“Grand” is the key word when thinking of a hotel company such as Salamander Hotels & Resorts, under whose hospitality umbrella we find the three Grand Golf Resorts of Florida, a trio of the Grand Resorts at Cap Cana, joined by the luxury Woodlands Inn outside Charleston in South Carolina, and the Salamander Resort & Spa, soon to debut in the middle of Virginia’s famed horse country.
“Collection” is the word that company president Prem Devadas underlines to explain how his rather new company—founded in 2005 by Sheila Johnson, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist—has quickly acquired a luxury brand status. “We have worked hard to be defined by quality, not by size,” says Devadas. “However, there is marketing power in having a ‘collection,’ as in our three resorts focused on golf in Florida and our Dominican Republic resorts grouped around a great destination experience.” He further points out a quality collection creates quality synergy “when you have high-quality construction and design, same management to maintain consistently top service, and proximity of resorts so guests can experience all parts of the collection.”
Devadas presents the synergies of his Grand Golf Resorts of Florida in an interesting way. The collection includes: the Innisbrook Resort with 600 guest suites and rooms, situated on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area on the Gulf Coast; the AAA four-diamond Reunion Resort near Orlando, whose 330 accommodations include the 82-suite Reunion Grande; and the Hammock Beach Resort, featuring a 12-story tower of oceanview luxury suites and a 20-room lodge, sited along 2.4 miles of Atlantic beach on the Palm Coast. Combined, this trio of resorts offers 162 holes of golf designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Larry Packard—all of which are part of a Legends of Golf Trail, which links 200 miles between the resorts and across the Sunshine State.
According to Devadas, “It was geography that drove us to put together and partner with these three resorts—each predicated on golf— which we upgraded and added grand features such as spas, lots of restaurant choices, and lots of water play for all members of the family. Now we can market the Gulf, the Atlantic and the interior of Florida, with each resort within 90 minutes of one another.”
Jump to the Dominican Republic to find that the Grand Resorts at Cap Cana, an exclusive 30,000-acre retreat embracing white beaches, soaring cliffs and pristine forest, is basically a new destination—15 minutes from Punta Cana airport. Presently, there are two luxury resorts up and running. The oceanfront Sanctuary Cap Cana features 176 luxurious suites and villas with ocean views and swim-out access, as well as a lavish spa. Nearby and opened last year is Fishing Lodge Cap Cana, located within a masterfully designed village, surrounding the Caribbean’s largest inland marina. Guests are accommodated in 298 Mediterranean-style villas with designer furnishings, many with private infinity pools and swim-out access. Coming soon is the 113-room Ocean Club, and all Grand Resorts guests enjoy privileges at the Jack Nicklaus-designed, top-ranked Punta Espada Golf Club.