The Boating Party


The docks were situated on the south side of the north bridge where the Royal Poinciana Theater now stands. In this animated stereograph, guests from the hotels (the Hotel Royal Poinciana is in the background) embark on a sightseeing trip.

Boat Party


The original stereograph comes from the University of California and is captioned "Party on the boat, Palm Beach, Florida. Taken ca. 1900, once you get past the past the flashing movement you really get the feel of being a passenger.

The Party's Over!


As the party boat hasn't met a Titanic-style disaster, "women and children" disembark in reverse order.

Looking For the Bar?


Turn left at the pillar. You can get there via "Hypocrite's Row." Just look for the door inside the men's room.

Pictured here is an animated gif of this stereograph. I'll be adding more gifs this week.


The North Entrance

This picture, courtesy of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, was taken just inside the north entrance of the hotel. The window on the right faces north. Outside the door, a long piazza stretched to the little train station. The tennis courts were on the east side of the piazza. From here, guests started their very long walk to the front desk.

The picture is rich in detail. The room looks to be set up for a high tea. Note the elegant lace tablecloths and curtains. A string surrounds the table beneath the sconce (center left) to keep guests away from some very fancy glass and china.

The china on the table to the right is white with green and orange trim. Examples are on display at The Richard and Pat Johnson Palm Beach County History Museum located in the restored courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida.      



A clipping of a newspaper rotogravure page showing a view of the north entrance lobby taken from the same spot as this one, in a different year. Guests were treated to music throughout the hotel- there was at least one more piano, placed just outside the Garden Grill.

Photogravure courtesy of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County.

I'll Wait For You in the Lobby.

"The garden effect is carried to the interior interior decorations, where palms, ferns, crotons and other foliage plants are banked around the rotunda. The floors are carpeted in moss green and the walls are tinted in pale green and delicate pink. Even the furniture, in white and gold gives the place an air of summer that can not be erased from the mind. This is perpetual summer, with electric lights casting a glow over the scene , the opening Wednesday at dinner, was a pretty sight."
Palm Beach Daily News, Jan. 17, 1902. 

These photos, which come courtesy of the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, show two adjoining rooms of the north entrance lobby. This was the first room guests saw as they entered the hotel after traversing the long piazza from the railroad depot. The windows at the rear face east offering a clear view of the Hotel Breakers across the island and the tennis courts just below.

The same room, taken from the adjoining room but on a different day (or year.) The pattern on the wicker furniture is different. The details of design in the carpeting as well as the pottery are crisp. Click to enlarge.


The Dining Room, Appetizer

After a second wing was added in 1902, the main dining room was capable of serving 1700 guests at once. The Head Waiter had thirty-two assistants and five hundred waiters who served meals to from twenty-three hundred to twenty six hundred people three times a day.  150 cooks and an equal number of assistants worked in the kitchen. Guests looking for a more intimate meal could always have it at the Palm Grill.

This rare photo- taken shortly after the hotel opened- shows waitresses and other staff  lining the center aisle of  the dining room. The ladies are wearing dark shirtwaist dresses and full length aprons. This is one of a very few pictures of the hotel staff in existence. 
A heavily retouched photograph of the dining as it looked when it opened in 1894. The main aisle where the staff is standing in the top photo is just past the arches at the right. 
The picture is taken from a rare angle that almost gives a "diner's eye view" of the table. It includes lots of great detail; from the water carafe, glasses, napkins and condiment servers to the arrangement of the silver and design of the chairs. Click to enlarge.

 The Hotel's print shop produced thousands of menus every day topped with an elegant engraving of the hotel logo.

A colored postcard gives a hint of a later color scheme.  The arched doorway  at the entrance found a second life as a garage door at a Palm Beach home after the hotel was demolished.

The dining room doubled as a ballroom when parties featuring upwards of two thousand guests couldn't be accommodated by the octagonal ballroom.