Isla Navidad Resort Is Grand Bay's First Property in Nation

Reed Travel Features

ISLA NAVIDAD -- Grand Bay Hotels & Resorts, a division of Miami-based Carnival Hotels and Casinos, turned its eye toward Mexico with the debut of an upscale property in this exclusive peninsula community north of Manzanillo.

Grand Bay Hotel Puerto de la Navidad, which opened Feb. 1, is the firm's first entry in the Mexico market.

The company's portfolio features a collection of deluxe properties throughout the Americas, one of which is its flagship Grand Bay Hotel in Miami, recently listed as one of the top 25 hotels in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

"Everyone in the travel industry who has visited the property has had the same reaction: Grand Bay Puerto de la Navidad is going to be one of the top five resorts in the world," said George Brennen, the firm's vice president of sales and marketing.

The $84 million resort boasts a dramatic setting within the new, 1,200-acre golf resort, marina and residential community of Isla Navidad, a secluded finger of land separating the Pacific Ocean from the Bay of Navidad.

Surrounded by lush coastal hillsides and acres of coconut palms, the hotel offers an elegant retreat that combines Mexico's rich heritage and charm with comforts and amenities to suit the modern traveler, Grand Bay said.

Design elements include fountains, terraces, balconies, gardens and arcades as well as designer furnishings and original artwork.

Accommodations are in 191 oversized luxury guest rooms and suites, including a presidential suite, two governor suites, 15 executive suites and 15 junior suites.

The guest units feature handcarved wood, hand-tiled Mexican flooring and views of the bay, lagoon or Pacific Ocean.

The units feature central air conditioning, ceiling fans, minibars, safes, satellite television and balconies.

Bathrooms are appointed with imported marble, tile vanities, bidets, bathrobes, scales, hair dryers, irons, customized soaps and toiletries and bottled water.

Recreational facilities at the property include three lighted tennis courts and three swimming pools; guests also can use the resort's secluded beaches.

Additionally, the Isla Navidad development has a 27-hole, Robert von Hagge-designed championship golf course offering views of the Pacific Ocean and the bay as well as a 700-slip marina with a private yacht club. In 1998, the property is planning to debut a world-class spa.

The 35,000-square-foot facility will provide a full complement of offerings, including facials, massages, loofah rubs and botanical treatments as well as steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools and state-of-the-art exercise equipment.

Dining options at Grand Bay Hotel Puerto de la Navidad include three restaurants as well as a lobby bar, a specialty bar and a poolside bar.

Additionally, lounges and a nightclub are featured.

For group functions, the resort has 15,500 square feet of meeting space, including a grand ballroom, a junior ballroom, an amphitheater and seven smaller meeting venues.

Families heading to the property can take advantage of a supervised children's activities center.

Rounding out the offerings at the resort are boutiques offering exclusive clothing and accessories and an aquatic store for mariners.

Nightly rates at Grand Bay Hotel Puerto de la Navidad range from $275 to $2,025 during the low season and from $450 to $2,200 during the high season.

The property is a 25-minute drive from Manzanillo's airport.

For additional information or to make reservations, call (888) 80-GRAND.

Grand Bay Hotels also has a Web site at http://www

.grandbay.com.

Other upcoming Grand Bay developments include Grand Bay Resort & Residences, currently under construction in Key Biscayne, Fla., and Grand Bay Hotel & Resort in Monte Lago Village, the north shore portion of the $4 billion Lake Las Vegas development in Henderson, Nev.

Grand Bay's proposed $300 million Monte Lago project will be located on more than 40 acres in the Mediterranean-style resort village.

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.

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