While a few months later than expected due to a shortage in construction materials, the 1,100-acre Evermore Orlando Resort — anchored by Central Florida’s first Conrad Hotel and centered around an 8-acre Crystal Lagoon feature reminiscent of a tropical beach destination— will begin welcoming its first guests in December.
Dart Interests, which began work on the $1 billion development project in April of 2021, announced the new opening timeline in a news release Thursday.
Ahead of the soft opening, the resort is now accepting reservations for early next year.
“We are all very excited to see Evermore coming to life,” Christopher Kelsey, President of Dart Interests, told GrowthSpotter in a prepared statement. “The overall impact of the resort is even better than we had imagined. Now that you can really see how spectacular it looks and how well it will function, we cannot wait to share it with our future guests. We think it will create an experience that our guests will truly love.”
Located off Winter Garden Vineland Road near Disney theme parks, Evermore Resorts will include 69 vacation houses ranging in size from five to eleven bedrooms, 206 four-bedroom flats, and 41 two and four-bedroom villas.
The onsite hotel, Conrad Orlando —Hilton’s contemporary luxury hotel brand —is near completion with 433 rooms, including 61 suites.
Additional hotel amenities include 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, a tranquil spa with an outdoor water garden, a private pool area with a splash pad, private cabanas, fitness center, arrival/departure lounge, and numerous dining options, including a signature rooftop experience, according to the news release.
“As we prepare to open Conrad Orlando later this year, we are excited to debut the Conrad brand and evolve our offerings in one of the most sought-after destinations,” Danny Hughes, Executive Vice President of Hilton, said in a statement “Conrad Orlando’s exceptional service paired with the wide range of amenities at Evermore Orlando Resort will provide our guests with an unforgettable experience.”
Conrad Hotel is being built in an L-shape overlooking Evermore Bay, a 20-acre beach complex that surrounds eight acres of turquoise blue water made using technology by Miami-based company Crystal Lagoons.
The company has offices in five continents with a portfolio of over 2,000 patents in 190 countries around the world, its website says. Currently, there are 222 projects in different stages of development and negotiations and Florida is one of the U.S. states where the company first began its meteoric rise. Among the 51 projects in Florida are Epperson, Evermore, Sole Mia, Southshore Bay, Mirada, Aqua, Emerald Lakes, Ridgewood, Lake Susy, Tamiamiami and Haines City, among others.
In an April 2022 interview with GrowthSpotter, leaders with Dart Interests said the lagoon element is “the heart” of the Evermore Orlando Resort.
At the time of that interview, the resort was expected to open in the summer of 2023. The delay is due to construction supply chain issues, Kelsey said.
“Like most other developers, we have experienced construction delays, primarily resulting from supply chain constraints that delayed the delivery of critical building components,” he told GrowthSpotter. “Even small items can have large impacts. The controls for our cooling systems were delayed by several months which made it impossible to move forward with interior finishes like hardwood floors that cannot be installed in the heat and humidity of Central Florida.”
Sprinkled throughout Evermore Bay’s tropical aesthetic, among Palm trees and white sandy beaches, there will be 10 one-story cabanas of 120 square-foot apiece, a one-story 202-square-foot bar and 120-square-foot service bar.
A two-story, 8,448 square-foot boathouse — a venue for weddings and private events — will offer scenic views of the property from the southern tip of the lagoon, facing the hotel.
A pool with a water slide will go in along the lagoon, to the west of the boathouse. Water slide and pool renderings are not yet available. There are also plans for a rope swing.
The west side of the bay will also feature a 38.6-foot tall aluminum torch structure that will emit flames near the top and cooling mist from the ground onto passersby.
The Evermore Bay area will also include eight bathrooms, 600 square-foot apiece, according to site plans.
A collection of villas, flats and luxury vacation homes will occupy the property east of the lagoon. The villas and flats will range from 2 to 4 bedrooms. The vacation homes, ranging from five bedrooms to 11, will be owned and maintained by the resort.
[ Related: Plans for luxury vacation rentals unveiled ]
The fact that the resort owns the vacation homes, as opposed to individuals who lease them out via Airbnb or VRBO, sets it apart from other similar resort concepts, project leaders say.
“We designed Evermore to introduce an entirely new hospitality category that will forever change the landscape of luxury vacation rental homes,” Kelsey said in a news release. “Evermore offers a vastly superior short-term rental experience by solving the inconsistency problems of renting someone’s personal home while also providing hotel-like service and security.”
He continued: “Evermore is Orlando’s only true destination resort worthy of a vacation even without a trip to the theme parks. Within the resort, we have created whole neighborhoods of resort-owned, purpose-built vacation rental homes in concert with a true luxury hotel to provide high-quality, bespoke experiences for all sizes and types of groups from couples to large conferences, particularly including multi-family and multi-generational vacations.”
To the west side of the Evermore property, developers have plans for an 18-hole golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. A food hall, gourmet market and casual restaurant will overlook the golf course and bay. There will also be space for food trucks.
Located along Winter Garden Vineland Road in Orlando’s tourism district, the site sits directly north of Disney Springs, east of Walt Disney World Resort and directly west of SeaWorld Orlando.
The property was once home to the Villas of Grand Cypress Resort and its 45-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. It had been open for 32 years.
But shortly after Dallas-based Dart Interests acquired a majority of the property in 2012, they announced it would begin suspending sales of all future reservations and soon began laying the groundwork for its redevelopment plan, according to its website.
Dart Interests is a national real estate investment and development firm with over $1 billion in assets in markets including New York, California, Florida, South Carolina and Texas.
Hilton is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 19 world-class brands comprising more than 7,100 properties and more than 1.1 million rooms, in 123 countries and territories.
Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at (407)-800-1161 or dwyatt@GrowthSpotter.com, or tweet me at @DustinWyattGS. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.