In a gilded corner of Palm Beach, Teresa Fitzherbert gets a taste of island living, Gwyneth Paltrow-style
GWYNETH PALTROW’S SKIN IS AS RADIANT IN REAL LIFE AS EVERY photo would have you believe. The actress-turned-entrepreneur is standing poolside at the Colony Hotel Palm Beach in a floor-leng th emerald jumpsuit by G Label, the clothing offshoot of her lifestyle brand Goop. She has come to Florida’s most glamorous island to host a dinner celebrating her company’s 15th anniversary. Dusk is falling and the daily chatter of wild parrots has been replaced by a chorus of chirruping crickets. We are discussing her enduring love for Palm Beach, where she used to holiday with her grandparents. ‘I remember swimming with their friends,’ Paltrow muses. ‘At the time, I thought they were old, but they were probably the same age as I am now!’ I gaze at her dewy complexion and decide I’d be delighted to turn 51 tomorrow if I could look like that.
I’m not alone. The desire to live in Paltrow’s image is one of the reasons Goop, a one-stop shop for those wishing to emulate the actress, goes from strength to streng th. In 2008, Goop was simply a newsletter written from Paltrow’s kitchen table; now, it’s a lifestyle behemoth selling everything from clothes to cutlery, skincare to sex toys. To mark the 15-year milestone, the brand is at last venturing into the world of hospitality with the launch of a two-bedroom villa at the Colony Hotel. Paltrow fans, rejoice! We can finally holiday like her, too.
The location is appropriately swanky. Palm Beach has long been the winter destination for America’s upper crust, and the diminutive sliver of land is home to more than 50 billionaires. When the oil tycoon Henry Flagler came across the island in 1893, he proclaimed it ‘a veritable paradise’, and set about building a railroad and paving over jungle to construct a series of gargantuan hotels. The great and the good of East Coast society soon flocked there for the season.
The Colony Hotel was built in 1947 and has been at the heart of the island’s vibrant social scene ever since, renowned for its traditional high tea on the porch. JFK, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor can be counted among its impressive roster of visitors. The current owner and CEO Sarah Wetenhall took the helm with her husband in 2016. Keen to update this Palm Beach jewel without losing its rich history and elements of fun, they revamped the 93 bedrooms, decorated the lobby in bespoke de Gournay wallpaper starring a life-size spider monkey, and painted the exterior a delicious shade of pink created in collaboration with Farrow and Ball. ‘Pink just makes me feel happy,’ Wetenhall tells me.
It certainly brought a smile to my