Autograph Collection Hotels announced the opening of The Ben, the first hotel on the downtown West Palm Beach, Florida waterfront. The Ben is part of Autograph Collection's diverse and dynamic portfolio of more than 180 independent hotels carefully crafted with vision and passion. Just like The Ben, each distinctive hotel in the Autograph Collection is singular and special: Exactly Like Nothing Else.
The Ben joins Autograph Collection's robust portfolio of 18 hotels in Florida including the newly opened Cadillac Hotel & Beach Club in Miami Beach, The Daytona in Daytona Beach and Fenway Hotel in Dunedin.
"We're thrilled to introduce The Ben, an unmistakably original hotel that injects new energy into the traditionally classic city of West Palm Beach," said Jennifer Connell, Vice President and Global Brand Leader, Autograph Collection Hotels. "The Ben reimagines classic South Florida lifestyle for today's travelers by blending elements inspired by the city's early days as an untamed tropical paradise with modern touches, making it a perfect fit for the Autograph Collection."
The 208-room, new-build hotel features a modern design aesthetic reflecting the spirit of the Ben Trovato Estate, one of West Palm Beach's original homes. Byrd Spilman Dewey, one of Florida's most prolific authors of the pioneer era, gave her 1892 Victorian home the name Ben Trovato, literally meaning "well invented." The name is derived from "Se non è vero, è ben trovato," an Italian phrase which, loosely translated, means "Even if it isn't true, it's a good story." The Estate put West Palm Beach on the cultural map, entertaining luminaries from Henry Phipps Jr. to Woodrow Wilson and the Vanderbilts.
Reimagined for today, The Ben creatively channels Dewey's joie de vivre, her love of entertaining, her whimsical interests and personal passions. Much like the Ben Trovato Estate, this new hotel is a place for socialization, lively conversation and enrichment.
"The Ben is a development unlike anything West Palm Beach has seen before. We're redefining what it means to travel to and live in West Palm," said Bernardo Neto, General Manager of The Ben. "We invite guests and locals to experience the essence of this magical waterfront city in an inspired setting fueled by a unique story, thoughtful design and the spirit of socialization."
Pioneered by South Florida architecture firm EoA and its founder and design director Malcolm Berg, The Ben's heartfelt design beautifully combines vintage Florida with modern elements. The hotels' interiors intrigue guests with a combination of rich textures and earth tones accented with lush greenery evocative of the South Florida setting and climate that enchanted Dewey. Guestrooms feature eclectic elements including sliding bookcases that, when discovered, reveal a window into the shower and whimsical, mod iconic collage portraiture. In the lobby, a book display wall is arranged to manifest the silhouette of hotel muse Dewey's face.
Proper Grit debuts as the hotel's signature restaurant, with Executive Chef Andre Sattler at the helm. The contemporary South Florida chophouse is open daily and offers indoor and outdoor seating in a comfortable, yet upscale setting. A communal-style table stretches across the dining room to encourage socialization, with cozy, living-room style nooks along its border where guests can intimately enjoy a cocktail prior to being seated. Menus include fresh, locally sourced fare that combines the property's Old Florida roots interpreted the "proper" way and offers staples like whole, fresh caught snapper filleted table-side, and a perfectly cooked ribeye steak, served bone-in.
The Ben also features Spruzzo, a stunning rooftop lounge and bar that is accessible via an express elevator directly from the ground floor. This new West Palm hotspot boasts sweeping, 'Byrds-eye' views of the Palm Harbor Marina and beyond, and offers a setting for guests to enjoy poolside cocktails and Mediterranean bites al fresco.
Living up to its roots and identity as downtown West Palm's social hub, The Ben features more than 8,000 square feet of meeting and event space, from a sleek boardroom to a unique glass-enclosed gallery, The Studio, which provides a supplementary flex-space that serves as a blank canvas for the most innovative events to come to life.
For weddings and elegant affairs, The Ben's rooftop Blue Heron Ballroom ups the ante on events in the area. The space can host up to 500 guests and is the only rooftop ballroom in all of West Palm Beach with captivating ocean views from Singer Island to Palm Beach Island and beyond.
Regular programming will make use of the varied spaces throughout the hotel with offerings including Sunset/Sunrise Yoga on the Rooftop, a Proper Grit Pup Brunch, Gin & Jam Tea Time and more.
Owned and operated by Concord Hospitality, an award-winning hotel development and management company, The Ben is located at 251 N. Narcissus Avenue, one block from vibrant Clematis Street, minutes away from the newly reimagined Rosemary Square and a short drive from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI).