The Colony, Palm Beach, Florida $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
This 90-room hotel is a youngster by Palm Beach termsit was only built in 1947but it echoes its neighbors' hushed, moneyed elegance (the Florida-shaped swimming pool's a waggish touch). Like most of the hotels on the Island, the Colony is only a couple blocks from the beach and just a block from Worth Avenue. A five-year, $13 million makeover upgraded the admittedly still pocket-size rooms with breezy yellow decor inspired by the British West Indies. But if you are staying at the Colony, you are here for the legendary suites. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor crashed in the penthouse during their itinerant post-abdication exile, and last year the hotel finally honored the renegade royals by renaming the 1,900-square-foot, two-bedroom penthouse in their honor. (Look for the framed check His Royal Highness used to pay the $1,000 bill back in 1961now, rates start at $2,000 a night.) Across the road from the main building is the Colony's most exclusive enclave. The circa-1928 Casa Manana has been turned into seven stand-alone villas, available in season for monthly rentals from $20,000 to $30,000. That monthly charge is a hint at the clientele here: largely longtime regulars who hole up in Palm Beach for a chunk of the chilly northern winter. Their dominance helps give the hotel a pleasant, homey vibe. Nightlife here also fits with the laid-back atmosphere, with a steak house that doubles as a piano bar and the Royal Room Cabaret.
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