The Alfond Inn at Rollins to Unveil Expansion in August 2023
The Alfond Inn at Rollins, the award-winning boutique hotel in the heart of historic Winter Park, has announced that its much-anticipated new wing will open for guests in summer 2023, beginning an exciting new chapter as it celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year.
The 71 new guestrooms increase the capacity of the hotel to 183 rooms. The Spa at The Alfond Inn, which will be open for guests and day visitors, is an exciting addition that will offer a relaxing wellness component through signature treatments, steam, a sauna, a new fitness area, the hotel's second swimming pool, with private cabanas, and an extensive outdoor living room that is available for private events. During construction, guestrooms in the original building have undergone complete upgrades with new interiors, providing a fresh look to the entire Alfond Inn just in time for the hotel's 10th Anniversary and the Grand Opening of the new Wing in August 2023.
Owned by neighboring Rollins College, the private, coeducational liberal arts college in Winter Park, Florida, The Alfond Inn at Rollins is a unique luxury property that is distinguished by its philanthropic mission, directing all net operating income to scholarships. Since 2013, the Alfond Scholars Program has awarded millions of dollars in scholarships. In the current academic year (2022-2023), 30 students attend Rollins on this full four-year scholarship. The average award is $66,000 per student per year, and the total award for all 30 students this year is $1,987,412.
The Alfond Inn at Rollins has earned top rankings on the most prestigious awards lists from the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure. The hotel has become the focal point of the Winter Park community, a wildly popular destination for lodging, dining, socializing, meetings, and weddings. The demand has been so great that an expansion was necessary to accommodate the community's and visitors' growing needs.
With the opening of the new wing, The Alfond Inn at Rollins will feature the following:
183 guest rooms and suites
The Spa, with seven treatment rooms, steam, sauna, fitness facility, and luxury locker rooms
Two swimming pools, including a new pool off The Spa with a 6,000 square foot amenity deck and outdoor living room
New lobby Café serving crepes, coffee, light bites, beer, and wine
Hamilton's Kitchen restaurant with a new upgraded private dining room
A new meeting room and boardroom will add 2,400 square feet to the existing 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.
Renovation of the existing lobby, library, and bar
"The new wing of The Alfond Inn, The Spa, and the additional meeting space marks an important part of the hotel's evolution and its role in the Winter Park and Greater Orlando market," said Jesse Martinez, General Manager of The Alfond Inn at Rollins. "Starting this summer, we'll deliver a more exciting guest experience and add to our philanthropic goals, which are always at the heart of our mission. Throughout this process, we've had tremendous support from Rollins College, the Winter Park community, our Orlando partners, and our loyal guests."
Seamless Connection Links the Expansion
The Alfond Inn's original architect, the Orlando-based Baker Barrios Architects, designed the new wing. The interior design is a partnership between Baskervill of Richmond, VA, and Sheedy / De La Rosa Interiors of Chicago, Illinois. The general contractor is Balfour Beatty, and the project is led by Olympia Development, which also oversaw the design and construction of the original Alfond Inn.
"This exciting addition to one of the finest hotels in Florida fulfills the original vision of The Alfond Inn at Rollins College, upgrading and expanding the hotel amenities so that it continues to be a premier destination for leisure, business, and group travel," said Mike Zimmerman, President of Olympia Development. "The Alfond Inn at Rollins has the unique privilege of serving as the unofficial communal living room of Winter Park while funding vital scholarship opportunities for Rollins College students. Olympia Development is honored to have led the team that has brought this vision to reality."
The new wing has been designed in harmony with the original hotel structure. A light-filled seven-story atrium connects the two buildings, offering an uplifting interplay between inside and out in a destination known for its sunny climate.
"There was always a plan for a phase two of The Alfond Inn at Rollins, and the extension was designed at the same time as the original building, though that design has been modified," said Wayne Dunkelberger, Chief Creative Officer of Design for Baker Barrios Architects, Inc. "The pause of a few years allowed ownership to see what phase two could be. It was always the intention of The Alfond Inn to fit into Winter Park and be an extension of the Rollins College campus."
The Spa at The Alfond Inn
The Spa at The Alfond Inn is among the most anticipated features of the new wing. The design includes seven treatment rooms, a steam room and sauna, a new fitness area, and luxurious locker rooms. The look is clean and minimalist, tempered by a warm, soothing, understated color palette. Located on the second floor of the new wing, The Spa opens onto a new 6,000-square-foot Amenity Deck that features a second swimming pool for the hotel, private cabanas, a neo-classical fountain, and a shaded canopy that covers an extensive outside living room. The Spa will be open to hotel guests and the public, and the amenity deck will be available for private events.
Increased Gallery Space for The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art
Since opening, The Alfond Inn has displayed rotating art installations from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, part of the collection of the Rollins Museum of Art. It is the only hotel in the country serving as an art museum's formal extension. The additional space in the new wing will offer even more opportunities to exhibit art from the ever-growing collection, which now includes more than 550 works. The new atrium will feature a site-specific commissioned installation from Boston artist Steve Locke. The new lobby is also designed as a showcase for art, which will help provide continuity and a seamless transition from the existing space to the new areas.
"The expansion allows us to show more artworks and to rethink how we can engage hotel guests in the most meaningful way," says Dr. Ena Heller, Bruce A. Beal Director, Rollins Museum of Art. The museum, which is currently on the Rollins College campus, is on track to break ground on a new and larger building adjacent to the Alfond Inn. Along with the new Crummer Graduate School of Business building, these projects will form the Rollins Innovation Triangle, a hub of art, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy at the nexus of campus and community. Dr. Heller added, "Once we build the museum across the street, we will be able to work on more direct curatorial connections between the museum and the Inn."
Bright & Cheery Interior Design
The interior design of the extension is bold, bright, and colorful, with tropical motif rugs over hardwood floors, yellow and blue accent walls, and carved white headboards with decorative hanging lights over the sideboards. The guest room windows are intentionally large to let the Florida sunshine in. The existing rooms have been completely renovated, with a similar color scheme and furnishings.
Two things drove the interior design, according to Bob Tierney, Principal and Director of Design for Baskervill. "One was the architectural style, a sort of Spanish Renaissance architecture local to the area. The other was The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, which had to be really front and center and really pop."
Tierney wanted "a level of sophistication, with subtle patterns and textures. We gave a lot of thought to what floral patterns, colors, and shades were used. These are very curated colors. We did not want cliched Florida references. This is understated architecture with a modern, fresh feel."
As for furnishings, Natalie Sheedy, Principal of Sheedy | De La Rosa Interiors, said that they "were all based on giving the guest a luxury experience that would be expected at a hotel as special as the Alfond Inn. The custom furnishings feature bold, rich accent colors. There is integrated lighting, so the guestrooms always feel as bright and cheery as sunny Florida."
The new, light-filled lobby Café will serve coffee, crepes, and light bites, transitioning to bar service for beer and wine in the evenings. The Café is designed to be a welcoming open space, with long sightlines, warm wood, mid-century modern furnishings, high-top communal tables, and inviting private seating areas perfect for impromptu business meetings.
Additional Meeting and Function Space
The Alfond Inn at Rollins already has 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, making it the social hub of the Winter Park community and the first choice for weddings. The expansion's new meeting room and boardroom will provide an additional 2,400 square feet of convening space.
Social events will also be held on the new Amenity Deck, from Welcome Parties for weddings to cocktail parties and social hours for corporate groups. The expanded hotel grounds include the new South Lawn, adding more alfresco wedding space to the existing Courtyard Lawn.