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Ben Trovato Reimagined For Today

The Ben West Palm, an Autograph Collection Hotel, channels the spirit of one of West Palm Beach’s original homes and interprets it for a modern traveler. Byrd Spillman Dewey gave her 1892 Victorian home the name Ben Trovato, literally meaning “well invented” or “well found”; 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 like Henry Phipps Jr., Woodrow Wilson, and the Vanderbilts. Much like the Ben Trovoato Estate, The Ben is an unconventional hotel experience and a place for socialization, lively conversation, enjoyment, and enrichment.

Photograph of Byrd Spilman Dewey and Fred S. Dewey, taken in Jacksonville, Florida in 1907.

Meet The Dewey Family

Drawn to magical, uninhabited land of South Florida in late 1800s – “a land of romance, fanned by mysterious spice-laden breezes” Byrd and Fred Dewey, moved to West Palm when only 200 people lived in all of South Florida and built the Ben Trovato.

Byrd Dewey, Grandniece of President Zachary Taylor, was a published and celebrated author, including national bestseller Bruno. She was a noted conservationist and animal lover. The hotel creatively channels Byrd Dewey’s joie de vivre, her love of entertaining, her whimsical interests and personal passions, as well as her strong advocacy for the natural world.

Photograph of Byrd Spilman Dewey with her cat Billie, c. 1918

Byrd Spilman Dewey

Hailing from Kentucky, Byrd Spilman Dewey’s many talents brought her fame – as a columnist, author, land investor and bon vivant known throughout society as a superb hostess, demonstrating her charming hospitality at Ben Trovato. She wrote often of her pioneering days in a paradise that the world was just discovering. Her love of West Palm Beach and South Florida, her home for more than 30 years, is captured in her writings through their everlasting legacy in telling her story.

Often we reviewed all the circumstances—the paths revealed one step at a time—with many surprising turns and ambushes—that had led us to Ben Trovato, this haven of peace & reposeful delight.

Byrd Spilman Dewey, from The Blessed Isle