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Checking In: Seagate Hotel & Spa -- Boutique hotel in Delray Beach close to beach, culture

The Seagate Hotel & Spa

1000 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; theseagatehotel.com; 877-577-3242

Back story: At The Seagate, you're in the middle of the city's arts and entertainment district so you needn't venture far for entertainment.

Just a few blocks from the beach, the four-story boutique hotel, which opened in November, has an airy, contemporary look with marine themed-decor. The lobby's centerpiece is a 3,000 gallon aquarium with a rare red-carpet anemone among other colorful sea life. Two other aquariums are home to eels and lion fish. Another in the bar, Jellies, houses jellyfish.

The lobby floor is mesquite driftwood. One wall of the 8,000-square-foot spa is recycled stone, textured to look like waves. On the restaurant tables: shell-shaped salt and pepper shakers.

Just for fun: Hotel guests have access to the nearby private Seagate Beach Club, whose history dates to 1932. The original building, no longer standing, was once owned by Arthur Vining Davis, an aluminum magnate who possessed a sizeable chunk of Southeast Florida in the mid-1900s.

You're transported via the hotel's trolley to the oceanfront club, which features a steak house and a casual restaurant. You can swim in the pool or rent water sports equipment, including surf and kite boards. Scuba diving lessons are available, too. Back at the hotel, you can take advantage of the full-service spa, a pool and a resort-wear shop.

If you want to leave the hotel, two Mercedes SUVs will take you to nearby attractions.

Sleep well: The hotel has 162 rooms done in contemporary styling in sand-colored beige. All but 21 of the rooms have balconies. The typical size: about 500 square feet.

In your dreams: The presidential suite measures 2,000 square feet and features an 800-square-foot balcony facing the Atlantic. The two-bedroom, two-bath suite has a cathedral ceiling, full kitchen and a dining table that seats eight.

Eat, drink and be merry: The restaurant's Atlantic Grille, also patronized by locals, is divided into different dining experiences. You can sit at a nine-person counter — the "chef's table'' — and watch your dinner being cooked. Or eat outside on the patio and enjoy the people parade on Atlantic. Floor to ceiling wine racks create two private dining rooms. At the bar, a musician entertains, playing everything from Motown to classical on a digital piano Thursday through Saturday.

Popular dishes by Chef Adam Gottlieb include filet mignon sliders on brioche with smoked gouda and scallops with caramelized onions.

Attractions: Everything you need for a vacation is within a few blocks, including the ocean and several cultural attractions. Old School Square Cultural Art Center offers exhibits, a museum and live theater. Restaurants include everything from Asian, Italian and continental to a British pub and Doc's, an open-air historic hamburger stand around since the '50s.

You can play tennis at the Delray Beach Tennis Center, host to the 2007 Fed Cup, or shop at boutiques on the street.

Prices: $259 to $525; presidential suite, $1,000 to $2,500. Resort fee: $25 daily, per room. Tax is an additional 11.5 percent.

Liz Doup

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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