My picture threads consist of images I have taken that focus on the architecture, landscape architecture, planning, design, and theming of the facilities highlighted. They may also contain short descriptions and commentary, but will not focus on construction progress or special events or memorabilia or food selections or my traveling companions. Hopefully these threads are a good introduction for those who have not seen these places yet. All killer, no filler!
Gaylord Palms photographed in January 2010:
This is a large resort and convention center in Kissimmee, Florida, located about a mile from the town of Celebration. It is part of a small chain of four Gaylord resorts which are known for their atriums, the others being in Nashville TN, Grapevine TX (between Dallas and Fort Worth), and Washington DC. This one is comprised of a huge hotel building with three atriums themed to different parts of Florida, a huge convention center building, and two themed outdoor pool areas between the two buildings.
Hotel exterior and lobby:
The exterior and lobby are an interpretation of the style of 100 year-old Florida mansions.
St. Augustine Atrium:
The largest of the three atriums is the central one, topped by an immense octagonal skylight. Inside are Spanish Colonial facades for a restaurant and Market Square, the entry to a bridge that links the atrium with the convention center. A formal space fronts this called Emerald Plaza, with an arbored Wedding Pavilion and Fountain of Youth on axis with the plaza. A nicely detailed (but completely inaccurate) recreation of the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine forms a rustic centerpiece of the atrium. A lush landscape of water features and rocky caves leads to Gator Springs, a habitat for live juvenile American alligators and turtles provided by the nearby attraction of Gatorland.
Key West Atrium:
A nearby smaller atrium is themed to the Southernmost town in the lower 48, with several restaurant and shop facades in appropriate style and a fish-filled central lagoon with a large sailing boat that serves as a bar.
Another smaller atrium is themed to the swamp of the Southern part of the state, with several elevated buildings that form a restaurant and boardwalks that descend down to a lush lower level with fish-filled waterways and Sawgrass Place, a shack with seven small herpetariums whose inhabitants are also provided by Gatorland.
South Beach Pool:
This formal adults-only swimming pool is just outside the Everglades Atrium and is reminiscent the one at the Raleigh Hotel in South Beach.
The other pool is a family pool that features an Octopus-shaped slide and fountain as well as other bright play elements with sea creature figures.