Our Lucaya Beach resorts add to inclusive deals

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NEW YORK -- In a nod to the growing popularity of all-in-one pricing, the sister properties of the Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort on Grand Bahama Island introduced additional inclusive rate plans available through December.

Guests at the Westin portion of the 372-acre, 1,260-room prop-erty now can take advantage of an Island Escape package that includes three meals daily, while clients at the Sheraton can opt for an inclusive stay that offers all meals, snacks and beverages. Both plans offer other perks as well.

Mary Neister, director of sales and marketing at the 3-year-old Our Lucaya -- which was reflagged under the Westin and Sheraton brands by Starwood Hotels and Resorts in February -- said the new plans are based on feedback from the trade.

"A segment of the population is looking to know the entire cost of a holiday, and that's certainly a change in the marketplace," Neister said. "Wholesalers are telling us that inclusive packages are on an upswing, and our travel agent partners are telling us family travel is in demand," she noted.

"All these market segments lend themselves to a total price for [vacations], and we're looking to position our two [Westin and Sheraton] products appropriately."

Guests at the family-friendly Sheraton at Our Lucaya can take advantage of an all-inclusive program that bundles all meals, snacks and beverages with other perks. Island Escape rates at the Westin start at $199.50 per person, per day, double, through Dec. 23 and include accommodations as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner at any of the 11 Westin or Sheraton restaurants, grills or cafes, and from room service -- not including alcoholic beverages.

Guests who fancy themselves gourmets can choose from Caribbean fare at Iries, northern Italian dishes at Portobellos or Asian cuisine at China Beach.

The package also includes nonmotorized water sports and room tax, service fees and tips.

Meanwhile, clients who opt for inclusive stays at the family-friendly Sheraton have to dine at a more limited range of on-site restaurants, but meals include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, as well as all beverages, including alcoholic drinks.

Restaurants at the Sheraton participating in the all-inclusive plan include Willy Broadleaf's, Barracuda's, the Sugar Mill Bar and Grill and the On Higher Grounds Cafe.

The all-inclusive package also offers all nonmotorized sports, tennis, use of the Sheraton fitness center and the Camp Lucaya kids' center for guests ages 3 to 12; taxes, service fees and gratuities are also included.

Daily all-inclusive rates at the 510-room Sheraton start at $195 per person, double, for stays through Dec. 24.

Travel agents earn commission set by Our Lucaya wholesaler partners such as Gogo Worldwide Vacations and American Airlines Vacations.

Neister said the decision to go all-inclusive with an eye toward family bookings at the Sheraton was based not only on market demographics but also Our Lucaya's physical plant.

"The resort layout lends itself to the two [different] products because the more-active end of the resort is near the Sheraton, where we have Camp Lucaya for kids and the Sugar Mill Pool with the wading pool and slide for children," she said. "I think this is a home run."

But, with existing all-inclusive product available from neighboring competitors such as Viva Resorts' Viva Fortuna Beach and the Holiday Inn SunSpree at the Royal Oasis Golf Resort and Casino, what's going to make the new Sheraton all-inclusive and Westin meals-inclusive offerings at Our Lucaya stand out from the all-in-one resort crowd?

The two brands themselves, said Neister, including "all of the things that our loyal guests have come to expect at all our properties, such as our Sweet Sleeper and Heavenly Beds."

"We work very hard to ensure that the service standards as well as our amenities package are something our Sheraton and Westin guests will enjoy each time they visit the resort."

In another development, the new 39,000-square-foot casino originally set to debut at the Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort earlier this year will open its doors Nov. 1, according to Neister, now that unexpected problems obtaining proper gaming licenses and an operating vendor have been ironed out.

For more on the Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort, call (877) 687-5822 or visit www.westin.com/ourlucaya or www.sheraton.com/ourlucaya.

To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].

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