At the foot of the leafy atrium is Tillies, the property’s main restaurant. The kitchen is manned by chef Jake Brodsky, a second-generation boxer from Queens who is handsome in the sort of way that when he first started out as a 22-year-old cook at Eleven Madison Park his coworkers nicknamed him “GQ.” His menu has earthy tropical fare with a cosmopolitan sensibility—simple grilled fish, Caribbean curries, perfect ceviches—plus big-brass crowd-pleasers like rib-eye steaks and a creamy lobster pasta.
Across the street from the main hotel is a new spa-and-fitness complex called the Garden Club, which is set to open within the year. Inside is another massive labyrinth of palms—you turn a corner and there’s a walk-in temperate pool, only big enough for one or two people, hidden in the leaves. Keep thwacking your way through and you’ll find a massive Turkish hammam rendered in Giallo Siena yellow marble, stone soaking tubs, a cold-plunge suite, indoor facilities including yoga studios and massage rooms, a boxing ring, and an outdoor gym so pristine it looks like a reality TV set. Wellness—conceptually, commercially, spiritually—is a pillar of the Palm Heights universe, as it is for so many in its target clientele, and this new facility is an altar to that end.
Also not quite open to the public is a speakeasy bar on the property called Bambi’s, named after who else but Bambi Grimotes, whom everyone on the property will tell you is the heart and soul of Palm Heights. The space, according to Grimotes, currently functions as something like a room of requirement, complete with an LED dance floor: “Half of the time, Bambi’s, she’s not available,” he says. “But when she is open, oh, my God, what a good time.”
“We often joke about being the next location for The White Lotus,” says Davide Spada, the Naples-born, efficaciously charming manager of Tillies. Brodsky, who is frequently seen wearing a monogrammed Gucci baseball cap, agrees that working at Palm Heights can feel like fiction—but “one of the best parts of living on the TV show,” he says, “is that you meet people in their best state. They’re relaxed. The ego goes out the door. You don’t have the city on you.”