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Hilton Partners With Beverage Authority Paul McGee to Create Tropical Paradise at Forthcoming Conrad Orlando

Paul McGee Headshot Cropped - Photo Credit: Clayton Hauck

McLEAN, Va. – With a mission to create and deliver innovative and original food and beverage destinations, Hilton today announced its partnership with award-winning beverage authority Paul McGee. With more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, McGee, who is credited with opening some of the country’s most highly acclaimed bars, will work alongside Hilton’s global food & beverage team to develop an original, all day tropical cocktail experience at Papaya Club, the vibrant waterside escape at Conrad Orlando, the latest addition of the award-winning Conrad Hotels & Resorts portfolio opening in late 2023.

“At Hilton, we strive to partner with industry leaders who are equally determined in their passion to create exceptional food and beverage experiences,” said Adam Crocini, senior vice president and global head, Food & Beverage Brands, Hilton. “Paul’s expertise in crafting immersive beverage programs is unparalleled. We are excited for this partnership to yield an innovative cocktail destination befitting of a next generation luxury resort like Conrad Orlando.”

The Papaya Club will offer an upscale cocktail experience for hotel guests and visitors alike. The immersive beverage program will include bold flavors such as fresh pineapple, coconut, guava, and papaya, along with several inspired low- and no-ABV drinks, all served in custom ceramic pieces or pineapple and coconut shells. The pu-pu platter will take center stage on the playful food menu that will also include pork skewers, shrimp and scallop siu mai, and crab wontons. Reviving the glory of an earlier era, the thematic bar décor will compliment Papaya Club’s expansive waterside location on Evermore Bay. 

quote from Paul McGee: “Previously, I've opened indoor bars in cold climates that transport guests to tropical destinations through island-inspired drinks. This partnership with Hilton offers the unique opportunity to enhance a guest's experience once they've arrived in paradise. I’m excited to provide elevated service in an enchanting, outdoor setting.”

Photo Credit: Clayton Hauck for Lost Lake

McGee previously helmed the cocktail programs at Chicago Athletic Association’s Milk Room, Cherry Circle Room, and Game Room—bars renowned for their classic-leaning beverage lists— and was an owner at Lost Lake, one of the country’s best tropical cocktail bars. Lost Lake was recognized as the Best American Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards and a multi James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award nominee for Outstanding Bar Program. It also earned a spot on the World’s 50 Best Bars list in 2018, as well as being named Time Out Chicago’s Bar of the Year, Chicago Magazine’s Best New Bar, one of Esquire’s Best Bars in America, and Imbibe magazine’s Cocktail Bar of the Year.

“Hilton has long been synonymous with innovation and, as with many of our food and beverage firsts across our Americas hotel portfolio, we are delighted for Conrad Orlando to be the destination for Paul McGee’s first hotel project,” said Tom Walters, senior vice president, food & beverage, Americas, Hilton. “Once open, Papaya Club will complement the luxury resort’s four thoughtfully curated dining outlets providing an elevated, storied and globally inspired food and beverage experience for our guests delivered by our exceptional team members.”

When it opens in late 2023, Conrad Orlando will offer sophisticated, luxury accommodations with 433 rooms, including 51 impeccably designed suites and 10 spacious family suites. Additional amenities include 40,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, a tranquil spa with an outdoor water garden, a private pool area with splash pad, private cabanas, fitness center, and arrival/departure lounge. In addition to Papaya Club, guests will enjoy four dining experiences, including a signature rooftop Mexican restaurant. As part of Evermore Orlando Resort, bordering Walt Disney World® Resort, guests will enjoy a 20-acre tropical beach and 8-acre crystalline lagoon, aquatic activities, and two Jack Nicklaus designed 18-hole golf courses.

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Media Contact

Amber PfauGlobal Food and Beverage Communications, Hilton

About Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Spanning five continents with 45 properties, Conrad Hotels & Resorts has created a seamless connection between bold design, impactful experiences and curated contemporary art to inspire the conscientious traveler. Conrad is a place where guests are empowered to explore through intuitive service and experiences that authentically connect them with local culture. In addition to its award-winning hotel offerings, the brand also features an expanding residential portfolio combining sophisticated design, best-in-class amenities and purposeful service in inspiring destinations. Experience Conrad Hotels & Resorts by booking at or through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits. Learn more about Conrad Hotels & Resorts at, and follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter