The five-year-old, 1,001-room Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is one of Hilton’s flagship convention hotels for the brand’s new wave of high-tech properties and among the frontrunners to have digital check-in and straight-to-room technology that allows guests to unlock their room via smartphone. From the lobby to the outdoor meeting pavilions, meeting professionals have more than 132,000 square feet of event space to work with. “The property has a very high-fashion feel to it,” says Glen Winsor, general manager. “Think of the way you feel when you walk into a Neiman Marcus. You feel that way when you walk through our doors.”
While the property is located within the confines of Walt Disney World and has complimentary shuttles to and from the parks, it is not affiliated with Disney, maintaining a separate brand and identity. This makes it a sought-after location for planners looking for a sophisticated meetings property with easy access to popular off-site venues like Downtown Disney or Animal Kingdom. Plus the hotel’s partnership with its luxury next-door neighbor Waldorf Astoria Orlando gives attendees access to the amenities at both properties, which means 12 dining options, a golf course, the Waldorf Astoria spa, two pools and a lazy river.
Another highlight of the Hilton is its propensity for imaginative and delicious food, which has helped attract companies in the finance, insurance, tech, medical and engineering industries to hold meetings at the hotel. Combining the brainpower of a creative meeting planner with a food and beverage director (and former pastry chef) who’s passionate about food science results in impressive banquet menus: think a build-your-own paella station with options like Florida spiny lobsters, gulf shrimp, scallops, surf clams and Spanish mussels. “We are in the business of helping the meeting planner create their best event yet,” says Winsor, “and if we don’t do that then we’ve failed.”
The hotel’s impressive Peacock Egg cocktail—an egg-shaped ice shell filled with a gin-based lavender lemonade and served over an LED light and blue crystallized sugar—can be done for groups of up to 300 and is a memorable signature drink.