2842 South Ocean Boulevard 33480 PALM BEACH FL USPalm Beach, United States of America -See the map
Amy AdejokunSection editor
The first hotel to be built on the Palm Beach shore for almost two decades, The Omphoy is a truly class act. The perfectly-sized, Asian-inspired property combines sumptuously appointed rooms and great dining options with some of the finest wellbeing facilities in the region and top notch service in every department. The cool (in every sense of the word) design throughout the hotel lends a thoroughly calm and zen ambiance to proceedings while its location right on the beach means that you need not even leave the hotel complex during your stay should you wish. All aspects of the hotel seem to have been properly considered in order to render the guest's experience as relaxing and pleasurable as possible. The only downside for us is the distance of the hotel from any sign of life outside the hotel. Families and couples of all ages will not be let down here.
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The Omphoy is situated on South Ocean Boulevard on the island opposite the mainland. Although its address is Palm Beach it is actually a little way off and is in fact pretty isolated from downtown and any centres of interest with very little in the immediate vicinity of the hotel. The closest area of shops, dining and entertainment is located across Lake Worth Bridge in the zone known as LuLa (combining the name of the two main avenues, Lucerne and Lake. There are several golf courses with a short car ride away while West Palm Beach (north) and Delray Beach (south) are both easily accessible by road. The closest airport to The Omphoy is Palm Beach International which is 9 miles away.
There are a total of 134 guestrooms and suites at The Omphoy although you'd never guess - it feels more like a small wellbeing retreat. Three quarters of the rooms have either a full or oblique sea view, while the other quarter look out on to the inter-coastal. Although the hotel does not advertise itself as a property for children, they are of course welcome and as such ten percent of the rooms have two beds. The standard rooms, which are very generous in size, feature a king size bed enveloped in fresh white linens with, either side, large bedside tables with substantial, bulbous reading lamps and a telephone. These and other pieces of furniture in the room, such as the desk, television stand and bed frame, are made from Asian woods while the flooring is in the form of a bronze colour-infused tile which we loved. The floor-to-ceiling windows are tinted to protect the eyes from the sun especially during the first half of the day, while for those wishing to spend a little time in their room there is a fully-stocked minibar with plenty of snacks too. Other amenities in the room include a flatscreen television, safe and bathrobes and slippers. The sleek bathrooms, which have the same dazzling floor tiles as the room, are a pleasure to use. They feature a spacious vanity with wall-to-wall mirror, a large walk-in shower big enough for two, a make-up mirror, l'Occitane toiletries and separate loo. Some of the larger rooms feature a living space and modest balcony while the largest room in the hotel has a separate lounge space with its own television, sofa, coffee table and wet bar with microwave. Something to look out for though during the most humid of months: try not to leave the sliding doors to the balcony open as the floor gets wet and slippery very quickly! The hotel offers seven rooms adapted for those guests in a wheelchair.
The exterior of The Omphoy gleams with the reflection of the perfect Florida blue sky while at the entrance you will be met under a solid timber canopy made from Macassar Ebony by both a doorman and a member of the front office team. It is a breath of fresh air for the former not to be forceful in wanting to help with any luggage while the latter is both courteous and elegant in inviting you inside to complete the check-in. Here you'll find a perfectly balanced space in terms of materials, lights and sounds with a stairway leading up to the main floor to the left and both the complimentary business centre and small supplies boutique along the corridor straight ahead. On the upper floor you will come first into a lounge area with on one side a seating area arranged around a large flatscreen television with behind it a full size pool table and on the other side the most beautiful baby football table we have ever seen (made by the Italian brand Teckell). Further on you will find the restaurants and bar (see 'Food and Drink') while outside is a smart deck with chill out music piped in the background and views out onto the ocean. Of course further still and you hit the beach where the hotel has its own private section with sun loungers, parasols and of course a drinks service.
Just at the top of the aforementioned staircase is the hotel's award-winning luxury spa centre. Very much a destination spa, it offers a wide range of treatments including both face and body therapies (massages, acupuncture, scrubs, slimming and toning therapies) as well as waxing and manicures and pedicures. In addition to the relaxation side of things, those who wish to can get sweaty with a series of yoga classes (gentle, yogalates, Vinyasa and boot camp) or in the fully equipped fitness centre where personal training can be arranged.
The hotel's outdoor swimming is situated, bizarrely, at the front of the property next to the car park. Despite the strange location, the area is surrounded by palms and other greenery meaning that guests cannot see beyond the immediate confines of the pool. Lined with stylish loungers and parasols, the pool, which is accessible for those with disabilities, also boasts cabanas on a mezzanine level where you can enjoy a drink, snack or full meal brought to you by dedicated staff. The space enjoys pretty good exposure to the sun and there is a jacuzzi to relax in too.
For those wanting to practice water sports on the beach, there is a centre shared by the hotel's neighbours the Four Seasons which is run by a gentleman with a captains' licence.
The hotel as a whole is in excellent condition and is well maintained and clean. The suede-lined corridors are wide and light and easy to navigate while getting to your room is simple via the couple of lifts at your service. The staff, whether at the front desk, the spa or the restaurants, is extremely friendly, efficient and professional and will go out their way to make your stay a memorable one.
There are several outlets at The Omphoy if you fancy something to eat. In the mornings, breakfast is taken at The Terrace, most of which is actually indoors, although there is a large deck outside which overlooks the ocean. At each end of the room are blue banquettes while in the middle of the room are beautifully laid tables with bamboo lattice work on their sides. The spread of food is pretty impressive with a full continental offering as well as several hot stations and an omelette station. The quality of products is good and there is plenty of choice while the staff is extremely friendly and efficient. The only complaint we would have is that there was a little too much 'Is everything ok for you sir/madam?'. The staff should be confident enough that they provide a solid service, because they do! And in any case, there are plenty of members of the team to ask should one want for something.
The Terrace is also the venue for lunch should you be at the hotel. If you are not feeling like a full meal then there is a selection of cheese and charcuterie, however, should you desire something a little more substantial then there are a range of seafood-based or other salads and main courses such as seafood linguine, chicken paillard and cold poached salmon.
In the evening guests have a couple of options. The first of these is to head to the O-Bar just in front of The Terrace space. Here, the charming bar girls serve cocktails, beers, wines and more as well as items from the tapas menu including raw fish, bite size portions such as veal meatballs or asparagus tempura or even caviar.
The second option, and very much the flagship eatery at The Omphoy, is Michael Wurster's Malcolm's. The space itself is largely free of décor so as guests can give their full attention to what lays beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows - the Atlantic in all its glory. On the fare side, in addition to the tapas menu from the bar downstairs, diners can delight in such appetisers as pea soup, foie gras or burrata with lobster, aubergine and basil. In terms of mains, examples of what you might expect to find on the menu are: wild bass accompanied with edamame, sea beans, mussels, shrimp, clams, cress, lime and shellfish pistou; lamb loin with artichoke, shallot, baby carrot, corn pudding and a Barolo sauce; or a veal loin which comes with aubergine, caponata, parmesan polenta, roasted tomato and a brandy sauce. For the full Malcolm's experience opt for one of the two tasting menus - five courses for $60 or 9 courses for $105. There is an impressively extensive wine list with hundreds of bottles at all price points.
You may be wondering where the name Omphoy comes from. We did too and so we asked the question! The first part of the name, 'Om', with which most of you will be familiar, is the mystical Sanskrit symbol associated with Hinduism, while the second part, 'phoy' is a word of Scottish origin meaning feast or party.
Not only does the hotel have an award winning spa, but it also owns its beach meaning that it has carte blanche to hold whatever type of event it likes on the sand, including weddings, for which the hotel is hugely popular, even making it into the October 2012 US version of Condé Nast for precisely this.