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A Tale Worth


Wagging About.


–by Anna Cooke


The wow factor is huge here - from the arrival to the departure. Every member of the staff is warmly ready to assist - from the valets to the wait staff. Situated just a block from Rollins College and within walking distance of Winter Park’s Park Avenue shopping district, The Alfond Inn has a serious hip vibe going for it. The boutique hotel, which opened in August, 2013,


is owned by the liberal arts college. Experience the Inn’s charms, and it will come as no surprise as to how it achieved the esteemed AAA Four Diamond Rating in its first seven months of operation. The exterior’s archi- tecture is Mediterranean with a Spanish influence, sim- ilar to many buildings on the Rollins campus. The stun- ning interior is very modern and airy with luxurious tile and wood floors, a huge atrium, central courtyard and a rooftop pool. Throughout the Inn’s public areas, a 100-plus piece


collection of contemporary art is beautifully displayed. Longtime Rollins College donors and alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond, established The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art for the college. The pieces selected from the collection for the Inn were chosen “because they embody the values of a liberal arts education through the use of 21st century art,” according to the Rollins College website. Valued at close to $3 million, the collection includes paintings, sculptures, photo- graphs and mixed media created by more than 50 artists from 15 countries. The $32.5-million hotel was funded in part by a


$12.5 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. As a condition of the gift, all revenue from the hotel, after operating expenses, fees and taxes, is used to fund scholarships through the Alfond Scholars fund. According to Jeffrey Eisenbarth, head of finance for the college, the hotel could generate $3 million a year for scholarships. “While other colleges have opened hotels, the


Riley, a recent guest at The Alfond Inn, enjoys people and


dog watching in one of the hotel’s public sitting areas. Photograph by Anna Cooke.


38 THE NEW BARKER


scholarship arrangement is the first of it’s kind that I am aware of,” said Eisenbarth. Designed for and built with the parents of students


in mind, The Alfond Inn (no doubt, an impressive recruiting tool and first impression for many prospective students) is open to the public.


www.TheNewBarker.com


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