The Latest Property Openings and Renovations in Florida (2023)
The Ritz-Carlton Naples Tiburon. Photo courtesy The Ritz-Carlton Naples Tiburon
A highly anticipated expansion at the Broward County Convention Center, Greater Fort Lauderdale; a new Jet Blue Terminal at Orlando International Airport for a more streamlined arrival to The City Beautiful; a new train option adding Brightline service to Orlando from Miami; and a growing inventory of hotels and resorts around the state make Florida the meeting spot that continues to meet the ever-evolving needs of today’s group business, while anticipating and preparing for tomorrow.
Following are the latest updates that meeting and event planners should know about this year.
The 144-room AC Hotel Clearwater Beach opened June 2022 with water views from the luxury guest rooms and Soirée, its 10th floor Mediterranean rooftop bar. Umbra, the poolside retreat on the fifth floor, is also a great group getaway and the lobby’s AC Lounge is perfect for signature gin and tonics and Spanish-inspired small plates.
Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor will open this year with 785 rooms and 189 suites. Nestled on 22 waterfront acres, this deluxe resort offers guests 20 bars and restaurants, from fine dining to casual eateries, utilizing local ingredients as much as global influences. Two pools, one on the ground level overlooking the harbor and another on the hotel rooftop, complete a wondrous landscape. The private Aileron Golf Club will offer an 18-hole par 72 course, and the full- service spa and salon will feature 10 treatment rooms. The 7,100-square-foot fitness center overlooking Charlotte Harbor will offer myriad fitness classes in four studios to accommodate all levels.
The 60,000 square feet of event space encompasses the main ballroom, junior ballroom, two executive boardrooms, 12 meeting rooms and an ideation suite with three separate breakout rooms. Twenty-two-foot-high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows will virtually guarantee spectacular views of Charlotte Harbor.
The 63-room Wyvern Hotel was renovated in 2022 and has an updated lobby with artwork from the Visual Art Center of Punta Gorda featuring local artists. The refreshed rooms present views of the avenues of Punta Gorda and the yachts moored in Charlotte Harbor. Also underway are additional rooftop renovations as well as pool area upgrades and the expanded wine cellar. The Wyvern features a conference room for up to 50 guests with an additional break room available. Perch 360 is the Wyvern’s rooftop bar with sweeping, panoramic views of Charlotte Harbor.
The Vinoy® St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club announced the completely redesigned Palm Court Ballroom and Vinoy Grand Ballroom as the first spaces to be unveiled as part of the resort’s massive renovation. Also receiving a facelift are the legendary veranda, porte cochere, main lobby, guest rooms, spa and restaurants. The 11,520-square-foot Palm Court ballroom and entrance hall debuted new flooring, walls and recessed ceilings and can accommodate up to 1,000.
TradeWinds Island Resorts has added 141 guest rooms to its portfolio at the RumFish Beach Resort, along with a new Mexican restaurant concept at the Island Grand. The expansion also added two pools, a covered spa area and a beachfront bar, all available to guests at both TradeWinds properties.
Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection is serving up a $21 million expansion project scheduled for completion in fall 2023. Located directly across from the 137-room main hotel, the expansion will include 51 new guest rooms and suites, a private lobby, meeting space and rooftop terrace. This expansion brings the total indoor and outdoor meeting space to 7,700 square feet.
Tampa Airport Marriott has just completed a multimillion-dollar meeting and event space renovation. The 298-room property, located at Tampa International Airport (TPA), offers 25,416 square feet of meeting and event space including 17 meeting rooms, the largest of which is the 7,446-square-foot Hillsborough Grand Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 700.
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples will debut a new lobby and lobby bar, an expansive Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge, three new dining outlets, a redesigned pool area and newly designed guest rooms. Offering 92 new luxury suites, the sprawling 4,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge is available for private groups.
The 295-room The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón will introduce its refreshed debut in late 2023. The hotel will offer an enhanced poolside experience including new luxury cabanas and immersive water feature, The Reservoir, as well as Latin American-inspired restaurant, Ría. The hotel has 16,500 square feet of meeting and event space, with 14 conference rooms and 11 breakouts.
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Max Beach Resort is a new oceanfront resort with 70 spacious residences offering fully equipped kitchens and laundry rooms. Several venue options are available for events, such as the rooftop Sunrise and Sunset Terraces, the beachfront deck and beachside cabanas.
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is now open with 200 guest rooms, with private city views or oceanfront balconies. Sessions, with ocean views, is the signature restaurant serving seafood, steaks and pasta. The hotel boasts 20,000 total square feet of event space, including five meeting rooms and the 8,300-square-foot Avalon Terrace I & II with incredible sunset views.
Amrit Ocean Resort and Residences, a Preferred Hotels and Resorts property, will open this year. The 155-room resort features more than 12,000 square feet of meeting space and will offer a four-story wellness center with meditation gardens, tranquility pools, yoga classes and four farm-to-table dining options, including a restaurant by celebrity vegan chef, Matthew Kenney.
The 360-room PGA National Resort started a $100 million transformation that debuted in February 2022, featuring fully updated guest rooms, meeting spaces and new dining concepts, including Butcher’s Club, featuring the best in steaks and seafood. The hotel boasts a 40,000-square-foot immersive spa and offers more than 41,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.
Phase one of the reimagined Broward County Convention Center is now open and features 800,000 square feet of total space, a 350,000-square-foot exhibit hall, water taxi access and more. Completion of the $1.3 billion expansion is set for 2025 and will include waterfront ballrooms, a six-acre outdoor waterfront plaza and an 800-room Omni headquarters hotel to open in 2026.
The 395-room Pier Sixty-Six Hotel & Marina in Fort Lauderdale will re-open this year. Set on 32 acres, this world-class South Florida yachting destination has more than 40,000 square feet of meeting space, a multi-level pool and marina promenade with shopping, dining and spa.
Kimpton Shorebreak Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort opened late 2022 and has 96 deluxe rooms. The onsite restaurant, La Fuga, meaning “the escape,” has a diverse menu of modern coastal Italian cuisine by Chef Michael Mayer. The courtyard pool provides a secluded getaway, while the 3,500-square-foot Rooftop Pool Deck on the 8th floor offers 180-degree views from the Atlantic Ocean to downtown Fort Lauderdale.
The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club unveiled 64 exquisitely renovated beachfront guest rooms and suites in the resort’s Summer House and St. Johns House. The Inn & Club also added a Croquet Lawn and Bocce Court. This tournament-style lawn setup has two golf croquet courts, each accommodating up to four players and available to guests and members daily from 9 a.m. until dusk. The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and The Lodge & Club Ponte Vedra Beach boast more than 25,000 square feet of event space.
The 120-room Hyatt Place Vilano Beach is scheduled to open its doors in April and will offer 7,200 square feet of meeting space plus nearly 3,000 square feet of additional prefunction space. Pesca Vilano, serving fresh-caught coastal cuisine by Michael’s, will be the hotel’s signature restaurant.
The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) will feature a new headquarters hotel, the Grand Hyatt Miami Beach, an 800-room property for visitors attending events at MBCC by 2025. Other plans for the district include pedestrian promenades on the surrounding streets and an elevated sky bridge that clears the way for attendees to move easily between the hotel and convention center. The hotel will have 90,000 square feet of indoor meeting and conference space, plus 10,000 square feet of outdoor space.
The 217-room Arlo Wynwood recently opened. Graced with a yoga deck, rooftop, penthouse terrace and outdoor courtyard for meetings and events, this hotel has more than 16,000 square feet of total meeting space.
The 101-room Sagamore South Beach has more than 18,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space and boasts some of the largest standard rooms in South Beach.
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This year, Brightline train service will connect Orlando with existing stations in Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach. The new South Terminal at the Orlando International Airport is part of the company’s Phase 2 expansion into Central Florida including a Tampa extension. Three million passengers have already used the train since its inception.
Located near Walt Disney World Resort and Orlando’s other top theme parks, the all-suite Caribe Royale Orlando recently completed a $140-million-dollar renovation. The resort’s notable offerings include 1,215 renovated and luxurious one-bedroom suites and 120 two-bedroom villas with full kitchen to comfortably accommodate families as easily as after-hour meetings. The hotel boasts 220,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Fine dining, tennis and chocolate and pastry experiences are just a sampling of all this popular resort has to offer.
Set to open in fall of 2023, the 433-room Conrad Orlando will have 51 regular suites and 10 spacious family suites. Other features include 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, a tranquil spa and five remarkable dining experiences including an elevated, high-end Mexican rooftop restaurant with scenic views and a retractable roof. The property sits on the 1,100-acre Evermore Orlando Resort.
Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando—Disney Springs Area is scheduled to open in May with 604 guest rooms and over 17,000 square feet of meeting space. Guests will appreciate a resort-style pool, splash pad and poolside dining and refreshments, as well as an extensive marketplace, a cozy dining experience, complimentary hot breakfast, shuttle service to all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and evening snacks and beverages.
Aloft Lake Nona, with 205 loft-inspired guest rooms including 15 suites, will open this year. The hotel will also feature a 10,000-square-foot conference center, full-service restaurant, backyard deck and outdoor pool and WXYZ Bar.
Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek will debut its waterside expansion that will include a brand-new lobby and guest rooms. The two-story addition of over 90,000 square feet of meeting space will have a ballroom, a screened lanai with stunning views of the Walt Disney World fireworks, an outdoor patio, event lawn and seven additional meeting rooms.
JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes completed several multimillion-dollar renovations. The property’s new amenities include an expansive waterpark, refreshed guest rooms and suites, the introduction of inspired executive family suites and a redesigned and upgraded lobby lounge. The hotel has more than 144,000 square feet of meeting space.
Read more tips and recommendations for hosting meetings in Florida in the 2023 edition of Meetings Today Florida