One of the long-time anomalies of Florida’s East Coast is Delray Beach. The city, which boasts a terrific stretch of sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean and has a prime location on the Intracoastal Waterway, was a sleepy outlier for years. It was a place you drove through along A1A on your way to far tonier Boca Raton or continued on your way to Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
As the fortunes of other cities rose – think Miami Beach and West Palm Beach – Delray Beach seemed stuck in time and passed over. Given that it’s only about a 20 minute drive south from Palm Beach International Airport, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before it was discovered.
In the past 20 years, the dynamic restaurant scene on the city’s Atlantic Avenue, along with lively bars and a number of art galleries, is what seems to have elevated its reputation and potential. Slowly, the city with a welcoming low-key vibe began going upscale. Yet it has long been lacking a great hotel. That scenario is likely to change with the forthcoming opening of The Ray in July, 2021.
This is a high-design property on NE 2nd Avenue in the City’s beachside Downtown, two blocks off Atlantic Avenue and a mile from the ocean. It has 141 rooms and suites, each with sunlit balconies and terraces, and offering unobstructed views of Downtown Delray Beach. Amenities include a 20,000-square-foot rooftop pool deck with a bar and restaurant, two restaurants, a signature lobby bar, wellness-focused experiences, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Tropical luxury was the design goal of the goal of the LEED® Gold Certified hotel. Developed by Menin, a Delray Beach-based developer, and designed by Gonzalez Architects, the hotel features living walls, a rooftop floating forest, and a lush tree canopy shading the open-space areas. This is tropical living writ large, with an emphasis on outdoor dining, lounging, and group fitness.
Rosewater Rooftop is the name of the rooftop lounge and pool, a 22,000-square- foot space with baldachins, oversized umbrellas, trellises and pergolas, as well as a tree canopy. Akira Back is the Asian-influenced restaurant led by the Michelin-starred chef of the same name. Ember Grill is a fresh take on the classic American grill, with a menu of classics designed Las Vegas Chef Joe Zanelli. The Lobby Bar at The Ray has signature cocktails and light bites while Stingers offers light breakfast fare.
The property’s sculptures and immersive art installations are a nod to the hotel’s location in the heart of the Pineapple Grove Arts District. It also will boast The Cube, a floating-glass-cube event space. Interiors were designed with a collaboration of three award-winning interior design companies: Virserius Studio, Studio Munge, and Celano Design.
The Ray offers rentable surfboards, paddleboards, and beach cabanas. There is complimentary transportation via golf cart or beach bike for all hotel guests creates effortless access to the beach and all Downtown destinations including the Delray Beach Market.
The hotel is a member of the Curio Collection by Hilton, a portfolio of one-of-a-kind hotels which includes such properties as the newly opened Sable at Navy Pier in Chicago. Visit The Ray for more details.
Read the article in Forbes