The hotel-within-a hotel where the 1% hide out in Florida

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As the most famous hotel in the super-rich playground of Palm Beach, Florida, The Breakers regularly plays host to the one per cent. 

But it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever bump into such high rollers in the corridor.

The reason? There’s an ultra-exclusive hotel within the hotel for those who have the wherewithal to get away from the riff raff.

Secret hotel: Tucked away on the top two floors of The Breakers, in Palm Beach, is The Flagler Club, which opened in October 2015 following a $5million refurbishment

Tucked away on the top two floors of the 90-year-old property, and accessible only to a chosen few, is The Flagler Club, which opened late 2015 following a $5million refurbishment.

The 25-room boutique hotel is named after the Standard Oil and railway magnate, Henry Flagler, who built The Breakers’ original incarnation 120 years ago, and promises a level of luxury that even exceeds the rest of the five-star resort.

The set up is more akin to staying in a wealthy friend’s home (assuming you know a billionaire or two). 

Guests and staff were asked what they would want in a hotel if money and time were not an issue, and the results formed the basis of the Flagler Club’s second-to-none service and luxurious-yet-informal environment.

Dedicated staff know every guest by name and invite you to text or call their mobile phones, should you wish to take the club’s Tesla to the shops or need a last-minute restaurant reservation.

Ultra-exclusive: Flagler Club guests are encouraged to make the most of its private lounge and terrace, where complimentary breakfast and snacks are served throughout the day

Ultra-exclusive: Flagler Club guests are encouraged to make the most of its private lounge and terrace, where complimentary breakfast and snacks are served throughout the day

Elegant: The Adam D Tihany-designed rooms and suites boast blue-grey silk wallpaper that match the trim of the Frette bedlinen. Mirror-topped furniture lend an art deco vibe

Elegant: The Adam D Tihany-designed rooms and suites boast blue-grey silk wallpaper that match the trim of the Frette bedlinen. Mirror-topped furniture lend an art deco vibe

On arrival, you are escorted to the Flagler Club’s private reception and furnished with a personalised black key card that gives you elevator access to the sixth and seventh floors of the property as well as your room.

Guests are checked in by the charismatic Bernard Nicole, who has been with The Breakers for nearly three decades. It is impossible not to be charmed by his still-strong French accent and friendly demeanour.

The Adam D Tihany-designed rooms and suites span the top two floors of the Breakers property. 

Mine boasted blue-grey silk wallpaper that matched the trim of the Frette bedlinen. Mirror-topped furniture lent an art deco vibe to the space, while an impressive view of the ocean could be glimpsed through the white window shutters.

Luxurious: Dedicated staff invite you to text or call their mobile phones, should you wish to take the club's Tesla (pictured) to the shops or need a last-minute restaurant reservation

Luxurious: Dedicated staff invite you to text or call their mobile phones, should you wish to take the club’s Tesla (pictured) to the shops or need a last-minute restaurant reservation

Mod cons were discretely disguised within the furnishings – most notably the television within the bathroom mirror.

Even the bathroom products were special – who doesn’t love Jo Malone’s Lime, Basil and Mandarin range? Though I had a wash bag full of my own products, I liberally slathered myself with the deliciously-scented body wash and lotion.

Come bedtime, there is not just one chocolate on your pillow, but a whole box, moon-shaped for sweet dreams.

I sank into the cloud-like bed on a blissful sugar high. Presumably other Flagler Club guests have the self-restraint not to eat the whole box in one sitting.

Spin with a view: Those who wake early enough can enjoy sunrise classes on the gym terrace

Spin with a view: Those who wake early enough can enjoy sunrise classes on the gym terrace

Destination: As the most famous hotel in the super-rich playground of Palm Beach, Florida, The Breakers regularly plays host to the one per cent

Destination: As the most famous hotel in the super-rich playground of Palm Beach, Florida, The Breakers regularly plays host to the one per cent

If they aren’t playing golf or chilling out at the spa, Flagler Club guests are encouraged to make the most of its private lounge and terrace, where complimentary breakfast, snacks and pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres are served throughout the day. 

The space is stocked with newspapers, a state-of-the-art coffee machine and an extensive bar. And there’s no signing of checks, the offering is completely complimentary, so plates and glasses can be topped up as frequently as you wish. Canapé dinner, anyone?

Of course, guests shouldn’t hibernate in the Flagler Club the whole time – tempting as it may be. The Breakers’ spa is well worth a visit, and those prepared to get up early enough can enjoy sunrise spin classes on the gym terrace.

And then there are the restaurants, which are destinations in themselves. We dined on filet mignon at the Flagler Steakhouse and jumbo shrimp at the Beach Club.

And if you’re spending your holidays by the pool, be sure to start the day with a nitro coffee and end it with a Skinny Pina Colada, both from Ocean House. 

The latter comes served in a coconut, making for a photogenic Instagram moment.

Those who know The Breakers know it is a special place to stay – it enjoys a high rate of repeat business. 

But the Flagler Club takes a special hotel experience to the next level. The room rates make it strictly for the one per cent but if you happen to be one of them, it’s well worth a stay.

TRAVEL FACTS 

Room rates at The Breakers start at $369 per night, and room rates at The Flagler Club at The Breakers start at $2,100 per night. Visit Thebreakers.com to book. 

British Airways direct flights from London to Miami start at £746 return including tax and charges (sale fares are available until August 22 from £659 return). Visit Ba.com to book. 

West Palm Beach is approximately 80 minutes’ drive from Miami airport. 



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