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Latest Property Openings and Renovations in Florida (2022)
Beachfront at The Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood, Curio Collection by Hilton
Florida continues to constantly update and open properties that expand venue options for meeting and event planners. Here’s a roundup of the latest news around the state.
The 904-room Boca Raton reopened its 356-acre-resort complex. The hotel has 200,000 square feet of meeting space. The $175 million makeover upgraded all its accommodations. The four-acre lakefront oasis includes four pools, including an adults-only option, a 450-foot lazy river and a lakefront restaurant.
The 145-room AC Hotel Clearwater Beach opened this month. The hotel comes with a rooftop bar and a 149-square-foot boardroom.
Courtyard Clearwater Beach Marina is also open, with 99 rooms and 1,000 square feet of meeting space. The Bistro offers specialty beverages made with Starbucks coffee.
The recently opened Daytona Grande, member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts LVX Collection, is a new oceanfront luxury resort. The hotel towers 27 stories above the waves and offers 452 rooms, 129,167 square feet of meeting space and a wide variety of dining options.
The Shores Resort & Spa just finished an exterior renovation. The 212-room resort has rooms overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway. Amenities include private poolside cabanas, oceanside fire pits, daily morning yoga, dining and a full-service spa. The hotel features more than 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor adaptable function space for up to 400 guests.
[Related: 6 Meeting Professionals Detail Why They Pick Florida for Events]
Seagate Hotel & Spa will open this summer after a major renovation to its 154 guest rooms. Along with a full public-space redesign, the property will add a new restaurant and lounge. In addition, the Beach Club will be reimagined, creating a spectacular beach, pool and culinary experience for both members and resort guests. The resort has 14,000 square feet of meeting space.
AC Hotels by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach opened in January. The 171-room hotel boasts ocean views, an open kitchen for European-style breakfast and specialty culinary events, a library, an expansive resort-style pool with cabanas and dining services, and 1,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 189-room Four Seasons Hotel & Residences Fort Lauderdale opened in February. The hotel features two restaurants, a spa, a fitness center, “Beach Butlers”, a ballroom and 12,900 square feet of meeting space.
The 126-room Hilton Garden Inn Fort Myers opened after a multimillion-dollar renovation that included its lobby, guest rooms and 3,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 72-room The Banyan Hotel Fort Myers, Tapestry Collection by Hilton completed an extensive renovation in April to its guest rooms, lobby and rooftop pool area. The hotel is within walking distance to Caloosa Sound Convention Center & Amphitheater.
The Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood, Curio Collection by Hilton reopened last June, boasting 1,000 reimagined guest rooms and suites, two pools, 26 poolside cabanas, two fitness centers and 209,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. Ideally located on the beach between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, all rooms feature unobstructed ocean or Intracoastal vantage points, while most suites boast 180-degree views of the tropical surroundings, including a variety of premier suites.
Residence Inn Downtown Jacksonville, with 135 rooms, recently opened. The property includes 650 square feet of meeting space, perfect for small groups of up to 50 people.
Margaritaville Beach House Key West opened following an ongoing multimillion-dollar investment to bring the full Margaritaville experience to life along Key West’s largest beach. The 186-suite hotel has a lagoon-style pool and lounging hammocks throughout the grounds, indoor banquet space and outdoor gardens and courtyards, complete with a 1,500-square-foot event tiki for smaller meetings and events.
Southernmost Beach Resort debuted after an extensive $15.2 million renovation to its exterior facade, breezeways and 243 guest rooms. The hotel, located at the southern tip of famed Duval Street, is complemented by its beachfront location. The hotel’s Key West Room and South Beach Room can host indoor meetings and outdoor, and poolside space can be used for private events for up to 200.
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center completed the largest expansion in the hotel’s history. The $158 million project, which began in 2019 and opened in summer 2021, includes the addition of more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space and 306 guest rooms in the new Gulf Coast Tower. Gaylord now has more than 500,000 square feet of meeting space and 1,718 guest rooms.
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citizenM Miami Brickell recently opened two properties. Miami Brickell has 252 rooms and eight societyM meeting rooms. The hotel also has a rooftop bar and swimming pool. The Miami World Center has 351 rooms and four spacious, light-flooded societyM meeting rooms. The hotel will also feature a large rooftop pool and bar on the 11th floor.
Construction for the newest luxury hotel along Florida’s southwest coast, Naples Beach Club, a Four Seasons Resort has begun. The 216-room resort will complement luxury residences as the first Four Seasons property on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Resort amenities will include indoor and outdoor lounges and restaurants; a beachside garden with outdoor pools, cabanas and an event lawn; upscale retail stores; an event ballroom; and multiple dining experiences with views of the Gulf of Mexico. The resort will have 12,000 square feet of meeting space.
As part of its extensive $127-million renovation, Caribe Royale Orlando introduced 1,215 new one-bedroom suites, as well as a stunning new 50,000-square-foot meeting venue, Palms Ballroom, to bring the property’s total meeting space to 220,000 square feet. The addition complements the resort’s three other flexible ballrooms (40,000-square-foot Grand Sierra Ballroom, 26,000-square-foot Caribbean Ballroom and 6,400-square-foot Martinique Ballroom), plus 54 spacious breakout rooms, three executive boardrooms, 120 fully renovated two-bedroom lakeside villas suited for small breakout sessions, poolside venues and private dining rooms at onsite restaurants. The renovation also includes a modernized lobby space with an onsite Starbucks and Rum Bar by Bacardi.
The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve is the newest addition to the iconic Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. The 14-story hotel is within walking distance to Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and features 349 guest rooms, including 151 suites, and Amare, its signature Mediterranean restaurant. The hotel adds almost 16,000 square feet of indoor meeting space (two ballrooms and 12 meetings rooms) and almost 14,000 square feet of outdoor space, increasing the resort’s (Swan Reserve, Swan, and Dolphin properties) total meeting space to more than 350,000 square feet.
Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista will begin to welcome guests by fall 2022. The new hotel, located in the Disney Springs Area, is the company’s first official Walt Disney World Hotel and the fourth Drury Hotel in the state. The entire project—which includes 604 rooms and more than 17,000 square feet of meeting and event space—will be complete in spring 2023.
Palm Beach Gardens
PGA National Resort & Spa, with 360 rooms, is undergoing a multimillion-dollar transformation to its interior and exterior. Visitors and members can now enjoy a newly designed golf experience by Staples Golf at the county’s most-famed golfing destination with a play on the resort’s new 18-hole course named The Match, and a new Par 3, nine-hole course, called The Staple. PGA National Resort offers 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event spaces and more than 20,000 square feet of outdoor options.
The new 250-room Hotel Effie has more than 20,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space—even more with the Baytowne Conference Center right next door.
The Resort at Longboat Key Club recently had a top-to-bottom resort renovation complete with newly renovated rooms and suites. The hotel has 226 luxury rooms and nine meeting rooms for a total of 12,000 square feet.
Lido Beach Resort has renovated its lobby. The hotel has 223 guest rooms and nine meeting rooms at a total of 6,400 square feet. The adults-only pool and hot tubs are also undergoing renovations.
The 89-room Renaissance St. Augustine Historic Downtown Hotel opened in September. It has over 9,000 square feet of meeting space in six rooms.
Hyatt Place Vilano Beach is opening in June. The banquet rooms offer 7,200 square feet of meeting space plus nearly 3,000 square feet of prefunction space. The new Hyatt Place is a three-story hotel with 120 guest rooms and fine dining restaurant and rooftop bar. The second-floor swimming pool has an expansive courtyard with amenities.
The 361-room The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club in downtown St. Petersburg is redoing its lobby, Palm Court Ballroom, guest rooms, spa and meeting rooms. A new pool restaurant will also be added, scheduled to be completed this year. The resort boasts more than 60,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 137-room Epicurean Hotel (www.marriott.com) is expanding with 51 new guest room suites alongside the legendary Bern’s Steak House. The hotel has 4,485 square feet of meeting space.
Plus: Disney Meetings & Events and National Geographic Team Up
Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in life under the sea. He has been a photographer for National Geographic magazine since 1998 and has many stories to tell. He frequently lectures on photography, exploration and conservation issues and is an expert in marine wildlife and underwater environments. He might just be the perfect speaker to talk to your group after they’ve spent a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Or, imagine riding Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park and later having a lecture from an astronaut who’s taken more than 300,000 photographs of Earth while in space.
It’s all now possible, thanks to a new partnership between Disney Meetings & Events and The National Geographic Speakers Bureau. The bureau has a wide range of experts in a variety of fields such as sustainability, innovation, wildlife, journalism, world affairs and more, spanning across photographers, environmental scientists, NASA astronauts, adventure filmmakers, a nuclear engineer and a paleontologist, that can speak to groups at any venue at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (or any other Disney Resort in the country). Whether attendees meet in person or attend the conference online, they can still hear the same inspiring message from a virtual adventurer.
Read the 2022 edition of Meetings Today Florida