Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JUL-AUG 2019

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As you may have surmised by now, my wife and I love to travel. Innumerable moons ago, in the dark and distant years BC (Before Children), we used to sojourn at the Ritz- Carlton Palm Beach (now Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa), apportioning our funds to stay in club-level accommodations whenever we could. You see, club level at that time meant spectacular views, a fourth-floor room and endless pours come sundown. Or before sundown, for that matter. An elite enclave within a luxurious resort, Eau's club accommodations exist at the very pinnacle of Palm Beach luxury. It's hard to let go of old habits, especially when they include extraordinary dining, unlimited cocktails and personalized snorkeling trips. But with the arrival of our children, bless them, we decided that it might be expedient for numerous reasons to forgo the luxuries of the club level, and to live a life of relative austerity until the kids were more fully equipped to enjoy the †ner things in life. When that day finally arrived, our offspring's insatiable appetites had gravitated towards, in order of seniority, coma-inducing confections and painfully spicy snacks, both in prodigious quantities. Realizing, paradoxically, that when it came to vacations, the more we spent the more we would save, my wife and I at this juncture decided that it was probably time to revisit club-level accommodations purely to satisfy the seemingly omnivorous beasts that had inhabited the bodies of our young ones. Club lounges run the gamut of quality and added value depending upon where you stay. Even some budget-conscious chain hotels (I am reliably informed) have them— rooms where patrons might grab a drink and some †nger food before heading out for the evening. It was at Eau Palm Beach, however, that my wife and I really, †nally, understood the truly exalted nature of this parallel universe that exists behind the mostly closed doors of the most exclusive resorts. On a recent extended holiday at Eau, we were fortunate enough, as were our children, to be taken care of by a team of some of the most genuinely charming, engaging and passionately committed professionals it has ever been our pleasure to encounter. Now I don't like to think that my family is particularly challenging or demanding (after all, who does?), but even if we had been, I know that the un‹appable club lounge manager, Phillip Brice, and his gifted team would have handled even our most outlandish requests with grace and eŒortless aplomb. Since our oceanfront wedding 16 years ago at the then Ritz-Carlton, my wife and I have clocked many wonderful club-level hours together, but seldom have we been made to feel so much like friends and family by our hosts and fellow travelers as we did on this particular trip. And an interesting group of fellow travelers they were. We met a couple of bankers who circumnavigate the world in their private jet and whose dog has his own title and calling card. We met the CFO of a pre-eminent lifestyle company whose home is provisioned with Whispering Angel on tap. We chatted with men and women whose job descriptions we might not have understood even if they had explained them to us. Special and important as all these guests might be, however, inside the hallowed walls of the Eau Club Lounge, my family and I are aŒorded such exquisite treatment that I can hardly imagine it getting any better. When it comes to truly great service and hospitality, everyone is equal. Although, to paraphrase George Orwell, perhaps some are more equal than others. JeŒrey Cohen jeŒ@slmag.net From the Editor-in-Chief 30 slmag.net

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