By Mitra Sorrells Posted March 26, 2012, 1:51 PM EDT
Multimillion-dollar renovations recently ended at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, and they are nearing completion at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort. Both Disney-area properties added new event space inside and out.
The $50 million upgrades at the Gaylord Palms created a new 10,000-square-foot event lawn that can accommodate up to 1,000 people for a reception. The lawn has three fire pits and can be tented to provide a sheltered environment.
For indoor events, the new Wreckers Sports Bar is a Key West-inspired two-level venue with flexible seating for up to 400 people. There are more than 50 televisions and a scrolling LED display that can be used to show a group’s message or sponsor information. The bar has a balcony overlooking the new South Beach Pool, an adults-only pool with private cabanas, white lounge furniture, sculptures, and fountains. The pool area can hold 680 people for a reception.
Gaylord Palms now has two rooms near its ballrooms that can be used as offices for an event’s management team. The rooms have lockable cabinets for overnight storage, counter space with a built-in refrigerator and microwave, and a balcony overlooking the pool.
The Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort is the new name for the hotel that used to be the Sheraton Safari Suites. A $25 million renovation project has given the property an entirely new look, changing it from jungle-theme decor to a sleek, contemporary design with colorful accents.
Dining options include Zest, a casual restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and three private dining areas, and the new 27 Palms Grill located in the hotel’s center courtyard adjacent to the pools. A large patio next to the outdoor restaurant has lounge seating and a large fire pit; the patio can be roped off for private groups.
By the end of this year, the hotel will have 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space. An existing 6,000-square-foot ballroom is undergoing renovation, and the hotel is adding a second ballroom that will have 7,000 square feet of space that can be divided into three sections.
The recent renovations included the hotel’s 490 guest rooms, giving them updated furniture, decor, and technology. Some of those rooms are now family suites that have a separate bedroom and bunk beds.