The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, March 2019 … BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, has added the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center at Gainesville to the company’s prestigious Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® brand portfolio. The recently renovated, 248-guest room property is located on the University of Florida campus, close to Gainesville’s Central Business District. The property serves a growing market of visiting alumni, parents and students, academics, and guests affiliated with the university. Its IACC-approved conference center, with 25,000 square feet of meeting space, attracts a significant number of meetings and events. The Hilton University of Florida Conference Center at Gainesville is Benchmark’s tenth property in Florida, and the third hotel located on a major college campus within the United States.
“We are honored to be chosen by Hilton Hotels & Resorts to manage this exceptional property,” says Benchmark CEO Alex Cabañas. “We are also delighted to again expand our presence in Florida, where both our Gemstone Collection and Benchmark Resorts & Hotels brands are represented throughout the Sunshine State,” he said. Benchmark recently added two hotels in St. Pete Beach to its portfolio, expanding its presence to Southwest Florida.
Mr. Cabañas also noted the growing importance of conference center hotels to a university. “These hotels serve as a campus ‘guest house’, providing an authentic, on-campus experience while sharing ideas and resources,” he said.
The non-smoking, pet-friendly hotel includes 248 guest rooms and suites featuring HDTV, desks for work/study-related activities, and complimentary WiFi. Guests can enjoy the property’s outdoor pool and whirlpool and a 24-hour fitness center.
The Hilton University of Florida Conference Center offers more than 25,000 square feet of versatile indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, including a 6,860-square-foot ballroom. The conference center hosts up to 700 attendees for a meeting and offers well-appointed boardrooms for up to 25 guests. The property provides a business center, and offers experienced conference planners. It is a member of IACC, formerly known as the International Association of Conference Centres, and meets the organization’s exacting standards that ensure the highest level of facilities and service. Meeting planners and guests can take advantage of the various rewards and incentive programs offered by Hilton including Hilton Honors. The hotel is also a popular venue for weddings and receptions.
Guests of the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center can choose from three dining options. Shula’s American Steakhouse is ideal for a hearty breakfast and perfectly-prepared, top-quality steaks and Florida-fresh seafood, paired with an award-winning wine list. Lunch, light bites, cocktails and dinner are served in the comfortable and contemporary No Name Lounge that overlooks a stylish outdoor dining patio and swimming pool. In-Room Dining is available from 6 am to 11 pm daily.
The University of Florida is a prominent research university, set on 2,000 acres in Gainesville, in North Central Florida. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in law, medicine, business and engineering.
The University of Florida campus offers an array of services and attractions, including an art museum, concerts, lectures, theater, libraries and sports events. Guests can enjoy collegiate football at the nearby Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, home of the Florida Gators. Other local attractions include the Butterfly Rainforest, the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Gainesville Raceway. The surrounding region offers opportunities for biking, canoeing, paddle boarding, swimming and wildlife viewing at one of seven nearby Florida State parks.
The Hilton University of Florida Conference Center at Gainesville is easily reached via I-75. The Gainesville Regional Airport is just eight minutes away via a free shuttle from the hotel and offers connections to such major gateways as Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Miami via Delta and American Eagle. Jacksonville International Airport is approximately a one-hour and 45-minute drive.