The Colony celebrates its 75th birthday with a new design inspired by the joyful spirit of Palm Beach.
When The Colony hotel opened its doors in 1947 on the west end of Hammon Avenue in sunny Palm Beach, Florida's most glamorous residents flocked to celebrate what would become the winter playground for international actors, politicians, and dignitaries. Seventy-five years later, the hotel, nicknamed Pink Paradise after the color of its façade, reclaims its place as one of Palm Beach's finest destinations after a major redesign.
Led by Kemble Interiors, founded by Palm Beach native Mimi Maddock McMakin, the 89-room boutique property just debuted an eclectic new look inspired by the playful spirit of this renowned South Florida city. A vibrant custom mural greets guests in the lobby, featuring scenes of cougars wearing diamond necklaces, smiling flamingos, and fish jumping from ponds against a bright pink backdrop. High-backed wicker chairs and lacquered tables complement the space, invoking the comfort and elegance of classic Palm Beach homes.
"We had to use a very selective eye in what we altered, and one of the goals was to keep the Palm Beach flavor, the openness, the friendliness, the color, and that involved keeping it very Palm Beach and allowing people to feel the comfort that Palm Beach offers as though they are houseguests. They're a guest in a wonderful villa," McKin told Travel + Leisure.
The theme continues in the redesigned rooms, which are clad in custom furnishings, part of The Colony's 11-piece capsule collection with Society Social. Artisan-crafted faux bamboo and rattan pieces, cane cabinets, vintage Farrow & Ball pink, green, and blue wall paints, and unique interior details transform the guest rooms into whimsical sanctuaries. One of the guest rooms features a tented ceiling with three-dimensional tassels hanging on the sides, invoking the look of cabanas.
"There's something fun about lying in your bed and looking up," McKin added. "That's what the whole design was about — just walking into a world where the guests would say, 'Wow, isn't this great?'"
She worked closely with the hotel's owner and president, Sarah Wetenhall, whose inspiration board included Addison Mizner designs from the '20s, '30s, and '40s and Slim Aarons's iconic Balm Beach images from the '50s and '60s.
"If you look at the design touchpoints, it's old Palm Beach. We've always wanted to be the very best version of ourselves as opposed to trying to be something that we're not," Wetenhall told T+L.
And while design is a major factor of this new chapter for The Colony, so is service. As a boutique hotel in such a famous — and saturated from a hospitality perspective — market, Wetenhall took a hyper-personalized approach to guest experience, where "everyone knows your name on property, and you don't have to order your drink at the bar, because the bartender remembers you from yesterday."
"We have a unique slice of the pie on Palm Beach. We're large enough to have a function space, a sizable restaurant, two swimming pools, and a proper full campus. But at the same time, we're small enough to anticipate your needs. And it's that combination that we believe sets us apart together with our design-forward mentality," she added.
The Colony will also offer its guests a variety of seasonal events and programs. From December through March, travelers will find a Dolce & Gabbana pop-up shop on-site. Live music is a constant at The Colony, with Wetenhall bringing in DJs and performers from New York and Miami. And upcoming wellness and beauty residencies include skin care line Dr. Barbara Sturm.
You can now book your stay at the redesigned Colony Hotel here. Nightly rates start at $599.
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