Go back in time to the 1920s and check into the charming Colony Hotel and Cabana Club. The mustard-colored Mediterranean-style hotel with candy striped awnings is ideally located on Atlantic Avenue in the heart of Delray Beach. Built in 1926, its owner and manager, Jestena Boughton, grew up in a house behind the hotel. Her father, George, bought the Colony in 1935 when it was customary for retired northerners to winter in Florida. (He also bought the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport, Maine, which Justena now owns as well.)
For a taste of a bygone era, the original elevator still exists and is operated by a staff member. The bold Bonaire-colored lobby and guestrooms are outfitted with the hotel's antiques dating back to the 1920s. As decades passed, society changed and the Colony survived through the good and bad times. In the 1990s the revitalization of Delray Beach resulted in what is now the "in" weekend dining-out hotspot, alfresco-style.
The Colony is situated steps from the town's hip restaurant scene. Walk along Atlantic and you'll hear primarily a mix of New York and South American accents. People watching and car watching is de rigueur here (think men with ultra expensive, exotic cars and throw in what appears to be bought women and heads spin). The icing on the Colony-cake is the oceanfront Cabana Club. This private hideaway is an escape from the "action" scene. Located two miles from the hotel with 250 feet of private beach and a heated salt-water pool surrounded by pastel-colored beach cabanas, this gem is a daily welcome retreat. Have lunch at the club in the outdoor casual restaurant. (A daily shuttle service is provided as well as a private parking lot for guests.) The Colony Hotel has live music on their front porch on the weekends and a buffet breakfast is included.
Getting there: Fly into Palm Beach International Airport, take 95 south to the Atlantic Ave exit. In 20 to 25 minutes, you'll be pulling into the parking lot behind the Colony and in an hour's time, you'll be at the beach.