What is the design style of The Brazilian Court Hotel?

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Michelle Doucette

The Mediterranean design style of The Brazilian Court Hotel is iconic in Palm Beach. Say “Brazilian Court yellow” here, and locals will know the exact buttery shade you’re referencing: that of the historic hotel’s stucco exterior. Designed in the 1920s by architect Rosario Candela, famous for his New York City apartment buildings on Fifth and Park avenues, the Spanish-tile-roofed Brazilian Court is also known for its loggias, lanais and two lushly landscaped interior courtyards. One is original to Candela’s design and another was added, along with its centerpiece fountain, by architect Maurice Fatio during a 1936 expansion.

The boutique hotel’s hidden-garden courtyards may look much like they did when luminaries Cary Grant and Greta Garbo sunned there, but the interior was transformed during a six-year renovation completed in 2008. Owner-designer Leslie Schlesinger maintained a rich Mediterranean palette of gold, burgundy and lavender while adding modern amenities, custom furniture and unique décor to each of The Brazilian Court’s 80 guest residences, reduced from 126 rooms previously. These studios and suites have subtle nods to the nearby beach — a seashell on a nightstand, a potted palm — and a sophisticated style with mahogany millwork on ceilings, wooden shutters, English bronze fixtures and kitchens equipped with wine cooler cabinets. The hotel’s grand, tent-draped entrance is repeated in the luxe mini-canopies that top each bed. Throughout, The Brazilian Court feels like a classic reinvented — a glamorous retreat in Palm Beach.

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