Barrier Island Beauty

Celebrities, presidents and royalty have a favorite vacation destination along the Eastern coast of Florida. It is a 16-mile long barrier island that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Intracoastal Waterway. The beautiful beaches and world-class shopping isn’t the only draw of Palm Beach; it’s also the small-town feel that keeps visitors coming back year after year. A beautiful boutique hotel that is just a short walk from the beach and upscale shopping is The Colony Hotel. When the shops close and the sun goes down, this is where the social scene comes alive, with Motown Night in the Polo Lounge each Friday and a cabaret show at The Royal Room on select evenings. But the nightlife isn’t the only thing the hotel offers.

colony hotel roomLuxurious and spacious accommodations with views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean are practically built in to the hotel’s British Colonial architecture. For those needing a little more space or luxury the hotel also has three penthouses and a mansion across the street that has been renovated into several villas. The Colony Hotel may be a small hotel but it’s big on service, as most rooms come with an English breakfast that can be enjoyed poolside. The Colony sits just around the corner from Worth Avenue, which is a three-block stretch of the most glamorous shopping in the area. Stores such as Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. call this shopping district home, along with local boutiques and specialty stores.

duo of beef cafe bouludCasual and fine dining restaurants line the avenue too. Upstairs at Cha Cha’s Latin Fresh Kitchen and Tequila Bar, visitors are welcome just as they are — fresh from the beach or ready for a night out. Guests can pull up a bar stool for happy hour, play pool in the lounge, or settle in for a quiet dinner on Cha Cha’s patio. Specializing in Spanish tapas, Cha Cha’s has some of the area’s best tacos, but the highlight here is the paealla, which comes in four different styles and can feed up to six. Located in a residential neighborhood down the street from the beaches and Worth Avenue is The Brazilian Court Hotel and Condominiums. The Brazilian’s upscale elegance makes it a home away from home for many past and present celebrities. Inside the hotel is Café Boulud, a brunch hotspot on the weekends and a popular dining destination throughout the week.

polo loungeThe lounge is a must for cocktails like the White Cosmopolitan, which features an orchid encased in an ice ball. As you drink the vodka and white cranberry juice mixture, the ice melts to reveal the lovely flower. The restaurant also features private dining rooms and an outside terrace. If you go for brunch make sure to get the smoked salmon. If it’s dinner the duo of beef is delicious. The Intracoastal Waterway divides the cities of Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. A quick drive over one of three bridges that connect the two cities will bring you to another shopping district called CityPlace that features more affordable brand names like Banana Republic and Macy’s. Also in West Palm Beach is Clematis Street, where familiar chains like Rocco’s Tacos and Bar Louie can be found mixed in with local joints like O’Sheas Irish Pub and Oh My Chocolates. Clematis Street is also lined with specialty stores, galleries, salons and more.

The Norton Museum of Art is a must-see when you’ve finished your shopping on Clematis Street. Founded in 1941, the museum has grown to become a major cultural institution in Florida. Collections of American, Chinese and European art are mixed in with photography exhibits and rotating featured exhibits such as Annie Leibowitz and Shangri La. You can take a group tour or explore the three-story museum on your own, and enjoy one of the many programs and lectures that are presented throughout the year. A visit to Palm Beach is one that will put you in the lap of luxury. Visitors can’t help but to relax when surrounded by the sound of the ocean, the feeling of sand beneath their feet, and the opportunity to walk the streets and have everything they need right at their fingertips.

COURTESY OF THE COLONY HOTEL COURTESY OF THE COLONY HOTEL COURTESY OF THE COLONY HOTEL COURTESY OF CAFÉ BOULUD.  The Colony Hotel is known for its British Colonial architecture and luxurious rooms. The duo of beef is a signature dish at Cafe Boulud.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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