|Photo Credit: Preston Mack Photography|
Orlando--After a decade of planning and two and a half years of construction, The Peabody Orlando today officially opened the doors to its $450 million expansion. The newly expanded hotel features a 32-story tower, 1,641 ultra-luxurious guestrooms, 300,000 total square feet of state-of-the-art, flexible function space, a 22,000-square-foot, full-service spa & fitness center, three beautifully landscaped pools and ten delectable dining and entertainment options including a new Napa Valley wine-themed restaurant and bar called Napa and a new 6,000-square-foot high-energy lounge called Rocks.
“Nearly 24 years ago, we opened The Peabody Orlando with the intention of changing the landscape of Orlando’s meetings and conventions sector, and now with our new expansion we hope to further establish the area as a top destination for meeting planners,” stated Marty Belz, president and CEO of Peabody Hotel Group. “As we open the doors to our newly expanded hotel, I’m thrilled by the response and positive feedback from our valued meeting planners, vendors, industry leaders and the surrounding community.”
Originally built in 1986, The Peabody Orlando has become one of the largest Forbes Four-Star, AAA Four Diamond hotels in the eastern half of the United States and a landmark in the Orlando meetings and conventions market. The hotel’s newly expanded meeting space features an impressive, pillar-free 54,652-square-foot Peabody Grand Ballroom, a 75,000-square-foot Peabody Grand Rotunda designed for networking and registration, a 34,378-square-foot Windermere Ballroom, a 26,923-square-foot Plaza International Ballroom, two junior ballrooms, 99 breakout rooms, three green rooms and five boardrooms, all connected by two covered walkways to the Orange County Convention Center.
“For the last two years, we have watched the construction site turn into a functioning hotel. We’ve hired more than 400 new employees and added amenities that will leave a lasting impression in the minds of our guests. This is not just an expansion, we’ve recreated ourselves – from the finishings in our ballrooms and the interior of our guestrooms, to the furnishing in our lobby and restaurants and the lushly landscaped recreation and pool areas,” stated Alan Villaverde, president of Peabody Hotels Division and managing director of The Peabody Orlando. “Our employees and partners that have contributed to the success of this project truly have something to be proud of and I’m humbled to be a part of it all and see it come to fruition. I expect that the excitement will not fade now that we’re opened, instead it will continue to grow as we play a leading role in attracting new conventions and large groups to International Drive.”
In addition to the new meeting/function space, guestrooms feature the Peabody Dream Bed®, high definition 42” LCD televisions, mini LCD TVs in the bathroom mirrors, complimentary in-room refrigerators, cordless telephones and Wi-Fi Internet access. The Peabody Orlando’s 891 existing guestrooms were also renovated with contemporary design and luxurious décor and furnishings, creating a seamless transition into the new tower.
Some of the construction industry’s most experienced and talented engineers, designers and construction professionals from Balfour Beatty Construction US, Metro Construction, LLC and Belz Construction Company, were engaged in the $450 million project. Local architect, Stephen C. Abrams, SCA Design Group, Winter Park, Fla., designed the project. He was also part of the design team for the original hotel back in 1984. Interior architectural design was provided by Wilson Associates.