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Boutique style is big in Florida

Courtesy Alfond Inn

Boutique is big in Florida as two small luxury hotels and a small, upscale meeting space open in the state.

August saw the arrival of the Alfond Inn in Winter Park and the Pearl in Rosemary Beach as well as the Francis, an off-site meeting venue in Sarasota.

The Alfond is owned by Rollins College, a private liberal arts school. A $12.5 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation paid for the hotel’s construction.

The Alfond’s net income will endow the college’s premier scholarship program for at least the next 25 years.

The 112-room inn’s Spanish Mediterranean Revival architecture fits the look of the college and surrounding neighborhood.

Arches, columns, wrought iron, flower-covered trellises and formal courtyards echo the style of 20th-century architect James Gamble Rogers II, who designed Winter Park’s early homes.

The inn’s indoor meeting space includes a 5,000-square-foot ballroom and a 1,000-square-foot boardroom.

For social events, there’s a glass-domed conservatory, a library with a fireplace, a spacious bar and a private dining room off Hamilton’s Kitchen, the inn’s restaurant. A courtyard where private nooks are outfitted with comfortable seating is among the outdoor gathering spaces.

Oversize workstations, complimentary wireless Internet access, iPod docking stations and flat-screen televisions appeal to business clients. The hotel also has a fitness center and a pool.

The Alfond family connection continues with the use of art from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, established at Rollins College by longtime donors and alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond.

The Alfond Inn, a Preferred Boutique Hotel, is 15 minutes from downtown Orlando and 30 minutes from Walt Disney World and Orlando International Airport.