Nantucket’s White Elephant resort will get a sister property in Palm Beach, Fla., on Nov. 4.
The 32-room White Elephant Palm Beach is a conversion of the former Bradley Park Hotel, originally constructed in 1924 as one of the first resorts on Palm Beach's Main Street. During its century-long history, it was initially owned by Edward R. Bradley, who ran a private Beach Club casino on land that is today Bradley Park. In 1980, in part to its architectural significance, the hotel was listed with the Landmark Preservation Commission.
The footprint of the structure and the facade remain, while the interiors have been stripped to the bones and rebuilt by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects. The firm worked with the town of Palm Beach to create a new hotel that showcases the history of the existing building while incorporating a contemporary interpretation of Mediterranean-revival architecture.
Historic Hotel, New Look
When it opens, the White Elephant Palm Beach will have 13 rooms and 19 suites across four stories.
The hotel stands one street north of Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach’s original Main Street, less than two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and one block from the Intracoastal Waterway. White Elephant Palm Beach is adjacent to Bradley Park, which will serve as a grand lawn to the hotel, and is less than a half mile from the newly redeveloped Royal Poinciana Plaza shopping complex.
The layout of the property has a U-shaped outdoor courtyard with a patio and a pool. Breaking from the bright pinks and greens that dominate the Palm Beach aesthetic, the White Elephant Palm Beach has a neutral color palette with sleek metal accents and vibrant pops of color. Outside, the Mizner-style facade is painted a light, creamy-white color with classic black-and-white striped awnings, terra cotta roof tiles and black trim. Guests will be welcomed onto the property by a 7-foot white elephant statue by Santa Fe-based artist Fredrick Prescott. (A “sister” elephant statue, Trunket, is on the grounds of White Elephant in Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts.)
The statue is one of 120 original pieces of colorful modern and pop art personally curated by the owners and Elkus Manfredi. The collection will be on display throughout the rooms and common spaces. Featured artists include Robert Rauschenberg, whose early creations in the 1950s anticipated the pop art movement, and Jennifer Bartlett, known for her small, square steel plates that are combined in grid formations to create large-scale works. Several pieces by painter Kenzo Okada, the first Japanese-American artist to receive international acclaim using abstract expressionist style, will be on display, as will works by Donald Baechler, part of the East Village, New York 1980s art movement. A 54-inch round acrylic work by Orit Fuchs was specifically created for the hotel and is a focal point of the lobby; while six prints by Yinka Shonibare, who will unveil a new public sculpture installation in West Palm Beach in 2021, will be found on the second-floor corridor. Doodle Boy, a 10-year-old British artist, was also commissioned to create 30 exclusive pieces for the powder rooms. Using clean black lines hand drawn with a thick marker, he incorporated a hidden signature elephant in each of his drawings.
Guestrooms and suites range from 510- to 3,000-square feet with custom-designed furniture. King-size beds will be outfitted with Pratesi by Rivolta linens with upholstered backboards accented in a palm and flower print. The same fabric will be found on the back of the desk chairs and on the throw pillow piping. Other noteworthy pieces include console tables by Selamat Designs in collaboration with the heritage brand, Morris & Co, which are wrapped inside and out with authentic William Morris "Strawberry Thief" covering. The pattern was originally created in 1883. Each of the suites will be furnished with plush gray and cream armchairs and couches. The custom-designed wooden arches that frame the entrance to some of the rooms are a defining architectural element of the hotel. Other decorative accents such as bronze elephant door knockers, bold patterned throw pillows, rattan ceiling light fixtures, and black and white striped side tables are sprinkled throughout. The bathrooms have marble tiles, double sinks crafted from stone, a dry vanity and glass-enclosed walk in showers.
The two penthouse suites have large living rooms, fully equipped kitchens and terraces ranging from 800- to 1,200-square-feet. With views of Bradley Park, the Park Suite is a three-bedroom that can be expanded into four, and the ocean-facing Palm Suite is a two-bedroom that can be expanded into three.
“Our main mission is to combine our vision of hospitality with the ethos and style of casually elegant Palm Beach,” said Douglass Karp, president of New England Development. “We are pleased to combine our promise of service excellence with the exciting tradition of hospitality in this legendary resort destination. We feel right at home in Palm Beach.”