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Summer Wind: Palm Beach, Florida Travel Guide: The Colony Hotel

Palm Beach Travel Guide The Colony Hotel
Palm Beach, Florida Travel Guide: The Colony Hotel

Palm Beach, Florida Travel Guide: The Colony Hotel

Listen, if you put one place on your list to visit in the US, make it Palm Beach. I’ve been several times but this is the first time I’ve been in recent years and have been old enough to appreciate it all. We went when I was growing up and my uncle was married in Palm Beach. My sister and I were in the wedding as junior bridesmaids! He got married at the Ritz (which I think is now the Eau) and had his rehearsal dinner at Renato’s. 

I went with my mom as a little mother-daughter trip to celebrate my birthday and Mother’s Day and it was seriously one of the best trips ever. I love traveling with my mom, she is so fun and easy going and we like the same things. This is the best place for a girl’s trip but I also think it’s really well suited for anyone- families with chlidren, a romantic trip, bachelorette, etc. It kind of caters to everyone in some way!

Anyway, Palm Beach is the most manicured and well-kept place I have ever seen. The grass is so green and neatly trimmed. The orchids are so saturated in color and so plentiful and absolutely thriving. There is bright bougainvillea everywhere you turn. There is not a leaf out of place or a speck of garbage anywhere. Literally every single home is stunning and well kept. The beaches are spotless. I truly think that Palm Beach is my definition of paradise. 

The people-watching is the best. People are so well dressed and well manicured. So many adorable dogs everywhere and people bring them into stores and restaurants! I loved getting so much outfit inspiration. In Pittsburgh, you don’t see a lot of pink and green and all of that so it was so fun to get to see fashion that is right up my alley! The food was all incredible. We did not eat a bad thing while there. The shopping is world class- I’ve never been in a place with so many shops that I personally love. 

Palm Beach, Florida Travel Guide: The Colony Hotel

Our Room- classic green Dorothy Draper carpet! I would never in my own home but somehow the green always works in her spaces.

Where We Stayed

We stayed at The Colony hotel which is ideally located if you want to be a quick walking distance to Worth Avenue, where many of the shops and restaurants are. Note that the hotel is not actually on the beach but about a block or two from the beach. The Colony does have an adorable golf cart to take guests over and back to the beach with a beach chair and umbrella set up!

I loved that The Colony had bikes to borrow. They offered a glass of bubbly upon check-in. They have a house car (Volvo xc90s) and drivers to take you wherever you need to go. Once we were there, we either walked, biked, or took advantage of the house car. I also loved that you could get a cold water bottle whenever. 

The pool area is just beautiful and has an old-school vibe to it. It’s well maintained and the staff passes out little snacks like fresh fruit throughout the day. They also are good about bringing you cold water! The pool area is small compared to how many rooms The Colony has so it can get crowded as it gets later into the day. I would recommend going early- around 10-11am to snag ideal lounge chairs. We went once around 10:30am and were easily able to snag lounge chairs. We went once later in the day and were able to snag a table but wanted lounge chairs. We hung out for about 30 minutes before some lounge chairs opened up, no big deal, but just worth noting if you are planning to have a pool day! 

The staff was incredibly welcoming and friendly. 

The hotel is done in Dorothy Draper style so you get a tropical ‘Greenbrier’ vibe but the lobby feels very updated. 

The rooms are small and just OK, in my opinion. They’re not bad, but this is a pricey hotel, so I’d expect a little more for the price. However, you are paying for the service, location, and amenities. 

There’s a little coffee shop in the lobby where you can grab morning breakfast and whatnot and it is also home to Swifty’s which is a restaurant off of the lobby which the prettiest indoor seating and then outdoor seating around the perimeter of the pool. They also have a poolside bar. 

We had coffee at Pink Paradise Cafe every morning (lobby of The Colony)

This is on Worth Avenue near Via Parigi and if you look above, those planters are on a balcony of someone’s condo! Talk about prime real estate! 

How We Got There

From Pittsburgh, we booked a flight from PIT to PBI which had a quick layover in Atlanta. PBI is in West Palm Beach and is about a 15-minute drive to Palm Beach. We just took an Uber to and from The Colony where we stayed. You can probably find a direct flight from your city- Pittsburgh drives me nuts in that it’s hard to find a direct flight to anywhere anymore out of PIT. There are also a few other airports somewhat close by like Fort Lauderdale (FLL). 

When Did You Go

We went the last week of April which I really feel was a perfect time. I’m someone that likes to travel to warm places in the winter and then not go to places like Florida in the summer as we have warm weather here at home. In April, it was still cold in Pittsburgh. It actually snowed one day that we were gone!! 

The ‘season’ as they call it is from about November to May… a lot of people winter there so you’ll find it much more crowded during those months. I think it definitely starts to thin out after Easter so potentially the perfect time would be at the end of April like when we went- still in season but not bustling like it is in January/February/March. 

I was really surprised by the weather. It was mostly in the upper 70s, and low 80s when we were there. It was never super muggy or scorching hot. It was honestly very comfortable. I’m not sure if we just got lucky or if that’s what it is usually like in April, but it was just perfect!

Buccan Sweet Corn Angolotti

Swifty’s Inside 

Outdoor Dining at Swifty’s for Trivia Night!

Pizza Al Fresco

Dinner At Renato’s

Where We Dined

We made reservations for dinners and I would suggest you do so as well! PB is a foodie town. There are a million and one insanely delicious restaurants, you can’t really go wrong! 

Renato’s// A PB icon! You must request to sit outside in the courtyard which is the most beautiful place ever. I swear it feels like I was transported to Italy out there! It’s so romantic and just wonderful. The Italian food is wonderful as is the service, but I’d go just to sit in the courtyard alone that is how beautiful it is! I also thought it was so cute how they brought out a little stand for our handbags. 
Buccan// This is a super popular spot and one I would return to again and again. It’s absolutely buzzing with people every single night and I can totally get why. It’s a beautiful restaurant but the food and drinks steal the show. I had one of my favorite cocktails I have ever had in my entire life called ‘the real dill’. It’s mezcal, dill, pineapple, and averna served up. The the sweet corn agnolotti is life-changing and a must-order. There are a lot of small plate options so it’s best to go with people that love to share! 
Swifty’s// This is in The Colony hotel and is an homage to the NYC Swifty’s! We went there for dinner on Monday night (definitely make a reservation). On Monday nights, they do their famous Trivia Night and it is absolutely not to be missed. We ate and drank and played trivia and seriously had the BEST time. Afterward, they have live music. We also ate lunch at Swifty’s as that is what services the poolside lunch. We got the club sandwich and the hot dog and let me tell you- the hot dog is absolutely phenomenal. I mean the club sandwich was good, but I am pretty sure this was the best hot dog of my life. It has ‘billionaire bacon’ on it which they are known for. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

Other Places I Wanted To Try But Did Not Have Time… 

– Sant Ambroeus 

– Cafe Boulud 

– Cafe L’Europe 

– Palm Beach Grill

– Hillstone

– Cafe Via Flora

– Imoto

– Seafood Bar

– Bricktop’s

– Cucina

– La Goulue

Lunch/Cocktails/Snacks 

Pizza Al Fresco// The most beautiful courtyard and delicious Neopolitan-style pizzas. 
Bice// This is a restaurant but we just went for drinks at their bar. It is happening, let me tell you! People dressed to the nines! 
Taboo// This place is a PB icon and known for its happy hour which is from 4-6pm (double check on that time when you go in case it changes) every single night! They offer half-priced drinks/discounted drink specials and food. They have $15 glasses of Veuve, which is just wild to me! Palm Beach is a bit pricey for food/drinks so not only would $15 be a steal here in Pittsburgh but it is even more so in Palm Beach. I want to say that they even had like $7 glasses of wine (that were all good brands). I also have to note the waitress was so great and even came over to us to let us know happy hour would be ending soon and if she could get us another drink at the happy hour pricing. So nice! 
Surfside Diner// We stopped in for an early lunch one day and it is nicer diner food and so delicious. The service was just OK but the food made up for it! A good spot to grab something to-go if you want to head to the beach! 
Lola 41// So now I can say I’ve been to all 3 Lola locations: Boston, Nantucket, and Palm Beach. We went for a drink and a sushi roll before our dinner reservation one night and it did not disappoint. I know from previous experiences that their food is wonderful as are their cocktails and this time was no different! 

The iconic Palm Beach turquoise doors are right across from Renato’s on Peruvian Avenue.

Incredible Tree near the Flagler museum on Lake Trail. The photo doesn’t do its gigantic scale justice! 

A snap of a beautiful home on our walk!

Things To Do 

Ride bikes! The Colony also has bikes that you can use at your leisure. They are adorable pink and green bikes with a basket and they even put a cold water bottle in your basket as you’re starting your biking adventure. Lake Trail is beautiful. It is set up to be friendly for both bikers and walkers. 

Go To the Flagler Museum. 

Hang out at the beach, there is a long stretch of public beach with lots of access points. 

Lounge at the Colony pool. 

Visit the iconic Worth Avenue clock tower. 

Bingo and Trivia at Swifty’s. 

Leta Austin Foster- loved all of the D. Porthault 

Shopping

– Worth Avenue and the Vias. The vias are like charming little alleys lined with shops and restaurants. 

– South County Road

– Royal Poinciana Plaza

Some of my favorite shops that we visited:

– Leta Austin Foster (the most old-school home shop you could ever imagine. Literal perfection). 

– Aerin (one of the most beautiful stores ever that is so perfectly curated. I wanted literally everything)

– The Church Mouse (a thrift shop with some cool finds- hit or miss)

– C Orrico (a mecca of all things pink and green and preppy- literally all of my favorite brands)

– Amanda Lindroth (beautifully done, small store filled to the brim with wicker and block print)

– Lilly Pulitzer (the biggest and most beautiful store)

– J. McLaughlin (a brand we all know and love)

– CJ Laing (sundresses!)

– Keller (blue and white nautical haven)

– Casa Branca (exquisite interiors)

– Kassatlys (fine linens and pajamas)

– Mary Mahoney

– Ralph Lauren 

I’m definitely forgetting some of the shops because there are SO many.  My suggestion is to give yourself a window of time to go up and down Worth Avenue and the Vias and just browse. I’d also suggest the same for South County Road and Royal Poinciana!

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