She Said/She Said Podcast Episode 283

Sarah Wetenhall is the Owner and CEO of The Colony Hotel, and the visionary behind Palm Beach’s historic Pink Paradise. A native of the Midwest, Wetenhall is a nomad by nature, having lived in more than six cities during the first twenty years of her life. Her vagabond roots inspired a love of travel and developed storytelling skills that proved essential in molding this natural-born hotelier. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, she began her career in New York where she spent a decade-plus spearheading public relations and marketing efforts for major fashion houses including Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss. Her experience in the fashion industry honed her keen aesthetic acumen and strong sensibility for the luxury market. 

After wholly acquiring The Colony Hotel in 2016 from a previous generation of ownership which included her father-in-Law, Wetenhall commenced a devoted restoration and relaunch of the hotel.  Guided by decades of cherished time in Palm Beach, Wetenhall sought to create a stylish, multigenerational oasis that both preserved the property’s storied history and engaged visitors with a vibrant and refreshed luxury experience. Wetenhall initiated major renovations, brand partnerships, and carefully curated activations, evolving The Colony into an internationally recognized design-forward hotel. Among her industry-defining projects are the resurgence of the iconic Manhattan boîte, Swifty’s, the hotel lobby transformation featuring bespoke DeGournay wallpaper, the Villa redesigns by Kemble, Aerin Lauder, and Mark D. Sikes, along with fashion partnerships with Bergdorf Goodman, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, and Dolce&Gabbana – to name a few. 

 

In addition to leading The Colony Palm Beach, Mrs. Wetenhall is a mother of three young children, a Board Member of the Worth Avenue Association, the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, and the Couture Council of The Museum at FIT.  She sits on the Visionary Board of the Southampton Hospital Foundation and is a member of the Board of Directors of The Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy. Mrs. Wetenhall is also a committee member of City of Hope, Palm Beach’s Old Bags Luncheon and the Kips Bay Designer Show House. She is also a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames, studying early U.S. history and promoting historic preservation of critical sites and objects. Mrs. Wetenhall was most recently named one of HOTELS Magazine’s Top Ten Independent Hoteliers in 2021.