Luxurious Fun: The Seagate Hotel and Spa

I recently discovered Delray Beach, Fla., after my 30th or so trip to the area. The Delray of my previous travels was not the vibrant downtown area or the stretch of beautiful oceanfront, but the gated retirement communities and strip malls just a few miles inland, home to many of my senior relatives.

Downtown Delray Beach is a destination unto itself __ and quickly securing its place as a hot competitor to some better known beach towns along Florida's Atlantic Coast.

One catalyst to this renaissance is the Seagate Hotel and Spa, which opened in November 2009 on Atlantic Avenue, two blocks from the ocean. This luxury property is a full-service resort in boutique form, with 154 rooms and suites, a spa, an on-site pool, shops and the fabulous Atlantic Grille restaurant. Within walking distance are 125 restaurants and 350 boutiques and art galleries.

Also open to guests is Seagate's private beach club with an oceanfront pool, a beach, a restaurant and event space. A few miles away is the Seagate Country Club, offering a championship golf course and tennis, along with dining and banquet space for up to 500.

Until this year, I would have been surprised to learn that Delray Beach was named the "Most Fun Small Town in America" by Rand McNally and USA Today in July 2012. Now, I'm looking forward to going back to take advantage of the 121 restaurants and 300 shops that I missed this time around.

See the slide show here for more highlights from the Seagate Hotel and Spa, including meeting and event facilities.