Late as usual, I dash past priceless antiques, hand-woven tapestries, tranquil gardens and sparkling fountains en route to my room at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, a plush pink resort on 356 acres in the heart of Florida’s Gold Coast.
My mission: to retrieve my racket in time for a private tennis lesson on one of the 30 clay-based courts. It’s easy to see why Chris Evert holds her annual charity tournament at the tennis center, and why Patrick Rafter has trained here for tournaments. After I’ve warmed up my serve and ground strokes with the pro, the tennis concierge arranges a doubles match.
If I were a golfer, the resort’s two 18-hole championship courses would beckon. And if I were a student of that poobah of South Florida architecture Addison Mizner, I’d merely wander around gazing at the details of his Moorish masterpiece.
Instead, I indulge myself in a hot stone massage at a poolside cabana overlooking the Atantic Ocean, compliments of the Spa Palazzo. A skilled therapist places warm, smooth basalt stones on pressure points along my back. As she ever so gently massages my back with them, the heated stones relieve tense musces one by one.
To replace the calories shed at the tennis center and the spa, I adjourn to Lucca, one of the resorts seven restaurants. The innovative Tuscan-style restaurant offers views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Savoring a dish of fresh papardelle pasta with porcini mushroom sauce, I feel as though I’m dining in an Italian villa. But my thoughts soon drift to early morning exercise on the beach, and my aching muscles transport me back to my room for an early evening.
Shortly after sunrise, a personal trainer meets me on the resort’s exclusive half-mile stretch of private beach with a glass of fresh juice and a warm-up that awakens every muscle. Then we briskly walk along the water’s edge before I bound to the course for yet another stellar day on the clay.