Even in the heartland of theme parks, style conscious travelers seek aspirational accommodations with décor to match their ideals in art, aesthetics and interiors which is why I’m excited to take readers on a Style Tour of The B Resort and Spa, the latest resort to open near the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Formerly known as the Royal Plaza Hotel, The B Resort was recently reworked by its new owners to defy all Disney conventions—décor makes no reference to Disney culture, characters and childlike fantastical ambiance.
Instead, The B Resort’s sleek, modern, minimalist style looks and feels more like South Beach with its edgy art, white interiors punctuated by blue and visual surprises such as the pop art chair that screams photo-op to all who enter the lobby.
The B Resort and Spa recently invited me on a VIP Press Tour for an exclusive first look before it opened to the public. In addition to the photo tour in this blog, I also filmed an episode of my new series “Stay in Style” coming soon to my blog.
Vanessa Edden, Director of Design, B Hotels and Resorts, took me on a Style Tour and shared her creative insight and design techniques. “We mixed minimalist and modern sensibility with natural raw materials such as concrete, woods and reclaimed and recycled materials to create a style both clean, sophisticated and emblematic of The B Resort Brand,” says Edden.
The B Resort’s signature white walls, marble floors and ceilings serve as the neutral backdrop while artwork infuses color to break up the visual monotony.“The art adds a fun, whimsical, cosmopolitan element,” as Edden points out a mixed media painting of a woman with jewelry that she commissioned for the hotel lobby.
The only nod to hotel’s Disney Resort surroundings is a series of LED lit fireworks art panels behind the reception desk. “The fireworks panels are a graphic representation—not a literal one—to infer that the Disney fireworks show is an amenity on property,” says Edden. Many of the rooms at The B Resort offer great vantage points for watching the nightly Disney fireworks shows.
The rooms are a study in urban sophistication mixing classic pieces and contemporary décor for something timeless yet fresh and on-trend.
In every bedroom, a stuffed toy frog greets guests and is available for purchase with proceeds benefitting the Florida Wildlife Foundation.
“His name is Benson B Frog and he is part of our B Humane Program, a partnership with the Florida Wildlife Foundation to educate guests about Florida’s protected species,” explains B Experience Manager Ana Suarez, who was eager to show me The B Resort’s Monscierge as well.
The digital concierge is on a large screen in the lobby and is available via an app to provide guests with information about area attractions. You can even print your airline boarding pass and send a digital postcard to friends and family.
The B Resort and Spa calls itself a “Lifestyle Brand” with a “B” list of programs to benefit guests.The B Artistic Program turns the main areas of the hotel into a vibrant art gallery featuring the works of area artists. I took a gallery walk with General Manager Keith Wolling. “We rotate the art on view in our galleries every four months and each piece is available for purchase. We have an app that scans the QR code next to each displayed artwork and gives you information on the artist and how to purchase the piece,” says Wolling.
One of the main attractions at The B Resort & Spa is an innovative barbecue concept called American Q set to open soon. I talked Lou, Brennan, Corporate Food and Beverage Director for China Girl, for a sneak peek at the concept. “The tag line for American Q is Barbecue and Beyond. We’re going to offer barbecue from all over the globe—traditional style barbecue and styles ranging from Southern Louisiana Cajun to Caribbean Jerk Chicken for the more adventurous palette,” says Brennan. The American Q dining experience caters to the desire for attraction-driven dining spots populating Downtown Disney. Diners can tailgate with their barbecue from the flatbed of pick up truck displaying a buffet. They can hop in the front cab to take photos and every so often, chefs and the wait staff will break out into spontaneous line dances. The B also puts on a different kind of show for special events with its glamorous meeting and reception space.
The corporate parent, B Hotels & Resorts, resides in South Florida and aims to serve up a “Lifestyle within Reach” with affordable accommodations that cater to “savvy, sophisticated, experience-driven guests.”
As a resident of Orlando, I’ve experienced a lot of Disney resorts both as a journalist and as a “staycationer.”
I think the B Resort & Spa fills a niche with 394 newly renovated rooms offering convenient access to theme parks and a refreshing escape from all the Disney-esque sights and sounds into sophisticated comfort when the day is done.
Tags: Design Blogger Karen LeBlanc, Design TV Host Karen LeBlanc, Featured, hospitality decor trends, hospitality design trends, New Disney Resort, New Walt Disney World Hotel, Stay in Style Show, The B Hotel, The B Resort and Spa, Walt Disney World Resort