SEBRING — If you’ve been wondering what that modern, some say “retro,” looking hotel is across from Lake Jackson on U.S. 27 is, the wait is over. The 82-room Tru by Hilton Sebring, 1775 U.S. 27 South, hotel opened for tourists and visitors on Wednesday, Feb. 20. The front faces Lake Jackson, across the highway, while the rear of the hotel overlooks Little Lake Jackson.

ZMC Hotels, which manages the Hilton brands, decided Sebring was ready for a short-stay hotel to accommodate the increasing number of people who have discovered the beauty of Highlands County. It also allows the county to accommodate more race fans during the annual 12 Hours of Sebring race week. In fact, the hotel is already fully booked for race week.

When asked what should people know about the new hotel, Chris Adams, area sales manager for Tru by Hilton Sebring, said potential customers should know, “Our hospitality, our service and that we’re centrally located.”

The Tru by Hilton brand is new to the company. They say it’s revolutionary, simplified, spirited and grounded in value for its guests. From the lobby to the rooms, each area of the hotel is vibrant, affordable and designed for the young-at-heart.

Each room is equipped with multiple outlets, USB ports in several locations around the room and a mini fridge. The rooms are comfortable and have views of the lakes. They’re also super quiet. The front of the hotel faces U.S. 27 but the traffic cannot be heard from the inside. Each room comes with free WiFi and a large high definition television with premium channels. The average room rate is $153 per night.

The whole building looks and feels more like a modern office space than a hotel.

According to General Manager Lelia Currence, this is part of the concept of Tru. “We want to make it feel like home,” she said, “The concept keeps you in the lobby being social and interacting with others.”

A complimentary hot breakfast is available from 6:30-9:30 a.m. The breakfast area is stocked with cereals, bagels, oatmeal and everything you need to make your own waffles. They also have a 24/7 market in the lobby for all sorts of small meals and snacks. Alongside your standard fare, this area contains items that are popular in the area and each month will feature local businesses. For March the featured business is Henscratch Farms.

Front desk supervisor Victoria Snelling is excited to be part of the new hotel. She’s a 2011 graduate of Sebring High School, and also a graduate of South Florida State College. Her specialty is business management. Having worked at another Hilton-owned hotel for two years, she was asked to be part of the management at the Tru by Hilton Sebring. So far, 15 new jobs have been created.

While the new hotel doesn’t sport a swimming pool, it does have a nice fitness room complete with free weights, treadmills and a host of other fitness equipment. Guests can also hang out in the lobby and enjoy board games, private work stations or just relax. The lobby also has free WiFi and showcases a mural that was custom designed for the Sebring location.

The lobby also opens up to onto a deck that overlooks Little Lake Jackson. A dock is currently under construction. Another feature the hotel offers to the area is a small free-standing convention hall attached to a beautiful pavilion. This pavilion was built around two large trees, giving the space shade during the day.

It’s the perfect place to host a wedding, business meeting or family event. For banquet-style events, the meeting room holds 54 people. You don’t need to be a guest at the Tru by Hilton Sebring or the adjacent Residence Inn by Marriott Sebring to take advantage of the pavilion. “The meeting space is available to anyone at any time,” said Currence.

For rental rates and information, speak with Adams in the sales department.

“We want to be Sebring’s one-stop shop in hotelier, friendly atmosphere and community,” Adams said.

For information or to make reservations, call 863-471-0000.

Robert Miller is the Highlands News-Sun news clerk. Jerry Meisenheimer is a Highlands News-Sun and Highlands Sun correspondent.

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