The Palm Beaches is home to the International Polo Club so we were thrilled to have the opportunity to shoot a segment with a professional polo player and learn about the sport. Well, when I think about polo, one of the first things that comes to mind is Julia Roberts and the movie Pretty Woman. I’m dating myself with that statement! Well, in the movie, Julia Roberts got all dolled up and went to the polo grounds and even stomped some divots. So we felt like it would be fun to get ourselves spruced up before we hit the polo grounds. So first stop…our hotel’s spa for manis and pedis!
Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa: 5 North A1A, Jupiter, FL 33477
Really, I don’t need an excuse to get a mani/pedi, but we were thrilled to learn that our hotel had a beautiful spa located on the lower level of the hotel. Truth be told, the Jupiter Beach Resort was the perfect combination of gracious hospitality, luxurious surroundings and family friendly amenities, making it a perfect trifecta for our family and crew.
Before I get into the spa treatments, I just want to mention how amazing the hotel rooms were at the Jupiter Resort. We were treated to the penthouse suite which had everything a family could need for a stay and more including a private balcony with amazing coastal views. Talk about pampered….the room was complete with Egyptian cotton linens, mahogany furniture, and plush bathrobes. I could definitely get used to living like this!
With all of these fabulous high end details, you might think that the hotel might not accommodate children, but nothing is farther from the truth. In fact, the resort is located on a beautiful beach where my girls had fun building sandcastles and swimming in the water. They also had fun at the pool and hanging out in the game room playing pinball and air hockey. Families can also enjoy s’mores by the firepit or set up a sea turtle tour with help from the concierge.
Oh, and I absolutely must mention, the food was amazing too. We had breakfast and dinner at the hotel’s oceanfront restaurant, Sinclair’s. The servers couldn’t have been any nicer or more helpful and the menu was beautifully prepared and presented. Each course was better than the next. After working 10-12 hour days, we are so thankful for a wonderful meal and fantastic service. In fact, the crew rated Sinclair’s as one of the best experiences we have enjoyed.
Now, for the spa….we were thrilled that the lovely ladies of the Castner family could join us for the spa shoot! They were all troopers and helped us as “extras” for our spa segment. It was fun meeting with them to get our manicures done and the spa area is lovely. The staff members were not only great at making us all feel welcomed and comfortable, they were incredibly accommodating painting our nails over and over for several takes!
Once we were looking pretty, we headed to the polo club!
International Polo Club: S 33414, 3667 120th Ave S, Wellington, FL 33414
When we drove up to the polo grounds, we couldn’t believe our eyes! The word that comes to mind is…regal. Every detail had been thought out from the beautifully manicured grounds to the luxurious, yet comfortable, 7th Chukker Lounge where our crew was graciously served lunch in between shoots. Let me tell you, we were treated like royalty.
Perhaps I felt the connection between polo and royalty because there is a connection! According to the official website of the British Monarchy, polo has been popular with several members of the royal family. In fact, the Prince of Wales and his sons, Princes William and Henry, are known polo players.
We felt like we were rubbing elbows with royalty when we had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Hall, a professional polo player. Jeff started playing polo when he was a little boy and became a professional polo player at age twelve! Jeff is considered one of the best polo players in the world and it was an honor to have him teach us about the sport.
First, Jeff explained that the basic object of the game is to move a polo ball down the field and hit it through a goal to score. It’s an equestrian team sport with four players on each team. A match lasts a couple of hours and is split into six periods that are called chukkers. Each player brings 6-8 horses to the field per game and changes horses between each chukker so the horses don’t become too tired. During half time, spectators can join in the tradition of divot stomping (just like Julia Roberts!) to help stomp down the torn up turf.
As a dad, Jeff must have a lot of practice teaching kids how to try new things because he was really patient with the girls, teaching them how to hold the mallet. After we tried hitting the ball on the ground, Jeff got on his horse and showed us how he would do it in a real game. Though we weren’t able to catch a match while we were in the Palm Beaches, we can’t wait to come back and watch Jeff and the other players in action.
We heard that when we do come back, we can’t miss the Wellington Zone. For a nominal fee, the kids can have fun getting their faces painted and jumping in the bounce house. It’s an added bonus to all of the other traditional activities at the International Polo Club where everyone is invited to experience the polo lifestyle.
Some Additional Tips & Fun Facts:
• The Palm Beach polo season is from January to April
• Matches are free Wednesday-Saturday and start around $10 on Sundays. Call to confirm exact times (561) 204-5687.
• Lawn seating and tailgating spots are available
• Wellington Zone is open between 2pm to 5pm every Sunday, on the west side of the field behind the grandstands.
• No refunds for rained out dates.
• There’s no specific dress code, but why not dress up and embrace the tradition? Maybe even a fascinator hat?
There are plenty of other horse shows/events in the area besides polo. For instance, the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center hosts many events, including barrel racing shows. Barrel racing is a fast paced event in which contestants race against the clock and each other for money and prizes, and is free for the whole family! 7500 Forest Hill Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33413