“It’s always springtime in Palm Beach,” a shopkeeper remarked during my recent visit. I’m not sure that’s entirely true—summer is definitely summer on the island—but one place it newly applies is at the Brazilian Court Hotel and its freshly renovated rooms.
Wisteria, rendered in shades of periwinkle and cornflower and lilac, now climbs the wall above each bed, as it does the walls of the posh homes surrounding the hotel. Headboards and sofas are clad in emerald velvet, a hue that echoes the palms waving just outside. Pops of dusky pink accents echo the wall panels’ floral tones. The beds are topped with new mattresses and crisp, fresh linens and oversized pillows. Each room’s furnishings—the desk, the chairs, the coffee table and nightstands—now sport sleek, mid-century-inspired lines. It’s a style that reflects the hotel’s Palm Beach location, bringing the island’s glorious sunshine and flora inside. And best of all, the rooms are oh-so-functional: now featuring plenty of outlets and phone-charging ports, just where you need them; bedside reading lights placed perfectly, with no-fumble switches; drawers galore. The rooms feel lighter, and as though your every phone-charging whim has been anticipated. Gone are the heavy, oversized wood furnishings more at home in a mountain chalet, the heavy damasks and tassels. (If you preferred the former style, however, the hotel is keeping a small number of its 90 rooms, primarily suites, with the old décor—just request a “traditional” room when booking.)
Designer Lauren Hastings, of local firm LSI Designs, knew when to leave well-enough alone. The rooms still feature wet bars complete with wine fridge, generously sized bathrooms with good lighting and a fabulous jetted bathtub, enormous closets, and the distinctive dark wood trim that serves as a reminder that you’re not in just any hotel, you’re in the Brazilian Court, the island’s second-oldest lodgings dating back nearly a century, with a storied history filled with the entertainment industry’s biggest names of both past and present.
“In embarking on a refreshment of our guest rooms, it was important to us to honor the hotel’s legacy of timelessness, while also breathing fresh life into the space,” says Bobby Schlesinger, the hotel’s owner. “The new room style intentionally pays reverence to the history of Palm Beach beyond the hotel’s storied walls—a place of classic, enduring refinement that is both vibrant and inviting.”
Elsewhere in the hotel, the two spaces popularly referred to as the “TV room” and “the library” have been refreshed with new textiles as well, and a new seating area has been added outside of Café Boulud’s bar in the past year.
Everything else you love about the hotel has remained the same, however: the Spanish colonial architecture swathed in a sunny butter yellow; the bustling south courtyard and the quiet, secluded-feeling north one; the glamorous palm-frocked swimming pool, around which sunbathers lounge with a book and a cocktail; the ease and convenience of getting a blowout at the on-property Frédéric Fekkai salon before lunching on Café Boulud’s see-and-be-seen terrace. Condé Nast Traveler readers named the Brazilian Court one of Florida’s best hotels in 2019; to impress that group of sophisticated travelers takes a certain sort of magic, of which the hotel offers aplenty.
Palm Beach has, of course, long been the winter destination of choice for those in the know, for its low-key elegance and uncommon beauty, and the Brazilian Court has remained a favorite for offering exactly that. And with the hotel’s newly updated rooms, the island’s eternal springtime-like feel, its flowers and palms and sunshine, surround you from the first moment you open your eyes in the morning.