Hotel ELEO Exterior - Gainesville, Florida
Resorts and Hotels

Review: Hotel ELEO – My Wonderful, Unique Stay in Gainesville, Florida

Whether you are a Florida Gators fan, have an appointment at Shands UF Health Center or maybe you are heading to Gainesville on vacation – don’t miss booking a stay at Hotel ELEO at the University of Florida.

I had the opportunity to stay at this new property not long after they opened in mid-2020. I enjoyed the modern conveniences, the great views overlooking Lake Rush and the incredible Covey Kitchen + Cocktails located right in the lobby. 

Let’s take a deeper look at why you should book a stay at the Hotel ELEO in Gainesville, Florida –

Hotel ELEO Exterior - Gainesville, Florida
Image provided by Hotel ELEO/Kevin Ruck

Hotel ELEO’s Modern Style and Amenities

All the rooms at Hotel ELEO offer a modern, clean atmosphere with all rooms except studios offering a couch and seated work area. My lake view room had floor-to-ceiling windows providing a fantastic view with natural lighting. There was no need to turn on a light in the room during the day.

Whether you prefer a lake view or a city view, there are numerous configurations of rooms with Queens and King bed setups, including suites. All rooms feature L’Occitane En Provence bath products, a Nespresso Coffee Maker and a refrigerator. You’ll also find plenty of USB plugs in the room, along with some next to the bed.

While the hallways are a bit long, it just means that every room has a slightly different room size and view. In addition to the on-site restaurant (more on that shortly!), there is a grab and go section in the lobby with plenty of pre-made sandwiches, snacks and late-night treats.

Hotel ELEO - King Sized Bed Interior

If you need to squeeze in a workout during your stay, the hotel’s gym has Peleton machines (you can use it even if you don’t have an account!) and they have TRX equipment available too. There’s no excuse to not fit in a workout. Along the lake, you’ll find a yoga patio for taking your practice outdoors.

The property only offers valet parking, but it is easy to receive your car. Just call or text them and they will have your car ready in no time.

Close Proximity to Campus and Attractions

Hotel ELEO is located directly across the lake from three of the main hospital buildings within the Shands UF Health Center (including the cancer center) making it super convenient for those with medical appointments or visiting patients. In fact, Hotel ELEO has a golf cart shuttle to take you back and forth to the complex.

Located on the University of Florida campus, it would make a great spot to stay for Gator football games at “The Swamp”. While it might be a long walk there, you could easily Uber/Lyft there. If I was going, I would bring my bike and just ride over to the stadium.

Hotel ELEO Lake View Gainesville Florida

During my stay, I made the short drive over to Downtown Gainesville for a bite to eat and drinks at Big Top Brewing Company. The hotel is also an easy drive to both the Florida Museum of Natural Museum and the Cade Museum for Creativity & Invention.

Enjoy a Meal at Covey Kitchen + Cocktails

While I loved the modern atmosphere at Hotel ELEO, the star of my stay at Hotel ELEO was hands-down dining at the on-site Covey Kitchen + Cocktails. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner – and brunch on the weekends, the menu is fantastic and somewhere I would consider dining even if I wasn’t staying at the property.

The craft cocktail menu features a nod to its Florida roots and they’ve got a large variety of local beers on tap and in cans. (I love drinking local when I travel.) Each meal features local ingredients alongside comfort foods and creative dishes. They also have a great menu of bar snacks.

For dinner, I enjoyed The Burger and yes, it deserves to be capitalized. It is massive, messy and delicious. Paired with a local beer from First Magnitude – it was a great meal. I also sampled the crispy cauliflower as an appetizer with hot sauce, chipotle and blue cheese dipping sauces. I slept in the next morning (hello, comfy beds!) so I missed breakfast, but I’m already looking to my return visit.

With indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the lake, they do take reservations via OpenTable. Put this on your ‘must try’ list for sure.

Learn More About the Hotel ELEO

To learn more about this unique property and book your own stay, visit the Hotel ELEO website. Their official Facebook page, Twitter account at @ELEOHotel and Instagram account at @TheHotelELEO are also filled with great photos and videos of their beautiful property.

Be sure to let me know if you make your way to Gainesville. You won’t be disappointed!

** I visited the Hotel ELEO while on assignment for Fodor’s Travel. While my stay and dinner were complimentary, the opinions you see here are my own. **

Hi there!

I'm Carrie McLaren,

based in Jacksonville, Fla. Family travel is my passion and I want to help you succeed in making fantastic memories with your family.




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