This Palm Beach hotel has become a home for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor

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While working at vogue in the early 20th century, Cecil Beaton recalled his schedule during a Palm Beach getaway for the magazine: “Tennis, swimming, lunch. Golf, drinks, dinner. The patio. Bradley’s. Bed. Tennis, swimming, lunch. Golf, drinks, dinner. Movies. The colony. Bradley’s. Bed. Tennis, swimming, lunch. Fishing, drinks, dinner. Etc.” And although some Florida Gold Coast city hotspots have since closed, the Palm Beach lifestyle remains much the same. Want to experience it for yourself? Follow the vogue publisher tracks and check in The Colony Palm Beach.

The Colony’s swimming pool is shaped like the Sunshine State.

Lesley Unruh

the vogue Review: The Colony Palm Beach

The elevator pitch:

When the team vogue decamped to Palm Beach for Brooklyn and the Nicola Peltz-Beckham wedding, the only place the editors have considered staying is The Colony, the Florida city’s most legendary hotel. First opened in 1947, the candy-colored resort hosted the Duke and Duchess of Windsor for months at a time and became a favorite escape for several US presidents (not to mention Frank Sinatra) over the decades. Other selling points: It’s just a golf cart ride from the palm-lined beach, with Worth Avenue — Palm Beach’s answer to Bond Street — a short distance away too.

What is aesthetics?

Carleton Varney — the octogenarian designer behind the presidential yacht, USS Sequoia, and the Judy Garland homes — revamped the hotel’s postwar interiors in 2014, leaning heavily on favored candy pinks and emerald greens by Palm Beach-based designer Lilly Pulitzer. Kitsch is the name of the game here: the turquoise pool was built in the shape of Florida, and there are nearly 300 fabrics used in the rooms, each adorned with a different botanical print. The hotel lobby also got a makeover during the pandemic, redesigned using custom De Gournay wallpaper inspired by a faded 1940s postcard from the original reception.

Describe the crowd:

The Colony attracts the jet set as well as Pucci-clad Palm Beach locals, who gather for the hotel’s signature cocktails at The Living Room bar. Join them as you linger over a Monkey Business, a refreshing blend of vodka, mango puree, ginger and sparkling water, topped with mint from The Colony’s own herb garden. Fan of live music? Go between six and nine each evening to listen to the hotel’s resident flamenco guitarist as the sun sets.

Custom De Gournay wallpaper in the living room.

Carmel Brantley

What’s for dinner?

While The Living Room is perfect for light bites (order its massive shrimp cocktail), its Swifty’s, with its delicious old-fashioned menu, is the best place to go for a quintessentially American dinner: giant wedges of iceberg lettuce topped with Stilton Blue and “billionaire’s” bacon; bacon-wrapped meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans; chunks of crab salad with tomato aspic and celery garnish… There’s even the lime pie, topped with a flower of whipped cream, for dessert. Fancy something a little lighter? Stop by Pink Paradise Café for a golden beetroot feel-good latte and Cobb salad.

Our favorite piece:

Spring for one of The Colony’s two bright penthouses, with sunny terraces from which you can contemplate the Atlantic.

Why leave now?

Even the most die-hard heliophiles will find Florida’s heat a bit overwhelming in midsummer; Temperatures in May, however, hover around 30C during the day – warm enough to send you crashing into the waves after baking on one of The Colony’s pistachio-striped loungers – and cool down to 20 °C in the evening, so you can sleep without the AC blasting overnight.

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