After a total renovation that took approximately 18 months, the Holiday Inn Resort at Wrightsville Beach has completed its transition to a new look and name: Lumina on Wrightsville Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort.
The reinvention and redesign was carried out by new owner, OTO Development, part of the Johnson Group, based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. OTO acquired the Holiday Inn property in December 2020.
The Lumina name “is inspired by the rich history of an iconic pavilion built in 1905 to showcase the wonders of electricity while drawing people to the beach,” the OTO announcement said. He further quoted Corry Oakes, the company’s CEO, saying, “This resort is designed to recapture the spirit of the beloved Lumina Pavilion – a space lit by camaraderie and the luminous promise of food, fun and of camaraderie. We were inspired by history, but now it’s about creating new memories.
The complete renovation included a redesign of the exterior facade, hotel lobby, event space, dining venues and guest rooms. The OTO also undertook behind-the-scenes improvements to the hotel’s HVAC and mechanical systems. The renovation concept was developed by global design firm DLR Group with construction work carried out by New Jersey-based The Allied Group.
“The design of this new resort experience captures the inherited spirit of laid-back North Carolina sophistication combined with a fresh artistic spirit, embracing moments of surprise balanced with the region’s natural tones and textures,” said said the DLR Group designers in an email.
Lumina’s seven-story, 246,152-square-foot facility includes 184 rooms and suites, some redesigned with bunk beds to “better accommodate families and all with storage lockers for storing beach gear,” the statement said.
“Bunk beds are indeed becoming a fashionable thing,” chief executive Brian Elliott said in an email Wednesday. “It’s a compact way to accommodate extra people. Besides being family-friendly, they’re just fun. Another detail designed to accommodate beachgoers is the emphasis on extra storage space. Each room has several storage compartments to store gear and several hooks to hang towels, sports equipment, swimsuits, whatever we bring and return from the beach.
Guests can use “all it takes” at the resort’s pools, hot tubs, on the beach itself, and at the beachfront fitness center.
The hotel’s main dining room has been redesigned and renamed Solstice Oceanfront Kitchen + Cocktails, with a menu focused on “coastal American cuisine and signature drinks,” according to the statement.
The DLR team commented on their design for the restaurant as a “contemporary nautical concept [that] mixes light and airy tones, open ceiling elements, biophilic moments, and most importantly, maximizes ocean views,” they wrote in an email. “A horseshoe-shaped bar takes center stage in the restaurant, presenting it as a focal point.”
Biophilic design attempts to connect people to nature.
Outside, the Surfside Beach Bar & Grille offers “tropical libations and bar bites.” A convenience store and beverage station, Longboard Coffee + Market, is located inside the hotel.
“There’s so much to do in and around Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington – if I wasn’t working here, I would absolutely come here for vacation,” Elliott said. “Some people like active vacations, spending their days surfing, deep sea fishing or scuba diving and spending each evening exploring different places to eat. Others want to settle in one place and not drive anywhere else until it’s time to go home. So, we designed Lumina to be either your landing pad or the place where you can spend your entire vacation without getting bored.
“Recreational opportunities on-site include three pools and direct beach access with lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent; a garden of hammocks; an event lawn; and a beachfront fitness center,” he added. “We also schedule a full range of on-site activities and entertainment.”
Elliott leads Lumina’s leadership team, which includes Lisa Corley, director of sales; Alex Mathis, Deputy Managing Director; Wes Berry, catering manager; William Roberts, Chief Executive; Kevin Hutson, chief engineer; Amanda Rochelle, Guest Services Manager; and Elizabeth Kruczkowski, Director of Housekeeping.