A timeless treasure in the heart of Palm Beach, The Colony, is celebrating its 75th birthday this year by reinventing and reinstating itself as the reigning hospitality queen of the block…
A timeless treasure and established landmark, The Colony Hotel sits within walking distance of both the Atlantic ocean and renowned fashion mecca Worth Avenue, the hotel’s location makes it the ideal base for those looking for distraction and relaxation in equal measure. Since the hotel originally opened in 1947, it has known several owners but, as of 2016, belongs to Sarah and Andrew Wetenhall – the latter having known it well as his father had once been a longtime co-owner of the property. Determined to restore ‘the pink palace’ to its rightful position as grande dame of Palm Beach, the Wetenhalls had the property designated as a historic landmark in 2020 and then began an extensive renovation of the hotel, deploying the skills of Kemble Interiors, de Gournay, Farrow & Ball, Schumacher, Brown Jordan and Society Social to transform it into a 21st-century icon.
Ever mindful of the history and iconic style that have made The Colony the hideaway of choice for guests from Frank Sinatra to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Wetenhalls deployed the skills of Kemble Interiors across all 79 guestrooms and suites as well as the lobby, where an exclusive collaboration with De Gournay now takes centre stage. Farrow & Ball meanwhile were tasked with creating a modern take on The Colony’s signature pink and the result is a fresh powdery hue that lends a contemporary note to the classical tone of the property.
Reinventing a hospitality darling in her 75th year was never going to be without its challenges, most of which were centred around the hotel’s existing layout. With no two guestrooms quite the same a few design eyebrows were raised, but the team’s solution was to designate four key schemes based on the colours of Palm Beach to create a sense of cohesion and flow. Ocean blue, palm-fringe green, sunshine yellow and, of course, powder pink are all reinforced across each floor in a myriad of patterns from candy-cane striped wallpaper to floral headboards.
In keeping with the hotel’s quasitropical climate, an abundance of rattan furniture and seagrass finishes complete each beautifully appointed room, which are all stuffed to the brim with the sorts of luxurious amenities that a 21st century traveller can dream of, from Matouk linens to Dyson hairdryers and Gibson & Dehn bath products produced exclusively for The Colony, there are an abundance of pampering opportunities inroom, which can then be further reinforced at the elegant Dr Barbara Sturm pop-up spa downstairs.
If good design was key to reinvigorating The Colony, then strategic collaborations form part of its glamorous new success. Aerin Lauder was brought in to take care of the hotel’s holiday décor as well as one of its beachside villas. Her timeless style has been applied to Villa Jasmine. Anthropologie’s Mark. D Sikes reimagined another of its dreamy beach boltholes, Villa Aralia. Dolce & Gabbana curated its luxe boutique and Tracey Anderson enjoyed a three month residency bringing her world-famous workouts to ensure guests were both tanned and toned.
Keen to further reinforce The Colony’s reputation as both scene-setter and setting, the Wetenhalls have enlisted the help of some of their most influential friends across fashion and wellness to ensure that it is, once again, the place to be seen. Much more than a hotel, The Colony is an icon – passionate and playful and a place to connect meaningfully and authentically with one of the world’s most storied destinations.
Main image credit: The Colony