“You picked this hotel because of the wallpaper, didn’t you?”
“Well, not just the wallpaper.”
For Mother’s Day Weekend, my husband Matt and I took my mama to Palm Beach and we stayed at the fabulous Colony Hotel. And yes, my husband was right. The wallpaper was one reason I chose this historic hotel, but it wasn’t the only reason.
As a “thank you” to the woman who first introduced me to design, I wanted her to stay in one of the most glamorously designed spaces in recent history.
It is bright and beautiful, drenched in patterns, and brimming with surprises and stories.
The 67 year old hotel recently underwent an $18 million dollar renovation, capstoned by interiors designed by the famous Carelton Varney who now helms Dorothy Draper & Co, one of the oldest established design firms in the country. However, the history of this Palm Beach grand lady of a hotel is not just held in his touch.
The Colony Hotel of Palm Beach has played hostess to kings, dukes, grand society swans, philanthropists, and presidents. I love the story the long-serving manager of The Colony, Jim Ponce, tells about hotel guests the Duke and Duchess of Windsor:
“Everybody knows that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor enjoyed coming to Florida to visit their friends and enjoy a good Polo match. They would usually spend their stay as guests at friends’ homes, however one year, in the early 60’s, they decided to reside at the Colony Hotel. It was so funny…romantic elderly ladies would shyly inquire if they could sit in the Lobby, in the hope of catching a glimpse of the couple as they walked by. Discretely holding a magazine, they could eventually see a very assertive Wallis Simpson walking a few steps ahead of her husband, the former King of the British Empire.”
The hotel, like any good host should, treats every guest like royalty whether you sign your checks “Duke of Windsor” or not. From the details in the decor to the exquisite food in The Polo Restaurant, a stay at The Colony is inspiring.
I left on Sunday afternoon full of ideas…googling “Brazilliance” wallpaper now armed with the courage to make a bold statement or two. [Wouldn’t it be a great touch in a small hallway!]
Great hosts and hostesses DO what The Colony Hotel is doing… they are rejuvenating.
They remind us that personality and color are much more memorable than “safe-sameness.”
They remind us that thoughtfulness and planning make guests feel special.
And they remind us that a great story is the gift that keeps giving… because it keeps getting told.
I could think of no grander place to visit to celebrate my mama. She is a woman of much personality, giving, and can tell you a great story or two (or three… or four…. ).
Next stop, The Greenbrier (also decorated by Mr. Varney)! I hear they have great wallpaper there ,too. Who wants to go?