Mastering the Art Hotel
January 2017, Winter Park, Florida – Art is in the DNA of The Alfond Inn, the acclaimed hotel owned by Rollins College which uses all of its net profits to provide scholarships for deserving students. While it belongs to a rarefied category where art is integrated into the guest experience, The Alfond Inn stands alone as the only hotel in the United States that serves as the extension of a fine arts museum.
At every turn, from the entrance lobby to restaurant, lounge and corridors, The Alfond Inn was designed as the imaginative extension of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College. The hotel maintains a rotating display of cutting-edge works from The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, a nearly 300 piece collection of contemporary art that was assembled and donated to The Cornell Fine Arts Museum by Rollins alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond. “The Alfond Inn is a new paradigm for museum spaces,” says Ena Heller, the Bruce A. Beal director of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College, one of the country's most lauded liberal arts colleges. “It expands the horizons and the definition of a museum, and takes the museum off campus.”
The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art fosters a deeply synergistic relationship between the museum and the hotel. Art at The Alfond Inn is woven into every guest’s experience, thanks to inventive installations of works that can range from the eye opening to the provocative. For guests who want to explore the collection, there are audio tours, walking tours with a curator and even monthly happy hour events that combine the best of the collection and the hotel. Professors from Rollins College often hold classes within the hotel.
The collection, conceived as a "visual syllabus" for the college, includes paintings, photographs, sculptures and mixed-media works by established and emerging artists, and is overseen by private curator Abigail Ross Goodman and Amy Galpin, Curator of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Every April, they curate a fresh installation of works at The Alfond Inn, changing selected works throughout the year. This April, new acquisitions from The Alfond Collection making their Winter Park debut at The Alfond Inn include pieces by Jenny Holzer, Melvin
Edwards, Anne Collier, Mernet Larsen, Amy Sillman, Jacob Sobol and John Giorno. In May, Galpin is opening a show called "Displacement" at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum where works from the Alfond Collection by Ruben Ortiz-Torres and Shrin Neshat will be unveiled.
The collection itself has been “curated with a point of view, highlighting the values of a liberal arts college,” says Ena Heller, “such as critical thinking, embracing different perspectives and art as a portal to knowledge. It’s part of Rollins College’s global citizenship mission.” The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art fits squarely into Winter Park’s century-old dedication to the fine arts. In addition to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, the city is also home to the Polasek Museum and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which has the world’s most extensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Weekly Art Tours are complimentary and conducted every Sunday at 1 p.m. A happy hour tour takes place on the first Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. Audio guides are available at the front desk. For reservations and information call 407-998-8090, or visit the website at www.thealfondinn.com
The Alfond Inn is a stylish boutique hotel in Winter Park, Florida that opened in 2013 and was ranked #1 in Florida and #7 in the United States in the 2015 Condé Nast Traveler Readers ‘Choice Awards. Owned by Rollins College, a private coeducational liberal arts college in Winter Park, The Alfond Inn was built with a $12.5 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. Net operating income from the Inn is directed to The Alfond Scholars program fund, the College's premier scholarship fund. The hotel showcases The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art for Rollins College, which is part of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. A member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts LVX collection, The Alfond Inn has a AAA Four Diamond Rating and is managed by The Olympia Companies, an innovative leader in hospitality. The 112-room boutique hotel includes the award-winning Hamilton's Kitchen restaurant, a pool and fitness center, and 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. It is 15 minutes from downtown Orlando and 30 minutes from Walt Disney World and Orlando International Airport. The Alfond Inn, 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789. 407-998-8090.
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