Carleton Varney transforms The Colony Hotel, Palm Beach

The Colony Hotel, which was opened at the center of Palm Beach in 1947, is closing for the first time in 40 years. The Colony will be locked starting Sept. 2 so that decorator Carleton Varney, president of Dorothy Draper & Company, will be able to complete a multi-million dollar transformation of the Palm Beach landmark.

According to Roger Everingham, the hotel’s VP and concurrent GM, Carleton Varney and Brinsley Matthews updated the property’s guestrooms. The recently finished fourth floor has 19 different paint colors. Each room and suite is different, comprised of upholstery, unique lamps and artwork, many of them by local artists. The result is a design aesthetic of a “classic British Colonial foundation.”

When it re-opens in early October, the hotel’s rooms and suites will offer a palette of colors, floral patterns, contrasts and high-tech amenities. There will also be slow-glow lights in the bathrooms, striped walk-in closets, Frette linens on every bed and views of the ocean, the Everglades Club golf course and the town of Palm Beach.


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Varney, who has written a weekly design column for the Palm Beach Daily News for more than 30 years, is associated with the restoration and decoration of various properties, including Dromoland and Ashford Castles in Ireland; The Waldorf Towers and Plaza Hotel in New York; Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island (Michigan); The Breakers in Palm Beach; and the Greenbrier in West Virginia. Based in New York City, Dorothy Draper & Co., is the oldest established interior design firm in the US.

All photos from The Colony Hotel