The 2,009-room Orlando World Center Marriott & Convention Center is already known in the industry for having the nation’s largest pillar-free ballroom. Its recently debuted multimillion-dollar renovation, however, makes the hotel’s meetings offerings even more attractive for groups, with the redesigned Hall of Cities meeting rooms, a new event lawn and contemporary guest-room designs making up just a few of the highlights.
“We have poured a lot of energy and planning into the transformation of Orlando World Center, and we are proud of the result,” says Gary Dybul, director of sales and marketing for the property. “We are an iconic destination that provides the highest level of customization and flexibility to each guest and every group, and the renovations allow us to enhance the experience by further extending an unparalleled level of quality.”
The renovation included a remodel of the 504 North Tower guest rooms and 10 suites, as well as the 13 meeting rooms, which were refreshed with carpet, vinyl, new air walls and electronic door cards. The resort also renovated 110 guest suites to give them a contemporary design that mimicked the Florida landscape using aqua, russet and neutral tones.
The property now offers more than 450,000 sf of meeting and event space (almost entirely on one level). The Hall of Cities, which offers 14 meeting rooms, underwent a complete redesign. Plus, the Falls Pool Oasis now features a new deck that has a tiered-seating layout, giving all guests easy access to the pool. The outer edge of the pool deck meets the lawn area, which can also be used for hosting functions or outdoor activities. Together, the outdoor spaces can be used for groups up to 3,000.
Some creative group breakouts that the resort offers include an Iron Chef Competition for groups up to 1,000. Participating attendees meet in the ballroom to see who can create the best-tasting cuisine. Each iron chef team has a table setup with identical equipment, as well as a resort chef, and is supplied with a secret ingredient and access to the pantry areas that are setup around the room with various cooking staples such as olive oil or flour.
“As the competition begins, teambuilding ensues as everyone has to pick a team leader, sketch out a menu and go ‘shopping’ before they can begin cooking,” says Dybul. “Following the competition, attendees move into another room for a closing reception where awards are handed out.”
The hotel offers a similar Cup Cake War competition; however, tables are setup with pre-filled pastry bags, cakes, fruits and berries, and teams compete to decorate cakes and cupcakes.
To promote the meeting space renovation, the resort is offering planners that book 75 guest rooms per night before Dec. 31, 2014 an iPad Mini loaded with the new Marriott Meeting Services app to control every detail of their meeting from the palm of their hand.