Orlando has the perfect sized hotels, venues, dining experiences and activities for smaller groups (pictured: The Alfond Inn at Rollins College).
With 5.8 million square feet of meeting space, over 490 hotels with more than 130,000 rooms, and nearly 200 restaurants and experiences within a 2-mile radius of the 7.1 million square foot Orange County Convention Center, Orlando is easily equipped to host meetings and conventions of all sizes.
But for planners who might not need big spaces or a large room block, Orlando has plenty of options for their groups that will make a big impact with attendees. Read on to discover some of the boutique hotels, intimate dining experiences and personal outdoor activities that are the perfect size for your smaller groups and gatherings in Orlando.
Aloft Orlando Lake Nona features 205 loft-style guestrooms, 15 suites, wellness facilities, a sports-themed restaurant and a 10,000-sq.-ft. event center. The vibrant hotel welcomes attendees with eclectic decor and design nods to its music and technology roots that give each guestroom its own character. Orlando is also home to Aloft Orlando Lake Buena Vista and Aloft and Element Orlando International Drive South.
Discover: Meeting & Convention Hotels in Orlando
The first Tru by Hilton in Orlando is located near the West Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center, on Westwood Boulevard, just a short walk to International Drive. The hotel features 259 guest rooms and 2,200 sq. ft. of meeting space.
The Alfond Inn at Rollins College, the award-winning boutique hotel in the heart of historic Winter Park, renovated 112 existing rooms and suites and added an additional 71 luxury guestrooms and suites, and a lobby cafe. The expansion also included a new meeting room and boardroom, providing an additional 2,400 sq. ft. to the existing meeting and functions rooms. In addition, a new spa features seven treatment rooms, a new fitness area and added meeting space.
The stylish AC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Downtown offers a true high-rise experience in the heart of the city. The 180-room property features modern guest rooms with a sleek European-inspired design and four meeting spaces totaling 2,456 sq. ft. and a SkyBar Rooftop Terrace with spectacular 360° city views.
Intimate Dining Experiences
Moso Nori, a new concept by James Beard Award finalist and MICHELIN-recognized chef Henry Moso, is expecting a summer opening in Winter Park. The new restaurant will feature a hand-roll bar, serving a variety of temaki, sake, beer, wine and sake-based cocktails.
Bar Kada, a new concept by Michael Collantes, chef and owner of MICHELIN-starred Soseki, is an intimate 30-seat sake and wine lounge. Focusing on small plates, ancient sakes and low-intervention wines overseen by MICHELIN Sommelier Award recipient Benjamin Coutts, it also offers experiences like classes and pairing dinners.
Natsu Omakase, an exclusive 10-seat sushi omakase concept in downtown Orlando, is a new concept that offers omakases that are innovative and seasonal, created with the finest ingredients available.
Flûtes Champagne Bar, a 40-seat French-inspired champagne bar, celebrates the timeless art of champagne-making and brings the elegance, culture and flavors of France to Winter Park.
Judson’s Live debuts on Feb. 6, 2024, bringing a low-key, 150-seat, cabaret-style music space with unparalleled sound to the spectacular Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Guests will discover new music with scheduled 50-minute performances while enjoying specialty cocktails and a seasonal scratch-kitchen menu of shareable bites. Judson’s joins Steinmetz Hall, Walt Disney Theater, and Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater as the fourth indoor performance space in the 9-acre venue.
To add natural beauty and tranquility to your meeting, have your attendees explore Harry P. Leu Gardens, part of the Audubon Park Garden District minutes from downtown Orlando. Book a guided tour through the various gardens for 10 to 50 people or host them in one of their meetings spaces.
Located in Loch Haven Cultural Park near downtown, The Mennello Museum of American Art is housed in what was once the private home of Howard Phillips, son of local philanthropist Dr. P. Phillips. This cultural gem features several charming spots for special events, including the Earl Cunningham Gallery for gatherings up to 30, or the Porch, with bucolic views of the sculpture garden, accommodating groups with 50 or more guests.
Personal Experiences in the Great Outdoors
Attendees can pair up or go solo and kayak on numerous waterways and natural springs throughout the Orlando area with an assist from innovative standalone operators such as Adventures in Florida, Epic Paddle Adventures, and Get Up and Go Kayaking, which is famous for its 100% clear kayaks that let you see everything.
Groups can explore the Florida Everglades at speeds up to 50 mph at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures, or board a six-passenger boat with Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides.
The 18-passenger Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is a great way to experience the beautiful waterways and view the multimillion-dollar homes that wind through this charming city 20 minutes north of Orlando.
With so many options for smaller groups available in Orlando, it’s easy to see that Orlando is the perfect fit for your next meeting.