Aventura Hotel at Universal Studios

After the Universal Design team had proven the capacity to sell mid-market hotel rooms at Cabana Bay Beach Resort (an 2,600 room LPB project from a few years earlier), they decided to grow the inventory by another 600 rooms, on a site directly across from Cabana Bay. The 1960’s retro-design hotel theme of Cabana was left behind, in favor of a Latin American Modern inspiration. Interestingly, many of the Universal visitors are from Latin America. The hotel was interlocked with an adjacent 1,500-car garage, with some of the hotel mechanical equipment located on the top floor of the garage.

Back-of-house functions are grouped in a lower level basement, connected to a pair of service elevators that rise up through the tower for room service. The main arrival first floor has a gracious, high-ceiling lobby / check-in area, backed up by admin. Six high-speed elevators serve the tower. The lobby leads to a lobby bar, a Starbucks, Universal retail store, and a 150 seat cafeteria-style restaurant, with six cook stations to fit every level of appetite. The lobby and dining space spill on a lush pool / spa deck and splash pad with 8,000 SF of water. Fitness and game room are on the second floor, and concierge suite (intended to serve international visitors in transit). Further up are 14 floors of rooms in a Y-shaped floor plan, with the elevator bank in the axis, and a housekeeping suite at the end of one leg. The 17th floor is a roof terrace / open air bar with 360 degree views of the park and surrounding area, as well as an event terrace perfect of weddings and similar special affairs.

The structure is PT concrete, and the skin is all a soft blue glass, giving the Y-shaped footprint with rounded corners a soft yet magnetically attractive look. With the well-lit building cap and the glow from the guest room lighting, the night presentation glows like a candle. HVAC is vertical fan coil units with cooling via a 2-pipe cold water loop and rooftop chillers and local electric resistance heat. Make-up air units feed 100% conditioned air down from the roof.

Orlando, FL