Like other leisure markets, until recently, the major expansion of hotel rooms in Orlando was in the budget space. The drive was to provide a room at an affordable price for as many people that wanted to visit as possible. Even at the theme parks, Disney and Universal went on a building boom for hotels with basic amenities, many of them not even having an onsite sit-down restaurant.
Travel patterns are changing and a visit to theme parks can cost easily over $100 a day per person and much more than if you add in front-of-the-line access and on-site drinks and dining.
More affluent travelers are heading to Orlando and they’re not wanting to stay at the Fairfield Inn on HWY 192. Disney previously cornered the upscale market but that’s rapidly ending with a doubling of the number of luxury hotels, including the newly opened Swan Reserve and a Conrad hotel opening in 2023, in addition to the Four Seasons, JW Marriott and Waldorf=Astoria.
The expansion of luxury hotels around Disney World isn’t finished, as Fairmont just confirmed they’re building a seven-story hotel featuring 550 guest rooms on a 30-acre development in the tourist corridor. The resort will include 90 suites, 12 villas and 87 concierge-level Fairmont Gold rooms with access to a 5,000 sq ft lounge on the hotel’s top floor.
The hotel will feature a 140-seat signature restaurant, steakhouse, and a Mediterranean restaurant along with a gourmet cafe and several bars and lounges. There will also be an onsite spa with seven private treatment rooms, 44,000 square feet of meeting space, and three swimming pools including a family pool, a lazy river and an adults-only pool.
I can’t find a definitive statement by Fairmont, which is a member of the Accor hotel brand, as to where the hotel will be located. The Orlando Sentinel says that it will be located near I-4 and World Drive, which, looking at a map doesn’t make much sense. Another local newspaper, Orlando Weekly, says Fairmont confirmed that the hotel is going to be located on S. International Drive. This makes more sense, as there are two large plots of undeveloped land located near the Gaylord Palms and Marriott World Center resorts.
New York-based Development Ventures Group (DEVEN) is partnering with Accor to bring the Farimont brand to Orlando. DEVEN has experience building luxury hotels in Orlando as they were behind the Grande Lakes development which brought the first luxury brands of Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott to the area.
The Fairmont Orlando is slated to open sometime in 2025.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary
Cover Photo: Fairmont Orlando