Event attendees can lodge in style, and within budget, by staying at World Equestrian Center – Ocala’s variety of overnight accommodations. The Equestrian Hotel’s 248 stylishly-appointed rooms and suites offer stunning views of the Grand Arena below. The impeccable design showcases custom furniture, fine European linens, marble-clad bathrooms and velvet draperies that make every overnight guest feel like royalty. There’s also a dry bar area featuring a SubZero™ stainless steel refrigerator and beverage center—so no meeting attendee will have trouble storing delectable selections from the hotel’s impressive restaurants or in-room dining program.
For those group members looking to elevate their experience, The Equestrian has several suite options that provide additional space to relax and enjoy. The Vice-Presidential and Presidential Suites feature the utmost in luxury, including clawfoot bathtubs and walk-out balconies with prime property views, and respectively offer 1,200 and 2,200 square feet of private space.
Guests looking for extended stay options will enjoy the three-bed, two-bath, pet-friendly Home Away from Home rental units, just a short, five-minute drive from the heart of the complex. The property’s nearly 300-slip, fully-equipped RV park may also be of interest to meeting guests traveling with their own motor coach. Guests can find every convenience on-site, including 25 retail vendors, seven different dining options, a general store, gas station and plenty of recreation, entertainment and events.
For many attendees, the Calluna Spa will take top billing after an action-packed meeting. At the spa, visitors are encouraged to truly succumb to relaxation. Try out one of many rejuvenating services, like the Calluna Signature Massage, which includes warm stones and aromatherapy, or the Milk & Honey Nourishing Wrap, after which skin will be glowing. In addition to skin care, body treatments and massage journeys, the menu includes full hair care and salon services. Attendees who prefer more strength training to spa-going will be glad to know there’s also a full-service fitness center within the hotel. For the full Florida experience, guests can swim and soak in the sunshine while lounging next to the hotel’s outdoor zero-entry pool and splash pad.
On-Site Food and Beverage
No one will want for a tasty meal at WEC – Ocala. There are seven unique places to grab a bite to eat right on property, in addition to in-room dining that serves guests morning through evening.
Stirrups, a southern-inspired, fine-dining steakhouse is the largest restaurant on-site and is located within The Equestrian Hotel. Quickly becoming one of Ocala’s top fine-dining restaurants, Stirrups serves seasonal specialties and prime steaks, along with sumptuous sips from its sommelier-curated, 1,500-bottle wine cellar. Guests can choose to dine inside in the sophisticated and elegant ambiance, on the outdoor terrace overlooking the Grand Arena, or in the luxurious, private dining room that can accommodate up to ten guests.
Another popular option is the Yellow Pony, a casual gastro pub and bar located right off the hotel lobby. Sporting a fun equestrian-inspired design—complete with real saddle bar stools—Yellow Pony is a local hotspot known for its rare bourbons and lively patio scene. Visitors with a sweet tooth will enjoy Emma’s Patisserie, the authentically French hotel pastry and coffee shop that creates decadent confections and a fresh grab ‘n go case.
The quick-serve outlets around the property have a variety of options that satisfy no matter the craving. Filo’s Mexican Cantina is a spirited spot for tacos and has an open-air patio for outdoor dining. Ralph’s Burger & Sandwich shop dishes up classic American fare, including milkshakes and pie, while Viola & Dot’s Italian Kitchen is the happening spot for pizza, pasta and build-your-own salads. Don’t miss the whimsical Miss Tilly’s Lollipops right off the Grand Plaza for unique desserts and ice cream.
At WEC – Ocala, there’s plenty to do in between meetings—especially for attendees who want to engage in a little retail therapy. A shopping experience worth making time for, the property boasts several luxury retailers, including: Lugano Diamonds; The Debonair Collection, a treasure trove of rare and worldly-inspired selections; A Sudden Impulse, the headquarters for all WEC-branded merchandise and custom embroidery, engraving and printing services; and Mr. Pickles & Sailor Bear Toy Shoppe, with its supremely edited playtime collection. There are also several shops specializing in the love of all things equestrian, including fine Italian leather riding boots that even non-riders adore.
The things for attendees to see and do during downtime are abundant in Marion County. Ocala and its surrounding area abound with epicenters of activity and appealing attractions. Outdoors enthusiasts can explore the stunning surroundings of Ocala National Forest, which has hiking trails for a walk or run in the woods. Visitors can mountain bike at the Santos Trailhead, which features more than 80 miles of diverse bike trails (all skill levels welcome). Another unique outdoor activity is a glass-bottom boat ride or kayak loop trail along the crystal clear waters at Silver Springs State Park. History buffs can step back in time and learn about the area’s role in the Seminole War with a visit to the Fort King National Historic Landmark.
Lovers of the arts will enjoy Ocala—especially after visiting Appleton Museum of Art, which boasts a more than 24,000-piece collection, as well as an outdoor sculpture walk and garden. The museum is part of the Appleton Cultural Center, which also includes the Ocala Civic Theatre, a performing arts venue that has been putting on shows for more than 70 years. The city is also home to the Brick City Center for the Arts, which produces rotating exhibits showcasing work from local artists.
Don't miss the opportunity to explore the new World Equestrian Center — Ocala. Details on the World Equestrian Center — Ocala's world-class facility can be found here.