Checking out Our Lucaya

After the hubbub surrounding the completion of Our Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island, associate editor Kimberly Scholz went down to take a look. Her report follows:

visited the sprawling Our Lucaya resort complex in February, two months after the opening of two guest accommodations facilities: Breakers Cay and Lighthouse Pointe.

Combined, the facilities added the final 800 rooms to the 1,350-room resort that has been under construction since 1998.

Reef Village, with 550 inclusive accommodations, opened in 1999.

Still being built are a shopping promenade with eight exclusive stores; a restaurant and bar, and a 40,000-square-foot casino.

Our Lucaya is so big that I hardly noticed the construction going on and wasn't inconvenienced at all.

The shops, restaurant and bar should be completed this spring and the casino by late summer.

Our Lucaya is bright and colorful, with fluorescent windsocks dotting the landscape. Palm trees fringe the pools and beach areas.

The Manor House, where guests check in for Breakers Cay and Lighthouse Pointe, resembles a 19th century plantation home with wood furniture, high ceilings and rich colors.

Murals adorn the ceilings, and white-railed staircases lead to a second floor with more public areas and meetings space.

Also in the Manor House are Churchill's Chop House, a steak restaurant specializing in aged Angus beef, and the Havana Cay Cigar Bar, featuring hand-rolled cigars from the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

The property is so large that upon checking in, guests are handed a map so they can get around without getting lost.

At various points around the property are larger versions of the maps with "you are here" arrows.

I found my way to Breakers Cay, which reminded me of one of the new cruise vessels.

My room in the 579-room, 10-story tower was elaborately decorated with geometric shapes in blues, greens and yellows.

The vibrant colors and funky patterns gave the room a lively feel. Artwork and accessories matched the colors in the bedding and flooring.

All rooms are standard hotel room size, with either two double beds or one king-size bed, and come equipped with the usual hotel amenities.

Private balconies provide views of the ocean or gardens.

Downstairs in Breakers Cay is the eclectic Willy Broadleaf's, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, buffet-style.

The restaurant is decorated with areas representing various regions in the world, with leopard-spotted tablecloths and chairs for Africa and colorfully striped material on the tables for Mexico.

Clocks set to the different time zones greet guests upon entering.

I sampled breakfast there and feasted on a salsa omelet and spicy potatoes from Mexico as well as fresh fruit from the Caribbean.

With 14 restaurants on the property, there weren't enough days and nights to enjoy all of them.

Other options include the fun-and-fancy-free Prop Club, which is open for lunch and dinner and converts into a disco/club setting after hours.

The Prop Club is decorated with parts of old boats and planes. Peanut shells litter the floor.

Nightly entertainment includes a native show with local music and dancing as well as a variety show and a limbo contest.

Another exceptional choice for dining is Portobellos, which serves breakfast and a Northern Italian-style cuisine for dinner. The ambience is a step back in time to Old World Italy, with its antique wooden tables and chairs, countryside murals, glass lanterns and stone archway.

Portobellos features water views and is situated beside the 40,000-square-foot conference center next to the entrance to the Lighthouse Pointe.

The 221-room Lighthouse Pointe, with a candy-cane-striped lighthouse as the focal point, sits away from the rest of the resort and houses the Senses Spa.

The spa offers several massage and body treatments and also features a fitness facility with the latest equipment.

Spinning and aerobics classes are offered daily.

The aromatherapy massage is a great way to unwind after a day of hiking through nearby Lucayan National Park.

Lighthouse Pointe features a crescent pool as well as a lap pool. The crescent pool seemed to be the pool of choice for birds more than people.

Reef Village, which became the property's inclusive option in January, has its own lobby for check-in; a selection of restaurants; a gift shop, and the Sugar Mill Pool, with a 60-foot spiral water slide.

Camp Lucaya, a kids' camp for those between the ages of 2 and 12, is located nearby.

I saw people of all ages at the resort, from families with little ones to college-aged couples to retirees.

"We treat our guests like they are our family and we have company coming," a spokeswoman said.

"We run around to make sure the 'kids' [employees] are on their best behavior and clean everything up," she added.

With such attention to detail, I definitely plan to return to Our Lucaya.

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