Rosen Shingle Creek
9939 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32819
Distance from SeaWorld: 3.4 miles
Harris Rosen is something of a legend in central Florida tourism circles. In fact, the College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida is named after him. His Rosen Hotels is the largest independent hotel company in Florida, with over 6,300 rooms. Shingle Creek, which opened in 2006, is his crowning achievement. It is quite obviously a labor of love and bits and pieces of Rosen family lore are sprinkled about the property. The family feel extends to such touches as the nature photography by Garritt Toohey, a Rosen vice-president, that hangs in the guest rooms.
Shingle Creek, it turns out, was one of Florida’s original settlements, so named for the cypress roof shingles the area once produced in abundance on this very spot. It is also designated as the headwaters of the Everglades, a fact in which the hotel takes great pride.
Indeed, Shingle Creek displays a deep respect and affection for the history and ecology of New York native Harris Rosen’s adopted state. In fact, as he was designing his hotel, Rosen was inspired by a historical novel, A Land Remembered, about three generations of a Florida pioneer family. I picked up a copy while I was there and found it to be a ripping yarn. You will find echoes of the novel throughout the hotel. Rooms and restaurant menu items are named for ancient Florida tribes and historical personalities and the novel lends its name to one of the hotel’s poshest restaurants.
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