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“My Favorite Hotel” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Colony Hotel and Cabana Club

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Colony Hotel and Cabana Club
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   525 East Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33483   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in Delray Beach
GreenLeadersSilver level
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“My Favorite Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

We've been staying in this hotel for the last 14 years, so I know it well. We've also seen it in various stages of repair/disrepair, but they're finally getting their act together and fixing what needs to be fixed. So ignore some of those reviews from 2004 or 2005, because it's improved quite a bit since then.

First of all, it's a historic hotel, built in the 1920s, and things were different then. If you're looking for huge rooms, spa baths, giant closets, and tons of gee-whiz modern amenities, you're not going to be happy. I heard one girl sitting in the lobby w-h-i-n-i-n-g incessantly about how horrible the hotel was. Take it on the arches and hit a chain hotel, sister!

So what's the deal? This hotel is ideally located. There are all kinds of restaurants, clubs and shops a short walk down the block. Go one direction and you'll hit the beach, the other takes you by Pineapple Grove. Some people were saying the hotel doesn't offer coffee or tea after 10 am but there's a Starbucks right across the street and a couple more nearby if you need that caffeine fix. If you have a car, there's a parking lot in the back.

They've redecorated a bit and repainted the whole place, but retained the Old Florida charm. I love the bright colors (aqua, lime green, bright oranges) and rattan furniture. They even have the original switchboard and telephone booths in the lobby area. On the main floor there's a great front patio where you can eat breakfast, hang out, have a drink or listen to music (they have live music on the weekends). There are also shops lining the lower floor and you can enter them from the hotel lobby.

The lobby itself is quite large, with plenty of seating. They serve breakfast there in the morning. The breakfast has improved over the years. I remember being annoyed because they constantly ran out of basics and never had enough silverware, bowls, or teabags. They've finally figured that one out, I am glad to report. The breakfast is included in the room rate and it's not extensive, but it's enough for most people. It includes coffee or tea, water, choice of juices, cereal, granola, fruit, various breads and muffins, oatmeal, and generally some sort of eggs and bacon or sausage.

One negative about the lobby: there's no A/C and it's a total sweat festival in summer. I try not to visit in summer but sometimes it's unavoidable. Since the whole lobby is open to the front of the building, small birds fly in looking for breakfast crumbs. This doesn't bother me, but some of you might be grossed out by the birdies, so I dutifully report it.

There are some lovely downstairs rooms that used to be the ballroom and music room. When we first visited they used to serve a giant Sunday brunch in the ballroom (it was very good, btw). Now they seem to use the rooms for an endless array of yoga classes, which is OK but kind of annoying as the yoga-ites take us a lot of the hotel's parking spaces and wander around the place in their tights. I suppose it's good revenue for the hotel, though. If you're into yoga, it's a plus, since you can't walk around downstairs without colliding with a yoga class. I'd prefer a nice high tea at 4, with little sandwiches, but (sigh) it appears there's no hope of that.

The hotel isn't huge but does have an elevator. It's completely vintage, which means it's creaky and tiny and you need to nab a staff member to operate it. We usually walk instead. If you're handicapped or have problems with stairs this might be an issue.

There's a cabana club, and if you're a hotel guest you automatically become a member. I love the place and am glad they're upgrading it. It's about 2 miles away on the ocean, though. It's a 5-minute drive, no big deal, and there's lots of parking. They also have a shuttle from the hotel. I love the salt water pool. We didn't go there on this trip because the pool was closed for repair, unfortunately. The cabana club also has long-term members so if you're at the pool in the morning you'll meet them. Most of them are really nice people and I enjoy chatting with them as we splash around in the pool, although there's one woman who talks incessantly. Bring your earplugs if she's there yammering away. There are tons of chairs, chaises and umbrellas by the pool, and they've upgraded/repainted the changing rooms, which used to be a total disaster. There's a lunch place near the pool if you want to make a day of it. The food is pretty good, not cheap, but very convenient. The private beach is gorgeous, too. It's pretty rare that you get the chance to roam a huge expanse of private beach, so take advantage of it.

OK, so I've covered most of the hotel but haven't talked about the rooms. Try to avoid rooms at the front of the hotel as they're right on the street in the heart of the traffic. It gets very busy on E. Atlantic now on weekends (those young 'uns and their partying ways!), and as it's an old hotel, you will hear some noise. It wafts up from the street, the parking lot, and the front porch when they're having live music. You can also hear people stomping down the hallways (they have lovely wood floors throughout). It doesn't bother me, but I know some people go crazy if they have to deal with any noise. I lived in NYC for too long to let random noise deprive me of my sleep. I just close the curtains, crank the air conditioner, and set the overhead fan a-whirring and I'm set.

The rooms are not huge (this is a 1920s hotel, people didn't know about supersizing then). The Superior King rooms are great, though, quite large. We were upgraded to a Superior King this visit and I loved it. Some of the older Queen rooms are pretty small, though. The bathrooms are pure 1920s, which I love, with pedestal sinks and tiny octagonal floor tiles, but I know some people don't feel the same. The furniture is also original, mahogany pieces from the 20s. (I looked inside a dresser and found the original tag.) Again, I love antiques, other people could care less. The walls are painted bright tropical colors with paintings or photos by local photographers. The windows have big wood slat blinds with 40s-style tropical-leaf- patterned curtains. There's window a/c units and they work quite well. (There's also a/c in the hallways and stairway). Usually each room has a bed, 2 nightstands, a dresser, a desk and chair, and in some rooms there's a bench and a couple more chairs and tables. They have ceiling fans, an adequate closet, never enough hangers (what? Is there a shortage??), plus an iron and ironing board. They've upgraded from the crappy TVs that I hated, so now have decent-size flat screens, and there's also Wifi and even a modern alarm clock. Cruising to the 21st century, woo hoo!! There's a hair dryer and they also leave you toiletries plus shampoo, etc. in a dispenser in the tub area. We've also stayed in the old-school setup: 2 separate rooms with a bathroom in the middle. It's good for families and close friends, and it's cheaper than paying for 2 separate rooms. You can wander back and forth and hang out, although they should put decent locks on the two bathroom doors to prevent those "oops!" moments.

I almost forget to comment on the staff. I saw quite a few reviews saying that they're not helpful or are filled with snarkitude, but we've never experienced that. They've always been pleasant and helpful to us.

One more thing: the place is supposed to be haunted. Take a look at that big mirror downstairs over the mantel. People claim to have had sightings there. The place does have a slight "Overlook Hotel" vibe (minus the snow), so who knows?

To sum up: I love staying at the Colony, it's like time travel for me. It has its flaws, but most of them are due to the nature of the hotel itself. If you like antiques, historic buildings, Old Florida style, the 1920s and unique experiences in general, you'll love The Colony Hotel.

Room Tip: Try to avoid the front of the building (the part that faces E. Atlantic), that's usually noisier...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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345 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
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  • Danish first
  • English first
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English first
upstate NY
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

Genuine old Florida splendor with all of the best of the modern age. The ONLY hotel to stay in while in Delray, in true style. Decadent without being pretentious, and in the heart of it all on Atlantic Ave. Very romantic...

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

My husband and I stayed for three nights back in August. The weather was beautiful, and we had wonderful time. The Cabana Club was by far and away the best part of the hotel. The pool is under construction, as of August 2013, and the club has a café (bit too pricey = $20 for a sandwich, are we in Manhattan?), as well as complimentary cabanas, beach lounge chairs, umbrellas, and sand toys. The scenery is stunning! The parking is included and there are showers and beach towels, as well as pitchers of water and ice.

The actual hotel is about 1/2 mile away. The hotel is charming and located in a prime location on Atlantic Ave in Delray Beach. The beach is in walking distance, as are shops, bars, and restaurants. The hotel room includes breakfast, which is great! We had delicious muffins, toast, outstanding scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, yogurt, coffee/tea. There is a lovely outside eating area.

The room was the only drawback of the Colony. The hotel is an older historic hotel, which is charming except that the walls are very thin, and it was quite noisy. There was also a 1/2 inch open crack under the door. They need to add weather striping. Any time someone was talking in the hall way, it felt like they were in our room. There was a drunk shouting woman who kept returning from the bars in the middle of the night with random men. She kept waking us up. The hotel did call the police, but it was an issue for a couple nights. It made us uncomfortable.

The bed and pillows were also extremely uncomfortable. The bed was very hard, and the pillows were hard and flat. The hotel needs to replace the pillows; they are awful.

The room was nicely decorated, and the bathroom, though seemingly original to the hotel, was charming.

At $89 a night during the summer, the hotel was an excellent value, and we loved the beachfront Cabana Club! We stayed in a king room. The hotel also offers yoga classes for a small fee.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

Walking in from the back parking lot through the ballroom is like coming home. The ground floor level is not air conditioned, but ceiling fans, potted palms, beautiful sitting areas, and the front porch remind you of a quieter, slower pace of life. The staff, from the front desk to the folks who keep the hotel spotless, welcome you with a smile and a greeting. With early morning coffee, a wonderful breakfast, and the newspaper on the front porch, it's easy to forget you are in the heart of the downtown area. The upstairs rooms, which are air conditioned, are comfortable and inviting, but we always seem to spend more time on the porch.

Room Tip: Interior rooms away from the avenue are quieter. Love the photographs and other art work in the room...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, Florida
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

Only stayed one night but wish we could have stayed longer. You can't beat sitting on the front porch eating the complimentary (good) breakfast.

The only drawback would be for older travelers who do not like to climb stairs. They offer a elevator but hotel staff must operate it.

Already booked our next stay before we left.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hollywood, Florida
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

I can't say enough about this hotel. It is one of THE best places I have stayed. And I have been to some nice places. It's character, style, integrity, friendliness, were impeccable. I felt like I was Henry Flagler and it was the 1920's. Everyone there did such a great job, the food was great as well. The hotel's location was perfect and it's beach club was great (try the burgers).

We live in Hollywood, Florida and will be making this legendary property our home in Delray as much as possible. Please do not go there, as I would like it to remain a hidden treasure forever.

Room Tip: Superior King was great. Dog are allowed and are treated well by every one. I imagine it's reall...
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Green Features: Great. Dog friendly and then some. The dogs were treated great and felt at home.
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jupiter, Florida
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013 via mobile

The Colony hotel is on old world charmer with clean rooms and cool lobby. Super laid back inside but outside its right in middle of Atlantic Ave cafes restaurant s and bars. It also has its own laid back Beach club. However the pool is closed for renovation. The later is a bummer but ocean helps. Best Value in area.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Colony Hotel and Cabana Club

Address: 525 East Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach, FL 33483
Location: United States > Florida > Delray Beach
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Delray Beach
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Delray Beach
#3 Family Hotel in Delray Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Delray Beach
#5 Business Hotel in Delray Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Colony Hotel and Cabana Club 2.5*
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
historic Florida charm in a select service downtown hotel with a private oceanfront beach club ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Colony Hotel And Cabana

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