Everything about staying at The Breakers, the legendary Palm Beach resort, is a study in balance—from the impeccably choreographed service to the diverse dining experiences that deliver menus that reflect discerning tastes and unflinching quality (will it cocktails over breathtaking ocean views at The Seafood Bar or exotic Asian at Echo?).
But today, I’m at The Breakers to hone a different kind of balance entirely: kneeling atop a paddleboard (also known as SUP or YOLO) in the water.
I’m wrestling gravity to get to my feet. Mike, my instructor, patiently prods me to take the proverbial plunge. “Concentrate on breathing from your core,” he says, “then push up.”
It takes several tries, including one graceless splash that surely gets the attention of the guests lounging poolside. But I finally get the hang of it. My breathing is mellow, my feet are evenly spaced atop the board and I’m propelling myself with smooth, dip-like strokes across the water’s surface. I feel like I’m riding a magic marine carpet, sensing the energy of the small waves passing under me and peering through the glassy water to the sandy bottom. We paddle to the sunken pier, then don our snorkel masks to have a peek at old wooden boards that now house thriving reef fish. Colorful wrasse poke among the coral and a French angelfish fins past. Who knew such a colorful world existed mere feet from one of Florida’s most iconic hotels? You might be surprised to find that Florida’s luxury resorts offer all sorts of water sports, from diving and sailing lessons to private boat tours and sunset catamaran cruises. Once you’re back on dry land, do what I do – head to the resort’s spa to unwind after all that intrepid fun. The Breakers, Palm Beach In addition to private paddleboarding lessons, the hotel’s water sports teams offers PADI scuba diving courses, private sailing lessons and snorkeling and cruising tours aboard the luxury power catamaran, Keylypso. Right in front of the hotel is The Breakers Reef, considered one of the best dive and snorkel sites in North America. Spa pick: Set in the resort’s Oceanfront Sanctuary with the sound of the rolling surf as a backdrop, the signature Personal Retreat massage eases you into tranquil bliss. Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key You’ll find the full water sports spectrum at this Florida Keys luxury resort: guided kayak eco-tours, kite boarding lessons, private sunset tours and trips for groups to uninhabited sandbars aboard Blue, the resort’s 65-foot luxury catamaran. The skippers will take care of the hors d’oeuvres and the beer, wine, champagne or soda! Don’t forget private deep-sea fishing charters in the Keys’ legendary waters. Spa pick: After a day of sun and salt spray, hydrate your face with a Soothing Sunset facial from Calm Water Spa. Naples Grande Beach Resort