American Destinations: Lasting LegacyAuthor:Lindsey Shook
The historic Colony Hotel in Palm Beach is stepping into the future with design top of mind
When entering the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, you are greeted with a signature cocktail and an explosion of fabulous design. Adorned in an exclusive wallpaper custom-designed by co-owner Sarah Wetenhall and Kemble Interiors in collaboration with de Gournay, the lobby, otherwise known as the “Living Room,” defines the colorful signature Palm Beach style with a modern twist. Inspired by an original mid-century mural that adorned the Colony lobby when the hotel first opened in 1947, the bespoke paper features native flora and fauna, alligators emerging from shallow pools, panthers wearing diamond necklaces and the Colony’s mascot, Johnnie Brown, sitting high in a palm tree waving the Colony pennant flag. “I discovered an old postcard image of a mural titled The Early Days in Palm Beach,” says Wetenhall. “We worked hand in hand with de Gournay to create this unique love letter to the Colony and Palm Beach. It was our mission to embody the whimsy and humor of our beloved hotel, brought to life through the meticulous artistry of de Gournay.”
Located just off iconic Worth Avenue, the 89-room hotel is arguably the place to be when visiting Palm Beach. The new owners understand how important the hotel’s heritage is to the locals, and as a result they are going to great efforts to preserve its traditions while welcoming a new generation through dynamic design. In early 2020, the hotel debuted a 2,100-square- foot villa designed by Aerin Lauder, dubbed AERIN Villa Jasmine. Originally built in 1929, the renovated residence houses a lovely collection of the brand’s signature pieces, curated by Ms. Lauder. “Palm Beach has been an important part of my life since I was a little girl,” Lauder notes. “I have beautiful memories of this special place with my family, and it is now home to one of our Aerin stores.” Guests can rent the two-bedroom, two- bath apartment that is equipped with a full kitchen and a gracious living room while enjoying access to all of the hotel’s amenities.