This summer, The Alfond Inn at Rollins College will break ground on its long-awaited expansion project, which was placed on a temporary hold in spring 2020. Located in the heart of historic Winter Park, the award-winning boutique hotel will soon gain a communal café, wellness spa, and second pool along with 71 new luxury guest rooms, an additional 2,400 square feet of meeting and event space, and an extension to The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art.
“This is an exciting time for The Alfond Inn and for Winter Park as we embark on the much-anticipated next phase of the hotel’s evolution,” said Jesse Martinez, general manager of The Alfond Inn at Rollins. “Thanks to the tremendous support from Rollins College, the Winter Park community, partners throughout Orlando, and of course, our treasured guests, we will be able to deliver an unprecedented, contemporary experience.”
The new wing will mirror the current design of The Alfond Inn with substantial natural light, bold and colorful accents, warm wood and mid-century modern furnishings, and a four-story atrium.
Each of the 71 new guest rooms will feature hardwood floors, carved white headboards, decorative hanging light fixtures, and large windows.
Serving coffee and light fare during the day and beer and wine in the evening, the new café will act as a welcoming space for guests to gather in small groups or individually at either the high-top communal tables or the private seating areas throughout the space. An additional meeting room and boardroom will also provide 2,400 square feet of new function space in the expansion.
Guests can also enjoy seven treatment rooms, a sauna, a new fitness area, and locker rooms in the hotel’s upcoming wellness spa. In addition to the spa and fitness amenities, the facility’s second floor will include a second swimming pool, private cabanas, a decorative fountain, and a shaded canopy area perfect for lounging. This area, referred to as the amenity deck, will also be available for private events.
“The new guest rooms, the additional function space and the new spa are true game changers, allowing us to serve our guests even better and to fulfill our philanthropic goals, which are always at the heart of our mission,” Martinez said.
Owned by Rollins College, The Alfond Inn contributes all its net operating income to The Alfond Scholar Program, which has granted millions of dollars’ worth of scholarships to students since 2013. “The vision and mission of The Alfond Inn are so inspired, we are thrilled to extend the capacity to support more outstanding students in their studies at Rollins,” said Rollins College President Grant H. Cornwell.
In addition to the new guest rooms and amenities, the expansion will also provide the opportunity to display more pieces from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, which currently consists of 500 pieces displayed on rotation and acts as a formal extension to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College. New acquisitions from artists such as Charles Gaines, Shirin Neshat, and Noah Davis will be featured at the hotel in a new installation this summer, and pieces from the collection will be regularly displayed in the new wing once it is open.
“For those of us on the museum team, the hotel expansion gives us a unique opportunity not only to share more of the collection but, importantly, to rethink how we can engage every hotel guest with the art of our times in the most meaningful way,” says Dr. Ena Heller, Bruce A. Beal Director, CFAM.
The existing 112 guest rooms will also undergo renovation during the expansion project. The lobby, library and bar, and private dining room have recently been updated.
The design plans for the expansion project were developed in collaboration with Baker Barrios Architects, the Orlando-based firm that worked on the original hotel’s design, Baskervill Architects of Richmond, Va., and Sheedy | DeLaRosa Interior of Chicago, Ill. Balfour Beatty will act as the general contractor and Olympia Development, the group that also oversaw The Alfond Inn’s original construction, will lead the project.
Construction is planned to begin this summer and conclude in the summer of 2023.