| Palm Beach Daily News
After months of anticipation, the White Elephant boutique hotel is set to open its doors on Wednesday in Palm Beach.
With a 7-foot-tall white elephant sculpture by its entrance, the 32-room hotel White Elephant is housed in the former Bradley Park Hotel, a town-designated historic landmark originally built in 1924.
The footprint of the historic hotel’s structure and facade remain, while the interior has been redone and enhanced with high-end appointments and artworks.
The four-story hotel, painted white with black trim and striped awnings, is crowned by a terracotta tile roof.
The transformation of the site follows more than a year of redevelopment work that began in May 2019 after Boston-based New England Development tapped Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects for the project.
New England Development, a real estate development and management company with retail, mixed-use and hospitality assets, purchased the property in April 2018 from an entity controlled by Gayla Sue Levin of Fort Lauderdale.
Douglass Karp, president of New England Development, said the hotel combines “our promise of service excellence” with Palm Beach’s “exciting tradition of hospitality.”
The White Elephant is the sister of the White Elephant in Nantucket, Massachusetts. That hotel also is operated by New England Development, whose local projects include the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach.
At the helm of the hotel’s staff is General Manager Bernhard Duerrmeier, who hails most recently from a 15-year tenure with the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.
Coronavirus-related protocols at the hotel include mask-wearing and social-distancing in public areas and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety and hygiene guidelines, according to the White Elephant.
The hotel is framed around a center outdoor courtyard — the hotel’s “social heart” — whose features include a splash pool and al fresco seating for the hotel’s signature restaurant, LoLa 41, a globally influenced bistro founded in Nantucket.
Inside the hotel, the lobby hints at the hotel’s overall interior design approach: a neutral color palette mixed with metal accents, splashes of color, hardwood floors, Carrara marble, tiles and woven rugs.
Guestrooms and suites range in size from 510 to 3,000 square feet, and some feature entrances with custom wooden arches.
Accommodations include king- or queen-size beds with Pratesi linens and upholstered backboards accented by palm and flower prints.
Other furnishings and decorative elements include console tables with the William Morris “Strawberry Thief” pattern, bronze elephant door knockers, and black-and-white-striped side tables.
Two expandable penthouse suites, with two or three bedrooms, include living rooms, fully equipped kitchens and terraces with views of the area.
Throughout the hotel are dozens of pieces of modern and pop art by such artists as Robert Rauschenberg and Yinka Shonibare. The elephant sculpture at the entrance is by Fredrick Prescott.
“The (elephant) statue is a hospitable welcome sign,” said Laurel Baker, CEO of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce. “The hotel’s opening, along with the restaurant (LoLa 41), has brought new vitality to the corner.”
New England Development originally had expected to complete and open the White Elephant last season. That timetable shifted because of construction delays and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had a responsibility to honor the history and integrity of the historic building (the former Bradley Park Hotel) and to prioritize the safety and health of our community, staff and guests,” said Khaled Hashem, managing director of New England Development.
“We are now looking forward to the festive season and the peak travel months for Palm Beach as guests arrive to spend the winter with warmer temperatures and sunshine.”