Over the past decade, the formerly quaint Florida Gold Coast town of Delray Beach, midway between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, has grown into a cosmopolitan destination. This shift is most striking in the mural- and sculpture-studded Pineapple Grove Arts District, and the latest addition to that buzzy area is The Ray, a design-forward property from Hilton’s boutique Curio Collection. Here are four reasons to check in.
The Ray fits right in with its artsy environs. The Mid-Century-Modern-inspired exterior features an airy glass facade, while the lobby boasts a living wall and several large-scale works from the collection of hotel owner Craig Menin, including pieces by artists Damian Sarno and Scarlett Kanistanaux. Perhaps the biggest highlight is Anthony James’s Icosahedron, a sort of geometric kaleidoscope that invites guests to peer into an illuminated infinity.
The 141 rooms and suites are as aesthetically pleasing as the property’s public spaces. The walls are hung with whimsical photos of waterside scenes, while the beachy color palette and industrial marble bathrooms create a vibe that is cool and inviting. Custom-made furniture and eucalyptus linens ensure peak comfort, although there’s nothing more relaxing than stepping out onto your private balcony to take in the salty sea air.
Sun and Sand
Speaking of stepping out, guests won’t want to miss The Ray’s sleek rooftop pool deck, which offers a 360-degree view of downtown Delray Beach. Lush landscaping surrounds private lounge areas where you can order light bites (think mezze platters and Wagyu burgers) and drinks (the Afternoon Delight, with Aperol, hibiscus- infused agave syrup, grapefruit juice, and prosecco, is as close to perfection as it gets) from the Rosewater Rooftop restaurant. Of course, if you want to feel the sand between your toes, the beach is just a short bike ride away.
Former South Florida resident Ernest Hemingway would have felt at home inside the ground-floor restaurant, Ember Grill, thanks to a classic design highlighted by oversize leather banquettes and enormous sculptural wicker fans. Chef Joe Zanelli, who has worked at top kitchens in New York and Las Vegas, mixes traditional and eclectic dishes on his menu, from a vegan Bolognese that uses impossible beef to branzino Veracruz with stewed tomato, broccolini, olives, and salsa verde. Finish up your weekend with a Maine lobster Benedict at brunch and one more sun-kissed stroll on the boardwalk.
From $518, therayhotel.com