Asked to name the most dynamic winter destination in Florida, I offered the only reasonable answer: Palm Beach, a town with culture, scenery, restaurants, and hospitality. (Also of importance is the active social community and calendar, which makes visiting even more exciting.) Such a welcome package was nicely summed up by a buddy, Jack Ferenz, who played on the PGA Tour, where Palm Beach is a major stop. He said, “Not only is the golf world-class, but the hotels, food, and events make you never want to leave.”
Of course, there is even more to do in Palm Beach, such as visit the Flagler Museum. Or grab an Americano at Sant Ambroeus after a trip to the Society of the Four Arts. But it is a small island, so for those looking for a place to stay in the center of all the action, allow me to recommend The Colony—one of the town’s true gems. Its interiors are bright and playful, and the outside is painted in a welcoming salmon hue. (The style may be familiar, but The Colony has made it one-of-a-kind.) Modest in size and bold in vision, The Colony provides a sense of authenticity that is embraced in Palm Beach more than anywhere in the state of Florida. Locals call it “the pink paradise,” a nice reprieve to the sterile white walls and geometric furniture modern luxury hotels offer today. The 89-room property, just steps away from the famed Worth Avenue shops and the ocean, easily allows guests to explore some the most scenic areas of the island. Really, there is no other hotel in Palm Beach like it.
During your stay, the hotel staff can enlighten you about the town’s cultural and gastronomic treasures. But it should also be mentioned that The Colony recently announced a partnership with Swifty’s—yes, that Swifty’s, the Upper East Side haunt that closed its doors in 2016—which officially opened in the hotel’s dining space today. It will, however, be a limited engagement, open only through the end of the season.
Still, Robert Caravaggi, the founder of Swifty’s, is thrilled to have Swifty’s at The Colony, a place he calls “the jewel of Palm Beach island.” (Famed Swifty’s chef Stephen Attoe will serve as a consultant to Colony Hotel chef Tom Whitaker.) Caravaggi adds, “This union is the perfect marriage.” And it’s here just in time for the Palm Beach season.
Says Sarah Wetenhall, the president and CEO of The Colony Palm Beach, “Swifty’s and The Colony are establishments that evoke a special kind of belonging. To bring this cherished New York purlieu back to life on Palm Beach is a gift to our community.”
Swifty’s was frequently celebrated for its hospitality and service. Many described it as “the club without dues.” Caravaggi’s style of hosting was special, different than the normal say-hi-and-seat-you host or hostess at your typical restaurant. It went above the call of duty—gracious and detailed, with many moving parts. His incredible mastery of the dining room, which stemmed from the decades he spent at Mortimer’s, made the restaurant feel uniquely social. It was one of the few places in New York—or anywhere, really—where diners would actually talk to their neighbors. (It was also the only place where there was a chance Liza Minnelli would sing happy birthday to you.) No other restaurant did it as well.