Hospitality Hive

Updates, opinions, and news for anyone working in Orlando's Hospitality community

What’s the Buzz about The Alfond Inn?

Tired of hearing about hurricanes?  Me too.  With sympathy to those who may not yet be able to move on, if you’re looking for a Hive post about escapism, this read is for you.

One of our local gems, the Alfond Inn at Rollins, has been singled out as one of the Top 100 Hotels in the World by readers of Travel & Leisure in the poll known as World’s Best Awards 2017.  Pretty impressive, right?  Well, I’d have to agree, and here are just some of the reasons why I, too, love this little boutique property that is owned by Rollins College and found right here in our own posh backyard, aka Winter Park.

  1. It’s accessible – both easy to get to and easy to park in/at/around.  Access to the Alfond Inn is off New England Avenue, valet is quick & friendly and, best of all, validated if you eat or dine there, even without checking in or staying the night.
  2. It also has world class accessible artwork almost everywhere you look.  The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art is part of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and includes sculptures, paintings, thought provoking photos and unique discussion pieces.  You’ll find artwork everywhere, tucked into nooks, crannies, and outdoor space. Art that makes you think.  But here’s the best part:  they offer free guided tours every Sunday at 1PM led by museum staff  to discover, observe, and learn more about the current displays which change frequently.  I can’t tell you how many hotels I’ve been in and viewed beautiful pieces of art that had not even one explanation or title or description by it, so this is really a unique offering.  Plus, did I mention this service is free?
  3. It’s dog friendly – woof, woof!  We all know that Winter Park is already a great place to parade your pooch around, but the Alfond Inn really welcomes them.  Check out this video about Fido checking in:

4.  Sunday Brunch at Hamilton’s is exceptional, billed as “Southern fare with a modern twist” and I’d have to agree.  See for yourself with creative starters like grapefruit brulee ($5) and white cheddar bacon scones ($8) followed by an entrée like their Bacon Jam Burger ($15).  Or for dessert how about a serving of Macallan 12 year Butterscotch Pudding ($10) to pique your curiosity?  Plus it’s just a lovely atmosphere with seating both inside and out on their very pleasing-to-the-eye patio. Currently under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Jason Klingensmith it’s definitely worth a visit even if it’s not Sunday.

5. Rooftop pool?  Oh yes they do!  Well, technically, it’s only on the second level, but hey, that ranks as rooftop here even though parts of the hotel do go higher.  Confused?  Heck, just go and check it out for yourself.

trust me - it really is a rooftop pool!

trust me – it really is a rooftop pool!

6. They have a super cool website that actually provides great photos, answers to many standard questions, is interactive, and pleasant to look at.  Why do I mention this?  Um, if you have to look at as many hotel websites – searching, searching, and searching for things as simple as an address or direct phone number – as I do each and every day, you would rank this one top notch, too.  Sayin’, and sayin’ with authority!

7.  Outdoor fire pits, rocking chairs, gorgeous lawn and public space.  It’s just really special.

8.  Great. Lobby. Bar.  Daily happy hour plus curated specials inspired by The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art served in all kinds of chic comfy nooks and crannies, inside/outside.  Your choice.  The bar menu also includes some great appetizers and noshes, and, gosh, who doesn’t love a fun and fabulous lobby bar?

The inviting lobby bar at the Alfond Inn

The inviting lobby bar at the Alfond Inn

Check it out for yourself.  It’s definitely NOT your average tourist hotel!

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