Savor the season and also, plan to pack your bags…by listening to episode 111 featuring Sarah Wetenhall: this podcast will take you on a vivid voyage of all things vacation. The former fashion executive turned President and Owner of The Colony Hotel in historic Palm Beach gets into all the details, including the importance of attention to detail, that make the famed big pink building a desired destination and Florida hot spot filled with bespoke activities and experiences and enchanting and elegant eye candy. We start at the beginning, with how Sarah’s midwestern roots and background in fashion, working for companies like Calvin Klein, have helped shape the skillset she brings to her work today. We also talk about her early relationship with The Colony, and the days when she and her husband Andrew dreamt up what they’d do to the place, if ever given the chance. Well that dream came true in 2016, and with Sarah at the helm after what she describes as a series of crash courses in food and beverage, housekeeping, facilities, finance, interior design, hospitality and more. Here, she shares her thoughts on branding and brand perception, the interesting and intricate way in which she built her concept for the hotel’s look and feel, working with designer Celerie Kemble and the hotel’s many fabulous brands and collaborations. We discuss the major moment that Palm Beach is having, and the designers, both national and international, who want to be a part of it all. We talk best advice, best ideas, the importance of listening, learning to manage a staff in the hospitality space, and the hotel’s diverse customer. Then there’s the hotel’s grand reopening in October, with an exciting new retail experience based on customer desire to “take The Colony home”, and a renovation of the space and brand Sarah describes as “a state of mind”. We get into favorites, like Swifty’s crabcake and her soothing summer read, and discuss all things style, from Palm Beach’s unique and whimsical irreverence to Sarah’s own personal sense of style. You’ll hear about how she dresses for work, her taste in her own home décor, and we wrap with a breakdown about how to make The Colony’s coveted style your own, both at home and in wardrobe.
"I've gotten to take the best of my previous career in fashion, and bring it to The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach." - Sarah Wetenhall
"You can never be too consistent with your brand messaging. You will never go wrong if you have a firm mission statement and core brand tenets that are clear and concise. You will not go astray." - Sarah Wetenhall