A whimsical West Palm hotel pays homage to an eccentric writer and animal lover
A monument of glass, steel and pixie dust, The Ben was chiseled from the stuff of legend.
The waterfront West Palm Beach lodge, which opened a yr in the past,
is named soon after the Ben Trevato, a Victorian-model mansion that after occupied an edge of swampland in Boynton Beach. Its operator, writer Byrd Spilman Dewey, settled into the estate in 1887 and nurtured an environment of raucous functions and elite salons cluttered with a menagerie of animals.
Roughly translated from Italian, ben trevato implies “a tale perfectly invented,”and the heritage of this proto-B&B is complete of Barnumesque yarns. In 1 this kind of tale, a baby elephant sauntered on to the assets, clomped its way via the ornate trappings and rifled as a result of the sock drawers. According to the hotel’s P.R. product, “hushed whispers passed about the space explain to of individuals driving crocodiles via halls with glittering chandeliers.”
The literal location of the Ben hotel is much more prosaic: It’s on the web-site of the previous West Palm Beach front Town Hall. But the visionaries behind it have efficiently channeled the nostalgic whimsy of the Dewey chateau.
Designer Malcolm Berg, who won a 2019 NearMuse Award for Boutique Hotel Design and style from Luxury Journey magazine, combined concrete with delightfully anachronistic neon in an energy to blend, in Profits Director Thom Stewart’s terms, “the luxury of Palm Beach with the grittiness of Aged Florida.”The foyer capabilities a dark-wood fire, animal-themed trinkets, a playable chess established and a towering shelf of antique guides straight out of Arthur Conan Doyle, but acquire a second glimpse at the bookshelf: It is also a work of present day art, with a person’s confront sprayed throughout the bindings.
All of the artwork adorning the Ben’s partitions has been carefully picked out, and in some situations commissioned, to harken to the Dewey house and its beastly track record. In just one, a flock of sheep has taken over a sitting place. In one more, an great flamingo scrapes the sky with the genuine Ben Trevato effectively underneath a pint-sized elephant is sitting down incongruously on the bird’s head.
Dewey’s most renowned e book is the children’s journey Bruno, about her beloved dog. In the Ben, there’s an outsized papier-mâché likeness of Bruno perched on each floor, just outside the house the elevators, alongside a rotary telephone and big novelty hourglass. It will make for the hotel’s most well-known photo op.
Of training course, a high-quality resort requires to be far more than a superior-thought museum, and the Ben delivers plenty of present day features along with its quirky history. The rooftop pool, with its wavy, embedded chairs, adjacent cabanas and million-dollar view of The Breakers across the Intracoastal, is a preferred hangout day and evening. Monogrammed Ben bicycles, in Miami Hurricanes shades with helmet and knapsack presented, are cost-free to rent, and are
a excellent way to entry the Flagler Memorial Bridge on to Palm Beach, just minutes away.
For foodies remaining at the resort, the Ben presents two in-household alternate options to the bevy of places to eat just outside the house its doors. Nightly, the Ben’s upscale option, Proper Grit, opens, helmed by Government Chef Andre Sattler, previously of Miami’s Acqualina and Mandarin Oriental. His seasonal beet and goat cheese salad is a person example of subtly innovating a basic: Its two principal ingredients go collectively like a“Grease”hit, but it’s the nuanced details—cilantro and lemon crème fraiche and toasted walnuts—that elevate it more than the top, developing an off-“beet”salad that is both equally daring and gentle on its ft.
Additional everyday choices are out there at the poolside Spruzzo, which include the dynamite Manchego bites, which glance like tater tots and style like a additional erudite model of mozzarella sticks. For breakfast—or weekend brunch—back at Suitable Grit, do not skip the French toast, an indulgent way to start any early morning, total with spiced mascarpone, soften-y spheres of butter, refreshing maple syrup and sprinkled berries. It’s the type of gastronomic nirvana that, like leashed crocodiles and very small elephants, lingers in your dreams.
1 extra point
PUP Perks: The Ben is a puppy-pleasant resort that goes the further mile to make Fido happy. The $100 pet cost consists of no cost takeaways each realistic and lovely, from rubber collapsible h2o bowls to waste pickup baggies in their possess carrying situations to cotton doggie bathrobes that match those offered for human visitors. Publish-COVID crisis, pet proprietors can expect to acquire a signature Ben doggy deal with and a letter “written” by Bruno, canine companion of Mrs. Dewey.
The Ben Lodge, 251 N Narcissus Ave, West Palm Seaside, 561/655-4001, https://www.thebenwestpalm.com/
This tale is from the January 2021 issue of Boca magazine. For additional content like this, subscribe to the magazine.