The booming hotel and resort industry is enjoying an especially fruitful time in Florida, with an explosion of new infrastructure and updates to existing convention centers, new attractions, new restaurants and new and upgraded hotels.
As Florida’s colorful development history can attest, there’s always something new and improved to discover in the Sunshine State, where meetings and tourism projects are ripening on the vine like an orchard full of oranges.
The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village opened its 30,000-square-foot conference center, the $15 million Tarpon Point Ballroom. The ballroom’s 12,250 square feet of space will accommodate 1,400 guests. The resort offers more than 50,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting rooms and event space.
The 145-room Marriott Autograph Collection hotel The DAYTONA is scheduled to open in mid-April 2019. Located across from Daytona International Speedway, it will be the area’s first “track-side” full-service hotel, featuring balconies with views of Victory Circle and the Daytona International Speedway, an outdoor bar and terrace, a heated swimming pool and spa, 2,400 square feet of meeting space and more than 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space.
The 744-room Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort completed a $25 million renovation. Accommodations feature views of the pool, the city of Daytona Beach or the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel has more than 60,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, with 200 rooms and 20,000 square feet of adaptable meeting space, opened in May 2018.
The Ray is scheduled to open in summer 2019. It has 141 rooms and suites. The square footage of meeting space is to be determined, but the property will include three restaurants (one on the roof), a rooftop pool and lounge area, a fitness center, two levels of underground parking and an elevated, glass-enclosed event space for up to 300 guests.
Aloft Delray Beach broke ground in the city’s SofA (South of Atlantic Avenue) district in 2017. The developers expect the 121-room hotel to open in 2019.
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort broke ground on a 250-room boutique hotel adjacent to the Baytowne Conference Center. The new full-service hotel will include a restaurant, lobby bar, room service, luxury spa, fitness facility and signature rooftop pool and bar. In addition to these amenities, the hotel will feature over 20,000 feet of meeting space and feature a 13,000-square-foot ballroom. Completion of the hotel is slated for April 2020.
The Margaritaville Beach Resort, Panama City Beach will open in spring 2021. The resort, which will be built on more than 13 acres, will include a full-service hotel, multiple pools, a lazy river and several signature Margaritaville food and beverage concepts.
The 170-room Henderson, a Salamander Beach & Spa Resort in Destin added new wellness programming and facilities such as a Himalayan Salt Suite, a Flotation Therapy Suite and a Cryotherapy Suite. The Henderson offers specialized breakout activities that include “Spa After Dark” treatments and in-room massage treatments. The hotel offers 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Hilton Sandestin recently commenced a $5 million capital improvement project that will include large-scale upgrades to guest rooms and outdoor dining spaces. The property offers 602 guest rooms and six on-site dining venues, including the Emerald Coast’s only AAA Four-Diamond steakhouse. It features 40,000 square feet of flexible indoor meeting space and 20,000 square feet of outdoor event space.
The new Playa Largo Resort & Spa has more than 40,000 square feet of total indoor and outdoor space. The luxury resort accommodates a range of events from large corporate meetings to intimate incentive trips. There are 177 rooms and suites, 10 private one-bedroom bungalows, and a six-bedroom Beach House with its own pool and beach. Amenities include 14.5 acres of private beach, three restaurants, a marina, tennis courts and spa.
Havana Cabana at Key West Hotel has 106 rooms and 1,800 square feet of meeting space. The new Cuban-themed hotel features tropical decor and a host of boutique amenities. With an indoor function space of 460 square feet, Havana Cabana is perfect for small meetings.
The 354-room Margaritaville Resort Fort Myers Beach is in the planning stages to be built near the Times Square area of Fort Myers Beach. Construction is expected to begin in December and opening is set for early 2021.
The Luminary Hotel & Co. plans to build a 237-room hotel along the waterfront of downtown Fort Myers in late 2019 or early 2020. The 12-story hotel will also include 8,000 square feet of function space and will be connected to the Harborside Event Center.
The 214-room Cheeca Lodge and Spa unveiled a $25 million property-wide renovation that included extensive updates to its meetings and events spaces. The hotel features 4,600 square feet of indoor meeting space and a myriad of outdoor venues for special events.
Postcard Inn Beach Resort & Marina reopened in November, unveiling extensive upgrades following 2017’s Hurricane Irma. The hotel has 151 rooms, suites and seaside cottages, the celebrated Holiday Isle Tiki Bar and more than 130,000 square feet of beachfront indoor and outdoor space.
Hawks Cay Resort reopened August 30, 2018, after repairing hurricane damage. The reopening marks the completion of a more than $50 million renovation that focused on the main hotel, which includes the lobby, 177 guest rooms, two restaurants and public areas. The resort offers 20,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space accommodating up to 480 guests in the Dolphin Ballroom and 450 guests in the overseas ballroom.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood will have 1,300 rooms (up from 500) after a renovation and 160,000 square feet of meeting space (up from 40,000 square feet). The $1.5 billion renovation project is expected to be completed in mid-2019.
The 307-room Costa Hollywood Beach Resort opened in October 2018. The resort features 3,500 square feet of traditional meeting space (to be completed this year) and a 32,000-square-foot rooftop and courtyard (already completed) for events and meetings.
Tru by HIlton Jacksonville Town Center opened, with 98 guest rooms, an outdoor pool and a 24-hour fitness center.
The new Hyatt Place St. Johns Town Center has 160 rooms, each featuring a Cozy Corner with sofa-sleeper, in Jacksonville’s Southside neighborhood. It has 3,391 square feet of meeting space.
Sheraton Jacksonville Hotel completed a million-dollar-plus renovation in 2018 and is embarking on a $1.25 million enhancement that will focus on modernizing and expanding the hotel’s fitness center. The project will double its size as well as enhance its public area amenities and meeting space technology.
A renovation of the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront included the addition of meeting space and a complete overhaul of the hotel’s 961 guest rooms.
The 415-room Eden Roc Miami Beach is newly transformed after a multimillion-dollar renovation program. Updates included all 415 rooms, Morris Lapidus’ 16-seat lobby bar, the introduction of the signature Nobu restaurant and the flagship Nobu Hotel tower (boasting a hotel-within-a-hotel concept), and the soon-to-open Malibu Farm restaurant. The previous “Spa Eden Roc” will be reinvented as Esencia Wellness.
The reinvigorated facility includes the 22,000-square-foot Esencia Spa, featuring 18 treatment cabins, a spa relaxation room and Eden Roc signature treatments such as the “Rocks, Not Diamonds” volcanic massage and the “Keep Calm” aromatherapy massage.
Sole Miami, A Noble House Resort completed a renovation and opened a new restaurant, BALEEN Kitchen. Sole Miami offers 6,500 square feet of indoor event space and three outdoor venues with oceanfront and city views, and can accommodate up to 500 people.
The Wyndham Hotel in the Brickell area of Miami is slated to open in late 2019 with 445 guest rooms and 8,000 square feet of meeting space. The intimate meeting space will be ideal for smaller groups and offer a rooftop bar for group functions.
Hilton Miami Downtown recently completed an extensive $35 million renovation that included a new lobby and new meeting space. It has 527 guest rooms, including 37 suites and four presidential suites, and 45,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. The hotel’s 1601 lobby lounge and its restaurant Brisa Bistro were renovated as well.