The Alfond, a Modern Art Hotel Outside Orlando, Just Got Even More Stunning

Owned by Rollins College, the property added a high-end spa, café, guest rooms—and plenty of wall space for its renowned contemporary art collection

A pool with cabanas around it.

Photo: The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Scott Cook Photography

The Alfond's cabana-framed pool.

In its 2024 rankings, U.S. News & World Report named Rollins College the South’s top regional university—but the Winter Park, Florida, institution has another reason to celebrate: the recent expansion of its luxury hotel. Orlando-based Baker Barrios Architects created a new wing for the Spanish Renaissance–style Alfond Inn, which is walking distance from the Rollins campus, fifteen minutes from downtown Orlando, and half an hour from Walt Disney World. Seventy-one new guest rooms join the 112 that were part of the original 2013 build. A chic new lobby café serves lattes, pastries, and crêpes and has quickly become a gathering spot for exam-cramming students and ladies who lunch. The wing also houses an expansive fitness center and multi-level spa with saunas, aromatherapy steam rooms, and experience showers (think half a dozen jets of water with customizable pressure settings). The spa includes a large terrace with a cabana-framed pool—the hotel’s family pool is located on the original wing’s rooftop—complete with poolside dining service. 

Bermuda shoreline
Stay in Touch with G&G
Get Due South, our weekly travel newsletter.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

photo: The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Scott Cook Photography

The expansion feeds a cycle of success for Rollins, a private liberal arts college founded in 1885. Rollins runs the Alfond as a nonprofit, with all net operating income directed for top students committed to pursuing Rhodes, Goldwater, or Truman scholarships. As the hotel grows, so does the number of scholarships it awards. 

The synergies between the Alfond and Rollins don’t stop there. The inn displays rotating art installations from the internationally recognized Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, part of the Rollins Museum of Art. While it has become trendy for hotels to market themselves as de facto galleries, the Alfond is the only one in the country serving as an art museum’s formal extension. At any given time, a lobby wall or an elevator corridor might be hung with conceptual art by Joseph Kosuth or photography by Carrie Mae Weems. A piece by Steve Locke titled “I Remember Everything You Taught Me Here” currently casts neon light in the new wing’s atrium. QR codes next to each piece lead to more information on both art and artist, and the hotel hosts monthly happy-hour art tours with a curator.

photo: The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Scott Cook Photography
The café.

photo: The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Scott Cook Photography
A guest room.

Although there’s plenty to do at the hotel, don’t get stuck there: Two blocks from the inn, brick-paved Park Avenue is lined with boutiques, cafés, and galleries. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum on the avenue’s northern end is home to the world’s largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass, including his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. For an intimate view of some of Winter Park’s most jaw-dropping Spanish-Mediterranean mansions, hop on a scenic boat tour of its chain of lakes. Pontoons depart hourly just steps from the Alfond and take passengers past several homes designed by famed architect James Gamble Rogers II. Be sure to ask the captain to point out the red-brick mansion where a young Fred Rogers lived while he was a student at Rollins. Seventy-five years later, his alma mater has never looked better—between its latest ranking and its growing hotel, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, indeed.

photo: The Alfond Inn at Rollins, Scott Cook Photography
Inside the spa.