ORLANDO, FL—It’s always five o’clock somewhere, and somewhere is Margaritaville Resort Orlando where Jimmy Buffett’s pioneering lifestyle brand attracts guests—and his biggest fans, Parrotheads—for a taste of paradise.
The 184-room island-inspired hotel officially opened in late January to much fanfare, with Jimmy Buffett surprising guests with a live performance.
“We are getting fantastic feedback from our guests, locals and industry professionals alike. Our goal is to cater to all three of these groups in a unique way. The island-inspired music, decor, and friendly service immediately transport guests to a tropical paradise,” said Scott Robbins, general manager, Margaritaville Resort Orlando.
After completing a year-long soft launch, Robbins noted that the team learned a lot during this time.
“When a hotel goes from being a project—drawings and renderings—to becoming a living, breathing place there are always learnings,” said Robbins. “Not one thing, but every day we are listening, learning and evolving to continue to be better to keep this the best experience for our guests and cottage owners. The biggest thing guests comment on is how beautiful it is. The details in design and furnishings and the welcoming smiles of our associates—it all just feels right.”
The McBride Company, a partner for nearly 20 years, led the interior design and served as the brand coordinator for the hotel component of Margaritaville Resort Orlando. Visitors get a slice of paradise through the property’s design, which includes signature brand decor, such as a flip flop sculpture and a margarita glass chandelier made of more than 300 glasses.
“Jimmy’s songs and lifestyle can be felt throughout the design of the resort,” said Pat McBride, founder and CEO of The McBride Company. “Sometimes they are obvious, such as the 14-ft.-tall flip flop sculpture or the chandelier created from margarita glasses in the lobby. More often, we incorporated subtle hints like the use of sun-bleached coastal colors, sail cloth used as ceiling detailing in the bar, a front porch swing as you enter the hotel, seating niches inspired by beach cabanas, and exotic tropical planting both indoors and outdoors.”
Robbins added, “When stepping into the resort, you are immediately transported into an island state of mind. From being greeted at check-in with a complimentary welcome drink to relaxing in a premium guest room or cottage or a private cabana by the pool, guests are immersed in the fun and escapism of the Margaritaville lifestyle. This thread is woven through the entire design, dining, entertainment and programming.”
Elsewhere on the property, there are 1,000 Margaritaville-themed vacation homes, and a dining, retail and entertainment district within walking distance from the hotel and cottages.
“One of the unique things about Margaritaville Resort Orlando is that you can actually own or rent a home here as well,” said Robbins. “The Margaritaville Cottages capture the charming look and feel of the Caribbean with vibrantly colored exteriors, premium furniture options, and the choice of two to eight beautifully appointed bedrooms. As an added benefit, owners may choose to rent their cottage when not in use. The Margaritaville Cottages are within walking distance of the resort, allowing owners and renters to be in the hub of the action and excitement, yet also have their own retreat away from it all. The first phase of Margaritaville Cottages is completely sold out and we just released another 187 island-inspired vacation cottages for sale.”
And, there’s much more to come. “A 300-acre destination resort like this takes time,” said Robbins. “The Margaritaville Hotel is at the heart, and every room has a balcony overlooking the lagoon pools.”
In the coming weeks, the team will open a St. Somewhere Spa, the Parakeet’s Kids and Teens club, and more of the lagoon pools for guests. In the coming months, there will be a neighboring retail, dining and entertainment district, Sunset Walk, and in late spring Island H2O Live! water park will open.