After a total renovation that took about 18 months, the Holiday Inn Resort at Wrightsville Beach has completed its transition to a new look and a new name: Lumina on Wrightsville Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort.
The reimagining and redesign were done by the new owner, OTO Development, which is part of The Johnson Group, based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. OTO acquired the Holiday Inn property in December 2020.
The Lumina name “draws on the storied history of an iconic pavilion constructed in 1905 to showcase the wonder of electricity while beckoning people out to the beach,” OTO’s announcement stated. It further quoted Corry Oakes, the company CEO, as saying, “This resort is designed to recapture the spirit of the beloved Lumina pavilion — a space lit with camaraderie and the bright promise of food, fun and fellowship. We’ve drawn on history, but now it’s all about creating new memories.”
The extensive renovation included a reworking of the exterior façade, the hotel’s lobby, event space, food and beverage venues and guest rooms. 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 completed by New Jersey-based The Allied Group.
“The design of this newest resort experience captures the legacy spirit of North Carolina casual sophistication, joined with a fresh artistic spirit, embracing moments of surprise balanced with natural tones and textures of the region,” DLR Group designers stated in an email.
Lumina’s seven-story, 246,152-square-foot facility contains 184 guest rooms and suites, some redesigned with bunk beds to “better accommodate families and all with storage cubbies to stow beach gear,” the release stated.
“Bunk beds are indeed becoming an in-thing,” said general manager Brian Elliott in an email Wednesday. “They’re a compact way to accommodate extra people. In addition to being family-friendly, they’re just kind of fun. Another detail designed to accommodate beach-goers is the emphasis on extra storage space. Every guest room has multiple storage cubbies for stowing gear and multiple hooks for hanging towels, sporting equipment, bathing suits, all the stuff we bring out to and in from the beach.”
Guests can use “all the stuff” at the resort’s pools, hot tubs, on the beach itself and at the beachfront fitness center.
The resort hotel’s main dining facility has been redesigned and renamed Solstice Oceanfront Kitchen + Cocktails, with a menu focused on “coastal American cuisine and signature drinks,” according to the release.
The DLR team commented on its design for the restaurant as a “contemporary nautical concept [that] blends light, airy tones, open ceiling elements, biophilic moments and, above all, maximizes the view of the ocean,” they wrote in an email. “A horseshoe-shaped bar sits center stage within the restaurant, showcasing it as a focal point.”
Biophilic design attempts to connect people with nature.
Outdoors, the Surfside Beach Bar & Grille features “tropical libations and bar bites.” A combination convenience shop 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 didn’t work here, I’d absolutely come here for vacation,” Elliott said. “Some people love active vacationing, filling their days with surfing or deep-sea fishing or scuba diving and spending every evening out exploring different places to eat. Other people want to settle in one place and not drive anywhere else until it’s time to head home. So, we’ve designed Lumina to be either your landing pad or the place where you can spend your entire vacation without getting bored.
“Onsite recreation opportunities include three pools and direct beach access with lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent; a hammock garden; an event lawn; and a beachfront fitness center,” he added. “We schedule a full slate of on-site activities and entertainment, too.”
Elliott leads Lumina’s executive team, which consists of Lisa Corley, director of sales; Alex Mathis, assistant general manager; Wes Berry, food and beverage director; William Roberts, executive chef; Kevin Hutson, chief engineer; Amanda Rochelle, guest services manager; and Elizabeth Kruczkowski, executive housekeeping manager.