Why The Newly Renovated PGA National Is Much More Than Just A Golfer’s Dream Stay

PGA NationalPhoto Credit: Will Pryce

Head to Palm Beach Gardens and you’ll discover greatness in the PGA National Resort, a comprehensive luxury lifestyle resort that just completed  extensive $100 million transformation in February. And while it does bear the name PGA and does host the annual Honda Classic, this is not just a resort for golfers alone. Here is why and what you’ll discover.


PGA National
PGA National lobby bar

Photo Credit: PGA National

Quintessential 1960s Palm Beach chic is the inspiration for the refreshed common area. As designed by award-winning firm KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group, the concept here is all nostalgic swagger meets modern luxe from the black-and-white patterned entry carpet to a vibrant mirrored red door, red and white awnings, and lush greenery in a secret garden style.

The lobby features two focal point chandeliers, which resemble upside-down palm leaves, complete with ‘60s-inspired pocket seating and period furniture pieces that include a light cream semi-circle sofa paired with frayed ottomans and retro chairs in a variety of patterns and designs from gold and pink to cheetah and burnt orange.

The highlight of the lobby is its bar, which is illuminated by a massive replica of a banyan tree featuring over 1,500 LED lights (inspired by the  trees that reside within the City of Palm Beach Gardens), with hand blown glass molded with metal. Guests can sip custom cocktails from a dark burgundy and black marbled counter bar set against vibrant pinks and greens, or sit on palm-green cushioned counter stools.


PGA National
PGA National king suite

Photo Credit: PGA National

The resort’s 360 guest rooms and private villas were also designed by KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group — and they’re absolutely gorgeous. Again, think 1960s Palm Beach chic with modern amenities, in lush shades of pink and green with gold accents. The rooms have been completely redone, and now feature wingback headboards, bed frames in dark brown and crème, custom vintage black-and-white palm-leaf wallpaper, and lacquered and caned case goods. Select rooms feature dusty rose velvet curved sofas, while all rooms offer an outdoor lounge, many of which have views of the golf courses beyond.


PGA National
The Butcher’s Club

Photo Credit: Will Pryce

There is not one, not two, but six new culinary concepts on site at PGA National, including two signature restaurants helmed by award-winning chefs. Here is the breakdown:

The Butcher’s Club – Helmed by Top Chef Season 13 winner and Executive Chef of the acclaimed Stubborn Seed in Miami, Jeremy Ford (who actually received his first Michelin star for the latter restaurant the night of my visit to the property — what timing!) The Butcher’s Club offers a high-end dining experience in a sleek, stylish atmosphere with an air of 1950s cool. It’s a dramatic setting with black marble tables beneath polished gold chandeliers, accented with tones of warm gold and dark wood, with a menu to match, inclusive of selections from a raw bar but focused on a curated roster of dry aged cuts paired with an innovative cocktail menu and an extensive wine collection.

Birdie’s Diner – Birdie’s leans into the retro look and feel of the resort with diner favorites served at the first hole. Hungry golfers will love the nostalgic and upbeat feel of the eatery, whose menu focuses on American cuisine with a South Florida spin including piña colada pancakes and a Cuban panini.

Honeybelle – Led by multiple James Beard Award nominee and Palm Beach resident, Lindsay Autry, Honeybelle is the resort’s all-day dining concept which offers both indoor and outdoor seating (inclusive of Palm Beachy palm-leaf green and white cushioned chairs under pastel green umbrellas), a great breakfast buffet, wood-fired pizzas, fresh salads, sandwiches and entrees like roasted half chicken and grilled Scottish salmon.

The MKT – The MKT is the resort’s fast food option, offering light bites and beverages in a chic retro setting.

Sugarplume – This specialty chocolate shop is freakin’ sweet! Guests will find specialty chocolates from around the globe at this tiny confectionary that features fun flamingo door handles and striking mosaic pink flamingo flooring.

Big Drip – This retro ice cream shop is across from the resort’s updated kids club and is hard not to notice thanks to its neon pink “Treat Yo Self” light-up sign with the illusion of ice cream dripping down the sides. Parents, get your wallets ready.


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The spa

Photo Credit: Will PryceThe Spa at PGA National is paradise discovered. The space itself is completely beautiful. As designed by South Florida design group V Starr, the 40,000-square-foot space is a great place to let the healing begin. Aesthetically, it’s soothing but still with that retro modern vibe, with flowing fountains complemented by tropical prints and a neutral palette of subdued golds, cremes, pinks and light wood elements in its design. The spa’s revitalization also includes an outdoor pool deck, a couple’s treatment room, two Himalayan salt rooms, and three mineral pools with  salts from around the world, including France and Turkey. There’s also The Barbershop, the only barbershop at a hotel in the Palm Beaches, and The Salon, which offers all the beauty services imaginable, as well as nail care and hair treatments.

Here is a breakdown of the innovations it offers:

Integral Living: Choose from Watsu therapy, performed in the warm mineral pool while a therapist gently cradles, moves and stretches your body in chest-deep water, or a Thai massage, where compression and passive stretching techniques are performed on a Thai mat. My favorite was the reiki, which is a whole new experience here from a Colombian-born reiki master, who takes your pain, internalizes it, and releases it.

Healing Salt Therapy: The spa’s unique salt chamber uses pharmaceutical grade dry salt in a comfortable, controlled environment to aid respiratory and skin conditions, athletic performance, and general well-being. Treatments include a Himalayan salt stone treatment to heal and release the day’s stress, and a salt immersion therapy with a dry-stone exfoliation and invigorating salt scrub.

Touch Therapy: Featuring one of the most extensive lists of treatments, guests can choose from massages including the lomi lomi, based on Hawaiian techniques enhanced with pineapple oil, a golfer’s massage, designed to loosen stiff hips and shoulders to improve the swing and, among others, a lymphatic drainage massage with light-touch treatment of selected areas to improve lymphatic flow and reduce water retention.

Body Therapy: This is the ticket for spa enthusiasts who seek a full-body experience rich in healing ingredients and soothing signature scents to enjoy at home. With a series of scrubs and wraps as its core offerings, the area features a seafoam body wrap, a fountain of youth body wrap, a sea scrub body exfoliation, and a tropical sugar scrub, among others.

Skin Therapy: Take your pick from a slew of restorative and customized facials including the Hydrafacials, a gold treatment facial, and a Just Beauty CBD facial.

Gentlemen: The male spa-goer has something just for him, including signature shaves at the Barbershop or facials at the spa such as The Outdoorsman, designed for men to treat dryness, remove the buildup of dead skin, and reduce the irritation of ingrown hair from daily routines.

PGA National
The salon

Photo Credit: Will Pryce


PGA National
The Staple Course No. 9

Photo Credit: PGA National

Let’s go back a little. The resort initially launched in 1983 with the Ryder Cup, and has been a destination for those looking to play on immaculate fairways and greens ever since. So, with its modern refresh, in addition to the 90 holes of championship golf across five courses, the resort now features two new, Andy Staples designed courses: “The Match” and “The Staple”.

“The Match” course encourages match versus stroke play, while“The Staple” is just fun, offering nine holes ranging from 60-130 yards and featuring a variety of unique undulations, funneling shots, and in some cases, difficult-to-reach shelves. Originally designed as The Squire in 1983 by the design duo of Tom and George Fazio, under Staples’ renovation, the course now appeals to both the avid golfer and casual player, as well as beginners and even non-golfers. Made out of two holes from the old Squire course, the overall design of The Staple provides a casual venue ideal for plenty of after-hours play and practice options.

For those who don’t wish to golf, there’s also a 33,000 square-foot Sports and Racquet Club featuring 19 tennis courts, 12 of which are equipped for night play, pro lessons, a five-lane saltwater lap pool, cardio and weight training rooms, two aerobic studios, two functional training studios, a spin room with video monitors, TRX, battling ropes, water rowers, heavy bags for boxing, and even a heavy tire.

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The Match Course No. 18

The Spa at PGA National is located at 400 Ave of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418

Photo Credit: PGA National