The only thing as exciting as a new hotel opening is an old hotel undergoing a big renovation, and Palm Beach Gardens’ PGA National Resort, which Venus Williams and her firm V Starr just helped redesign, is proof. Having opened in 1981, the 369-room hotel was long overdue for a facelift, and $100 million and a celebrity interior designer later, the big reveal—which happened on May 13—was astounding in the best way. Though the resort enlisted different architects and designers for each of the sprawling hotel’s several spaces, all of the design experts are locally based, including the firm assigned to the 40,000-square-foot spa. V Starr, owned and operated by seven-time Grand Slam singles winner Venus Williams, completely reimagined the glimmering new spa to reflect the nearby breeze swept sandy beaches.
Williams notes, “The inspiration for the spa came directly from its surroundings. The white tile was inspired by our soft, sandy beaches, while the champagne gold ceiling nods to the splinters of sunlight that shine through palm trees. There are many coral and soft pink tones throughout the spa that are accented by greens and tropical prints to reflect the lush, South Floridian lifestyle.”
The cues it takes from the oceanfront city aren’t entirely obvious: There are no blue-and-white stripes, dried coral accessories, or seashells in sight. In fact, the palette of muted gold, washed woods, and creamy shades of white reads more glamorous than it does coastal. Williams’s subtle nods to warm-weather living take form in accented palm prints, a domed entry space, and tiled floors that look like they’re made of pillowy white sand at first glance.
The common material that runs through the whole of the spa is the sparkling champagne-hued details, references to the typical Florida splinters of sunlight that pierce the tree canopies twice daily. “To enhance this already amazing and historic resort, we’ve designed a spa that balances warmth, playfulness, and sophistication,” Williams says. With several projects under her belt, the tennis star—who established her firm in 2002—prides herself on the timelessness of her spaces. The spa, though huge, is quite simple in its aesthetic. For starters, the whole space is swathed in a warm neutral palette and is essentially devoid of color, save for a few gentle coral and green accents here and there.