Universal Orlando nails cheap-chic with Aventura Hotel

Back in February, Vince LaRuffa, senior VP of in advertising and marketing, and Russ Dagon, vice president, and government project director sat down with me to chat approximately the forthcoming Aventura Hotel, the 6th on-belongings inn in the Universal Orlando Resort portfolio.

The 600-room all-glass behemoth opened on agenda on Aug. Sixteen, turning into Universal’s 1/3 Prime Value property. At our assembly, Laruffa talked about the hotel’s smooth, cutting-edge design and enchantment for a younger target market — possibly young couples without children, agencies of buddies on holiday collectively, or bachelor/bachelorette events. “The Aventura is extra like [where] my 25-yr-old daughter and her boyfriend might want to stay: They’re young, present day, West Elm shoppers,” he stated.
Universal Orlando Resort’s new Aventura Hotel opened to the public on Aug. Sixteen.
Universal Orlando Resort’s new Aventura Hotel opened to the public on Aug. 16. Photo Credit: Cliff Alejos

After the preview I was given of the hotel just earlier than a beginning day, I’d say this is approximately right. I changed into wowed via the upscale, elegant vibe of the motel with its glistening open spaces, complete include of technological advances in hospitality, cool meals corridor eating idea, and a 360-degree rooftop view of Orlando’s burgeoning, almost-Vegas skyline.

One of the first stops on our preview tour was the Urban Pantry food corridor. Instead of a signature eating idea, executive chef Mouhssine Benhamacht relished the concept of setting together separate dining stations in which there might be something for absolutely everyone, and each guest should try a distinctive kind of cuisine every night of their stay. “Urban Pantry was stimulated by using the amazing food halls of the arena from Amsterdam to San Francisco,” says Benhamacht. Four essential principles make up Urban Pantry: the continental Asian station, an American burger bar with locally made buns and locally raised farm animals, a roast station serving rotisserie chook and top rib, and a Neapolitan-style timber-fired pizza station.

Steamed dumplings served on the Urban Pantry meals corridor idea at Aventura Hotel.
Steamed dumplings served on the Urban Pantry food hall idea at Aventura Hotel. Photo Credit: Cliff Alejos

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I asked Benhamacht what become exclusive approximately making plans the menu at a meals corridor concept, rather than a signature restaurant. “We desired to cognizance on every idea one at a time,” he said. “We wanted it to be actual as much as possible, now not gimmicky. It became a stability between what American palates would be interested in as well as a few greater complex recipes like the dumplings at the Asian station.” Benhamacht shows guests do not pass over the smoked salmon pizza (which I especially appreciated on my visit), the paella from the roast station, and the French burger with bacon jam and Brie cheese.

Two different concepts round out the meals and beverage offerings at the Aventura. The poolside bar is referred to as Bar Sol, which serves up Latin-themed distinctiveness cocktails — one I tried combined coconut milk, lime and mezcal — and different drinks. “This inn has allowed us to be more themed with the offerings,” says meals and beverage director David McKeever. “But we are additionally capable of offer PBR, which appeals to the hundreds, subsequent to a tap with neighborhood craft beer. There’s something for every palate.”

Bar17 Bistro is something new for Orlando — a rooftop restaurant, bar, and lounge location. The views are stunning, and I won’t be surprised whilst it is packed to the brim every night as word receives out among locals and resort-goers alike. We did not get to try any of the signature $14 cocktails at some point of our preview, but I’ll be back to strive The Barrel, which mixes bourbon, grapefruit juice, and maple syrup, or the unofficial drink of summer season 2018, the Spritz — with Aperol, of direction.Image result for Universal Orlando nails cheap-chic with Aventura Hotel

Half of the menu at Bar17 Bistro are reinvented steamed bao buns (three for $12) packed with sweets like the conventional braised red meat stomach with cucumbers and green onion, or neighborhood Florida grouper with papaya and pickled pink onion. I tried both and preferred them similarly. The other half of-of the menu veers toward the European bistro fashion, with grilled Spanish octopus with almond romesco, and a shiitake mushroom bruschetta on a toast smeared with smoked bone marrow.

All this culinary creativity at an inn that is going for $116 per night time for a four-night live in low season. Pretty magnificent.

The guestrooms also are a wow. Every room flaunts floor-to-ceiling home windows, because of this each room has a notable view, no matter which wing of the resort you are staying in. The fixtures are minimalist and contemporary and feel like something you might see at a W Hotel as opposed to a Hampton Inn. Next, to every bed, guests will locate an iPad that may be used to manipulate pretty much the entirety within the room (lighting, TV, etc.) in addition to request offerings like in-room eating or ask a query of the front table staff thru chat capability. The Kids’ Suite combines a fashionable guest room with a room with twin beds and a separate residing area, plus a restroom that homes both a standalone bath and bathtub for bathing the infants (or taking a breather from them).

“We saved to an aggressive agenda with this motel, but it has worked properly for us,” says Dagon. “We’re very happy with the way the whole lot became out. We’ve had so many people so excited to see the lodge and especially to see the rooftop space. There was an actual appetite for that among our workforce, and we are positive our guests will like it, too.”

Next up: the new Value inns called Endless Summer Resort, with separate motels: Surfside Inn & Suites opening in summer of 2019, and Dockside Inn & Suites to open in 2020. Orlando citizens are already seeing the lean-wall production rising excessively within the vicinity wherein legacy water park Wet ‘n Wild used to face, and Surfside Inn & Suites, if you want to offer guest rooms as little as $73 in step with night for a seven-night stay, and -bedroom suites starting at $111 in step with night time for a seven-night time stay. Surfside Inn & Suites is now accepting reservations for August 2019.

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