• June 2012

Relaxing the Soul Is the Goal at Florida's Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa

Imagine a stretch of rocky Anastasia limestone with a nearshore reef, and habitat for more than 100 species of fish, invertebrates such as the Florida lobster, and the endangered green sea turtle.

Add to that a secluded beach that sits in front of a luxury hotel that supports a variety of water sports and creature comforts—including an oceanside heated pool and waterfall spa, beach services, a lighted tennis court, fitness facility, and a top-notch restaurant, poolside bar with live music, and an indoor/outdoor lounge that’s outfitted with wi-fi.

Welcome to the Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa, voted a Top US Resort in 2011 by Conde Nast Traveler readers.

In an attempt to unplug and surround ourselves with a little taste of heaven, in May we recently had the opportunity to spend a week in Jupiter and experience the seaside town’s luxurious resort.

Here’s what we thought.

A Room With a ReView: Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa

1. The lobby: Simply decorated, elegantly staffed, and it’s easy to breeze through check-in. Plus, there’s a cooler of fresh water and a plate of freshly baked cookies for the taking right near the elevators to the room. What more can you want?

2. The restaurants: The hotel features two restaurants and a bar/lounge called the Sinclairs Ocean Grill, and the Sinclairs Outdoor Terrace. Sip a tropical libation, and indulge in mouthwatering appetizers, sandwiches, and salads—as well as local entertainment.

Here, you’ll dine in the informal elegance of a tropical atmosphere. or choose room service. The main restaurant is an elegant affair, with white tablecloths and sterling silver adorning each table, that overlooks the pool.

Seating outdoors, near the bar by the pool and at tables just outside the restaurant, is another option. The menu is the same, although the glassware changes to plastic in deference to the outdoor cement floor.

The lunch menu is the same at both venues, and features fresh seafood including Conch Chowder, Shrimp Cocktail, Lobster Crab Cakes, and Grilled Calamari, as well as Buffalo Wings and Chicken Quesadilla. Salads range from Caesar and Island Cobb to Ahi Tuna and Gorgonzola with Steak. Sandwiches run the gamut from the Beachside Burger to the grilled or blackened Mahi-Mahi, and Grilled Portabella and Eggplant.

Prices aren’t outrageous—lower than most hotel bistros, and about average for most Jupiter restaurants. Budget $15/person for lunch (including a drink); $25 for dinner. Click here for more dining details.

For dinner, try the Mediterranean Snapper, which is served with artichoke hearts, tomato, basil, kalamata olives, white wine caper sauce, and parmesan polenta—or the Seared Jumbo Scallops, with sautéed prosciutto, wilted baby spinach, and a vanilla-scented beurre blanc. You are in Florida, after all. Enjoy the fish!

Note: Seating outside is ideal during most months—but be aware that during the late spring and summer, fast-moving storms may sprinkle down on your salad with little forewarning. Fortunately, the staff is very good about advising diners that a shower is on the way.

3. The rooms: Spacious and well-appointed, the rooms offer a gorgeous view of the pristine Jupiter beach, which unlike most Florida beaches is devoid of development. It’s just the sand, surf, and sun—or moonlight—to catch your eye.

In fact, Jupiter has maintained its bedroom-community atmosphere—a real tribute to the otherwise incredibly overdeveloped region of South Florida. But then, it’s only a short drive from the ritzy suburb of Palm Beach, and that sense of class and sophistication is reflected in the decor of the Jupiter Beach Resort.

So sit back and relax, and enjoy the calm and serenity that this room with an incredible view offers.

4. The extras: If your budget affords it, do stop by the Spa for some pampering. Offerings include an antioxidant age-repair facial, $180 for 80 minutes; a hydrating facial, $115 for 50 minutes; and a Beyond Botox facial that promises to provide significant changes without the help of a surgeon, $140 for 50 minutes.

Therapeutic deep-tissue massages run $125 for 50 minutes, reflexology treatments are $60 for 25 minutes; and an assortment of other options (Swe-Thai, scalp massage, and prenatal massage) are also available.

There’s also a salon, and facial enhancement offerings—including diamond eye treatments and personalized power peels. Click here for details.

Of course, if pampering yourself translates to partying in the bounty of the sea, you’ll be in hog heaven here in Jupiter. Everything from eco tourism adventures to scuba diving, paddle boarding, surfing, and jet skiing are yours for the asking. For a list of outdoor activities, click here.

There are also an abundance of Golf packages to enjoy at the Abacoa Golf Club, Jupiter Dunes, Heritage Ridge, and Ironhorse Country Club.

Art lovers will have a ball playing locally, too. From ArtStage to the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, and the Norton Museum of Art, there is a bounty of educational opportunities in town.

5. The price: Off-season, rooms at this resort are a bargain, starting at $119 when you book through Expedia. In-season, the rates can double. But do check for specials: www.jupiterbeachresort.com.

6. The bottom line: In an era when more is more, there’s a calm elegance at the Jupiter Beach Resort. The biggest attribute is easy access to the beach—which seems isolated (sans the preponderance of tiny white dogs in Jupiter). Nonetheless, it provides an ideal spot for introspection. Amazing, too, is the front row seat the hotel gives you to moonrise.

So grab your favorite person, and a couple of glasses of whatever gives you grins—and take in all of the natural splendor that (what’s left of) Old Florida still has to offer.

Inkandescent rating = 3.5 beach chairs out of four

For more information, visit www.jupiterbeachresort.com.