In the midst of Palm Beach’s glitz and glam, the down-to-earth White Elephant is the peak of chic
With its staggering concentration of wealth, stretches of sandy beaches, tony designer shops and a reputation as America’s first resort destination, Palm Beach has every right to be stuffy. Instead, White Elephant Palm Beach, the island’s newest boutique hotel, exudes relaxed luxury and warm hospitality.
Opened in November 2020, the 13-room and 19-suite property is housed in the former Bradley Park Hotel, constructed in 1924. Outside, the Mediterranean revival building welcomes guests with fresh white stucco, black-and-white awnings and poolside umbrellas and a terracotta tile roof. Inside, the design team has infused it with a mix of original art, smart technology and comfortable touches to make guests feel as though they’re staying in a well-appointed private home—appropriate for a destination that boasts more billionaires than anywhere else in the South.
Art aficionados will want to take in the carefully curated collection of more than 120 modern and pop art pieces spread across the hotel’s four floors. Start with the 7-foot-tall white elephant statue outside by Frederick Prescott (its “sister” is at the original hotel in Nantucket) and wander to see works by Robert Rauschenberg, Kenzo Okada and a custom circular piece in the lobby by Orit Fuchs. Carrara marble, brass accents and sheer curtains provide a neutral palette that lets the art shine.
Guests craving exploration can plan any number of excursions. The staff will set up chairs and umbrellas on the beach (complete with food and beverage service from the hotel) just two blocks away. Or, borrow a custom cruiser by Priority Bicycles and pedal along the adjacent 5-mile-long Lake Trail along the Intracoastal Waterway for prime yacht spotting. Hotel guests who want to venture farther can check out one of the property’s BMW 7 Series sedans.
Best of all, if sticking close to this elegant home-away-from-home appeals, there’s plenty to love without leaving. From the diminutive plunge pool surrounded by lush tropical flora and serviced by friendly attendants ready to bring a crisp glass of rosé or gratis SunBum sunscreen, to Lola 41, the on-property restaurant, with a mix of ultrafresh sushi and Italian comfort food dishes, this charming hotel proves that you don’t have to be ultrawealthy to vacation like you are.
Venture to explore the best of the island with these fine finds
Just about every A-list designer can be found on Worth Avenue, from Bottega Veneta to Chanel. Wander into lesser-known (but equally treasure-filled) shops and score finds like custom leather sandals at Via Capri, 34, playful jewelry designs at BLESK and fashions from up-and-coming designers like Danielle Rollins at Coastal Girls. worth-avenue.com
Tour the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum’s Whitehall, the 75-room waterfront estate the Standard Oil co-founder and railroad tycoon completed in 1902. The jaw-dropping property, filled with period antiques and family artifacts, will transport you back to America’s Gilded Age. flaglermuseum.us
Tuck into HMF (named for Flagler) at The Breakers where the warm Brussels sprouts Caesar, Wagyu beef sliders and tuna tataki are signatures. Then retire for a poolside vintage cocktail at Swifty’s at The Colony Palm Beach, where the lobby’s custom hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper is a must-see.