The Colony Hotel
155 Hammon Ave., Palm Beach; thecolonypalmbeach.com; 561-655-5430; 800-521-5525
Back story: The architecture is British Colonial. The lobby is splashed in regal red and gold. If that doesn't tell you The Colony belongs to a grander, more formal era, then don't miss the photo of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor – circa 1960 -- on a lobby wall.
Like the chichi island it calls home, this small boutique is accustomed to playing host to the rich and royal. Though newer, luxury resorts in Palm Beach often get the buzz, The Colony, which opened in 1947, still attracts a faithful crowd drawn to its old-world feel and the 310-count Egyptian cotton sheets.
The six-story hotel offers 92 rooms, including three penthouses. Included in that number are seven villas, housed in a redesigned 1928 mansion across the street. Last year, The Colony earned AAA's 4-Diamond rating.
Just for fun: During the season, the hotel is known for its cabaret series, which showcases artists, some whose star burned more brightly in the past. A sampling: Lainie Kazan (Feb. 23-27); Marilyn Maye (March 16-27) and John Davidson (May 2-13). But fans can enjoy the shows in the intimate, candlelit setting that is the Royal Room Cabaret. Guys, be sure to wear a sports jacket. The music continues on Friday nights in The Polo Steak House, the restaurant's main dining room, with a Motown theme and live music by Memory Lane. They play songs from the '50s to '70s, and the small dance floor fills quickly.
During the day, enjoy the hotel's pool, which is shaped like Florida, sans the Panhandle. Or the staff can arrange for golf and tennis off-site. Considering that you're staying on some very pricey real estate, don't miss the manicured perfection of Palm Beach. Go biking or jogging on the island's bike trail for an up-close view of the mansions and grounds.
Sleep well: Accommodations range from rooms and suites to villas and penthouses.
Square footage ranges from 228-350, rooms; 390-612, suites; 1,600-1,900 penthouses; 950-2,500 villas. Rooms, furnished in British Colonial style, include bathrobes, evening turndown service, and feather duvets and pillows.
In your dreams: The Presidential penthouse has hosted Presidents Clinton and both Bushes. The two-bedroom penthouse features a large glassed-in patio offering a view of the island and ocean. And, in case you're in the mood for music, the penthouse has a grand piano.
Try this: The Polo Steak House dry ages its prime rib on site, and locals give high marks to the Maine lobster salad, a lunch menu staple. You can dine inside or poolside.
Celeb cache: Rudy Giuliani, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Regis and Joy Philbin, John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Attractions: The hotel is about a block from the ocean and steps away from tony Worth Avenue, a shopping mecca for those with deep pockets. Palm Beach cultural attractions include the Flagler Museum and The Four Arts, which features art exhibits and music events. The hotel is a few miles from downtown West Palm Beach, home to the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and City Place, an entertainment complex offering restaurants, bars, shops and live music.
Prices: Rates vary depending on the season: Rooms, $175-$450; Suites, $275-$700; Penthouse, $500-$900 off season and $1,200-$1,500 in season. Villas, $450-$700 off season and $18,000 to $28,000 a month in season. Special Cabaret Package: $450 for two, includes one night's stay, a three-course dinner and the show. Tax: 11.5 percent. Parking fee: $15 daily for overnight guests.
– Liz DoupCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun