By Vickie Mitchell
PGA National Resort and Spa
400 Avenue of Champions
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
What’s new: A multiyear $65 million renovation wraps up this fall with redos of guest rooms, two restaurants and the spa. The resort’s original golf course, the Haig, is being reworked by Tom Fazio II and will reopen in November. This year, for the first time since the Honda Classic golf tournament came to the resort in 2007, Tiger Woods was a competitor. Attendance was 45 percent higher than the previous record attendance. Honda will hold the tourney at PGA National for at least four more years.
Kudos: PGA National has been honored with the AAA Four Diamond award and Golfweek’s No. 3 Best You Can Play state- by-state award in 2011, and was named About.com’s No. 1 golf resort in Florida and one of Golf World’s Top 50 Resorts in 2010. It has been designated a Florida Green Lodge by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection since 2007.
Rooms: 379 guest rooms, suites and cottages.
Meeting space: The resort has almost 40,000 square feet, mainly in a conference wing that has its own entrance and is anchored by a 10,000-square-foot ballroom. There are up to 23 meeting rooms, depending on configuration. Numerous outdoor spaces include a 5,000-square-foot pavilion overlooking a lake and the signature pool.
Amenities: Golf is big, with five courses (90 holes) designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, the Fazios and Karl Litten. Tennis is also a draw, with 19 Har-Tru courses. Nine pools include a lap pool and a zero-entry pool. A 40,000-square-foot European spa (See story below.) has been voted the best in West Palm Beach. Nine restaurants and lounges offer everything from steak and seafood to sandwiches. A health club has weight rooms and exercise classes.
Location: Palm Beach Gardens is northwest of Palm Beach. Palm Beach International Airport is a 15-minute drive; the resort is an hour from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and 90 minutes from Miami International Airport.