Our Lucaya Here's a new twist on a resort theme: Our Lucaya, the newest destination resort in the Caribbean, which officially opens this month on Grand Bahama Island, promises each and every one of its guests an individualized experience.
Formerly named the Lucayan Resort at Grand Bahama Island, the resort's 1,350 guest rooms and suites have been transformed into a $400 million development that makes the most of Grand Bahama's native people and colorful culture. It promises to engage all of a guest's senses by finding out exactly what each most wants to do, whether on a vacation or incentive trip.
Perhaps it's jamming with local musicians at a favorite watering hole? Or cooking dinner with a five-star chef for four newfound friends? Perhaps you want to be left totally alone on your palm-strung hammock along a seven-and-a-half-acre ribbon of sun-drenched white-sand beach? Or be one of the very few lucky couples to earn a sunset dinner at the top of a lighthouse? Leave it up to one of the resort's "experience managers," whose only objective is to find out what will make your stay so special that you'll leave renewed and refreshed.
Some of the more energizing options: First, put the kids in Camp Lucaya, billed as the only interactive kids' camp in the Caribbean. Then, golf on two courses--one a Dick Wilson design and the other a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design--or take a lesson at the Butch Harmon School of Golf (one of only two in the world). Swim in the ocean or in one of three themed pools. Visit the Senses Spa. Work out at the fitness center, where your personal trainer will tailor your take-home tone-up program. Or gamble at the 30,000-square-foot casino, opening next spring. Eat and drink in your choice of eight restaurants, four cafes, and three bars. And meet in 90,000 square feet of meeting space, 40,000 square feet of which is outdoors.
The 1,350 guest rooms are spread among a variety of buildings, each with views of the Atlantic, gardens, or a marina. The most exclusive option is Lighthouse Pointe, with 221 rooms and suites, enveloped on three sides by water.
And all this just 55 miles east of Miami, a mere 35-minute flight from Miami International Airport. Fly nonstop to Grand Bahama, an island whose resurgence and new image have been greatly aided by the development of Our Lucaya, from JFK in New York City, Newark International in New Jersey, or Atlanta. --Betsy Bair
Meetings with a Dose of Preventive Medicine Let your attendees spend some time focusing on their health and well-being at your next meeting. La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, Calif., recently opened The Cosgrove Clinic to do just that. At the on site clinic, guests can undergo a variety of diagnostic tests--from nutritional assessments, to biological age assessments, to measuring hormone and stress levels. At the end of an assessment, the guest receives a personal prescriptive strategy for optimizing health. La Quinta Resort offers 640 rooms, more than 66,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space, and the 23,000-square-foot Spa La Quinta.
Transformations After two years of improvements, the Georgia Center for Continuing Education is reintroducing itself to the meeting industry. The world's largest university-based residential conference center, the Georgia Center is located on the campus of the University of Georgia in Athens. In addition to reservation and administrative services, the Georgia Center will assist with program development by researching trends and issues in your field, identifying qualified speakers, and accessing the educational resources of the university. The Georgia Center offers 24 meeting rooms, two boardrooms, two auditoriums (with 375 and 600 seats), a full-service hotel with 200 rooms, two restaurants, and 9,000 square feet of exhibit space. Other facilities include a broadcast-quality TV station, a radio station, and computer training labs. Visit www.georgiacenter.org for more information.
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas recently renovated the 4,200 rooms in its Grand Tower as part of an overall effort to transform the 115-acre resort complex into "The City of Entertainment." Each of the tower's rooms was redesigned to replicate an MGM Studios' bungalow. Other recent projects completed as part of the resort's master plan include the 380,000-square-foot, tri-level Conference Center, which offers two ballrooms and up to 50,000 square feet of pre-function space; the 22,000-square-foot Studio 54, MGM Grand's nightclub; and the 6.6-acre Grand Pool and Spa complex, which includes a 1,000-foot-long flowing river. The resort has a total of 5,034 rooms and suites.
Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Crossings in Warwick, R.I., has expanded its meeting space, with a new ballroom, a three-story rotunda, pre-function and exhibit space, three additional meeting rooms, and a kitchen expansion. The addition brings the Crowne Plaza's total meeting space to 34,400 square feet. The 266-room hotel is three miles from the T.F. Green Airport in Providence.
Dallas Marriott Las Colinas has opened in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The 364-room hotel offers more than 24,000 square feet of meeting space, including a grand ballroom divisible into eight meeting rooms. More than 8,000 square feet of pre-function space overlooking Lake Carolyn also is available.
The Pointe Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix has completed the first phase of a major renovation that will modernize the resort's 585 guest rooms, lobby, and 48 meeting rooms. The resort offers 65,00 square feet of meeting space.
Sheraton Overland Park Hotel, an upscale property with more than 400 guest rooms, is going up next to the convention center in Overland Park, Kan. Plans call for the center and the hotel to open in the spring of 2002. The convention center, to be joined to the Sheraton, will have 60,000 square feet of exhibition space, 15,000 square feet of meeting space, and 25,000 square feet of banquet/multipurpose space.
The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix has completed the first phase of a propertywide renovation that will modernize the resort's 585 rooms and its 65,000 square feet of meeting space. Phase one renovated all 48 meeting rooms and 497 standard suites. Phase two, expected to be completed by next September, will redo the lobby and the remaining 88 accommodations.
The 309-room Hilton Lisle/Naperville in Lisle, Ill., recently announced a 12,000-square-foot expansion, with 5,000 square feet of meeting space, to open in April. Six meeting and executive boardrooms will be added as well as new prefunction space. The hotel currently has 13,500 square feet of function space in 20 rooms.
The 313-room Hilton Columbus (Ohio) opened recently in the new Town Center at Easton, a shopping, dining, and entertainment district. The hotel offers 30,000 square feet of meeting space in 17 rooms.