Lessons With A Legend
Hey Boca, Jimmy is in town! That’s right, tennis great Jimmy Connors has recently moved back to South Florida from Cali and has teamed up with the posh Boca Raton Resort to launch a “Legends of Boca” package. Now guests and members can play tennis with the pro (who won eight Grand Slam singles championships) or just mix and mingle with him. “I don’t think there’s ever been a relationship like this with this brand of a hotel,” says Connors.
Even at 63, the tennis champ says he can still hang with the best of them. “Tennis is in my blood, and you just can’t turn it off,” he says. “Just because I’m older and I’m not what I used to be doesn’t mean I don’t love it. There are all levels for all players, and I hope I can find a level for you that you feel comfortable with.”
Hotel guests can splurge on the luxurious Legends of Boca package, which is priced at a cool $20,000 (more on that later), while members and guests can simply book a four-hour private tennis lesson for $5,000. “I think the idea is to come out and keep some balls in play. I can have you playing 5.0 tennis in a minute,” Connors boasts. “My one tip is: Don’t beat the pro.”
But it’s not just tennis. Connors says he just wants to “hang out” with members and guests. “You want to play some golf? Give me a few shots. You want to sit down and have lunch? I’m not a philosopher, but I’ll talk about anything,” he says. “I want to sit down and talk to people like I’ve known them for years.”
Right now, Connors is staying at the luxe Boca Beach Club while he and his wife of 37 years look for a turnkey of their own in Boca. They lived in South Florida about 35 years ago, and even after moving to California, Connors would come back four or five times a year to play tennis and golf. He says this new opportunity with the resort is giving him the chance to connect with old and new friends.
“I have a lot of friends here, friends that I grew up playing tennis with. My best friend lives three minutes away. He comes down and we play some tennis in the morning,” he says. “I walk out my door, and I have the best of all worlds.”
Luxury and a Legend
So about that Legends of Boca package. For $20,000, guests can spend four days in a swank suite, spend a half-day with Connors golfing or playing tennis, take a private sunset cruise, get a couples massage at the spa, indulge in three over-the-top dinners at the resort’s restaurants, including Morimoto, relax by the Boca Beach Club pool in a cabana (with your own butler) and tool around town in the resort’s exotic “house car,” a Maserati. Not too shabby, huh?
A few extra tips: Be sure to have breakfast at the Palm Court, which offers a buffet fit for a king and queen, and make a point to sample the decadent monkey bread. Those who want a healthier breakfast can nosh on made-to-order egg-white omelets or Greek yogurt with a variety of fruits and nuts and sip wheatgrass shots. If you’re going to the spa (which is an entity of its own with more than 40 rooms), indulge in the Bath Ritual, where you’ll rotate from a mineral bath to waterfall showers, a warm Jacuzzi, sauna and inhalation rooms. It is heaven on earth!