic, we wanted to get away, but were not comfortable staying at a resort.  We first stayed at a rental at the beach, but were not willing to go out to eat so it was a lot of work.  That was a trip.  We tried again a month later and were ready to eat outside at restaurants, so it was more like a vacation – but we still were cooking and lugging our chairs to the beach each day, so again not quite the relaxing vacation we needed.  Our road trip out west was a lot of work. Lots of driving, lots of sightseeing, lots of cooking, lots of school and work, but lots of fun and worth the work to see all of the amazing sights out west.  

 

I think we can all agree that we all deserve a vacation after 2020.  Thus, we took advantage of our last chance to squeeze in a vacation to Florida before Thanksgiving.  We were finally ready to stay in a resort after visiting resorts during our trip out west and seeing how they were handling the pandemic.  

We visited two south Florida resorts during the trip, The Breakers and Club Med Sandpiper Bay.  I chose these two resorts not only because they are my travel partners, but also because they offered what we were looking for in our only true vacation of 2020.  This week, I will discuss The Breakers, and next week will discuss Club Med.

As soon as we drove up to this stunning architecture, we knew we were in for a treat at The Breakers.  

Considered an architectural triumph, the oceanfront resort originally debuted in 1896, then reopened twice after major fires in 1903 and 1925. It has remained family owned since its inception.  Over the years, its seaside glamour has contributed to the elegant culture of Palm Beach.  While this may not sound suitable for families with young children, it actually was.

Not only was there a large playground, there is also a family entertainment center which is currently closed because of the pandemic.  But we did not need much more entertainment than the beach and three beachfront pools and hot tubs (there is also a fourth adults only pool).  

The boys (all three of them) loved combing the beach for shells.  They amassed quite a collection.

While I was staying at The Breakers, I met with their Associate Director of Sales.  She made me love the resort even more.  We ended up getting tea and chatting for over an hour.  Rob had the boys at the pool, so I am sure he was wondering what in the world was taking me so long?  We were brainstorming ways to introduce the resort to more people.  

One of our ideas is doing a baking virtual event where we make their iconic key lime pie while engaging with my clients and also discussing the resort.  I posted about this idea on social media while I was traveling and had several people interested. If you are interested in this virtual event (whether or not you commented on social media), please respond to this email to let me know if you would prefer to do the event before or after the holidays.  The holidays are busy (although this year is different) so it may be challenging to fit it in, people tend to need more desserts this time of year!  And many people try to be healthier in the new year. So just let me know when you would prefer to bake this delicious pie together.

The Associate Sales Director said that since the resort is family owned, it is easier to accomplish things.  Each year, a minimum of $30 million is invested to preserve the landmark property, amenities like four pools, 10 restaurants, an indoor-outdoor fitness facility, stunning spa and championship Ocean Golf Course attract guests the world over—proof that The Breakers is the ultimate leisure destination.  The resort took advantage of the closures earlier this year to get some big projects done and make the resort better than ever.

Being family owned also means they were able to respond to the pandemic quickly to ensure the resort met all protocols.  There is so much outside space at The Breakers that it is a perfect destination during the pandemic.  Masks are required indoors, temperatures are taken upon arrival, social distancing is easy because of the outdoor spaces and spacious indoors, there are hand sanitizing stations at every turn, and only one party is allowed in the elevator at a time.  

What I really think sets The Breakers apart is that they staff so many employees per guest on a normal day.  During the pandemic, this means that there are plenty of hands on deck to ensure that each space is sanitized between guests.  Here is a video outlining their protocols for anyone who is interested.  

Let’s just say that The Explore More Family undoubtedly vouches for this iconic hotel.  It definitely lived up to its reputation.  Visit Explore More’s social media story highlights ‘The Breakers” for more photos that did not get posted during our vacation.

I hope to ‘see’ you soon to put together a Sips & Trips virtual event kit or to make Key Lime Pie!

Keep Dreaming,

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