WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — Two years after OTO Development purchased Holiday Inn Resort at Wrightsville, it is debuting a new look and a new name.
The Spartanburg, S.C., developer announced the hotel, which opened in 1999, will be a reflection of what was the island’s former icon: Lumina Pavilion.
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The new Lumina on Wrightsville Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort is unveiled in homage to the historic pavilion built in 1905 and owned by Hugh MacRae.
“This resort is designed to recapture the spirit,” said Corry Oakes, CEO of OTO Development — “a space lit with camaraderie and the bright promise of food, fun and fellowship.”
The pavilion once housed a dance hall, bowling alley, movie theater and promenade, and welcomed big-name acts like Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong. It also included public transit (something Wrightsville Beach currently lacks), as a trolley ran from the mainland to the island.
“Built by a pioneering utility company at the final stop of its electric trolley line, that three-story structure literally glowed with more than a thousand incandescent lightbulbs,” a press release from OTO Development described of the pavilion.
The Lumina Resort at Holiday Inn stands seven stories tall with 184 rooms and suites. Some rooms have been redesigned to better suit families, with the inclusion of bunk beds, and every room has been equipped with cubbies to store beach gear.
The oceanfront property includes easy access to the Atlantic Ocean and also has three pools and two hot tubs. Added to the outdoor recreation areas are a new hammock garden and event lawn.
The lobby — including a fireplace lounge — event space, and guest rooms have been refabbed by design firm DLR Group and constructed by The Allied Group. Improvements also have been made to the hotel’s HVAC and mechanical systems.
“This property makes the most of its ideal on-the-sand location,” Oakes said in a release. “The seascape plays a pivotal role in the overall design scheme. Most guest rooms enjoy views of either the ocean or bay.”
Meeting spaces and the fitness center have waterfront views, as do the eateries inside the hotel. There are two restaurants, a coffee shop and a soon-to-open taproom.
Solstice Oceanfront Kitchen + Cocktails will focus on fine, coastal-American cuisine and signature drinks. Its menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Items featured are a quinoa-egg veggie bowl, turkey club, shrimp tacos, and a variety of seafood — crab cakes, mussels, shrimp and grits.
An extensive cocktail list serves carefully crafted libations, wine and beer. Prices range from $12 to $38.
The casual Surfside Beach Bar & Grille will offer lighter bar bites and tropical-themed drinks; Longboard Coffee + Market will serve java beverages and quick to-go items and souvenirs. The sports-themed taproom will open in the future.
“We’ve designed Lumina so that, even if you never leave the resort, you’ll still have an amazing vacation,” Oakes said in the release. “And you definitely don’t need to go anywhere else to enjoy the best food on the beach.”
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