The historic Jekyll Island in Georgia once served as an exclusive winter retreat for the country’s most prominent families including the Rockefellers, Pulitzers and Goulds. More than 100 years later, plans to revitalize the island are underway with the construction of a new Westin hotel and beachside promenade, along with the renovation of the existing convention center. The owners and co-developers of the project, New Castle Hotels & Resorts and Jekyll Landmark Associates, expect to break ground on the new Westin this summer.
The oceanfront 200-room Westin Jekyll Island is set to open in February 2014, bringing with it the brand’s highly-lauded signature amenities and services. The hotel will feature oceanfront views, direct beach access and plenty of meetings facilities. The hotel will be located within the new Jekyll Island Convention Center Complex, offering 128,000 sf of fully-renovated convention space including a 45,000-sf ballroom.
“We are delighted that Westin Hotels will play a key role in the redevelopment of Jekyll Island, and invite both business and leisure travelers to experience the Westin difference on one of Georgia’s most scenic barrier islands,” said Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Westin Hotels & Resorts. “The Westin Jekyll Island will offer all of the Westin brand’s signature programs and amenities, designed to bring to life the brand’s emphasis on sending guests home feeling better than when they arrived.”
Groups will be treated to that calming environment as soon as they enter the lobby where relaxed lighting, natural botanicals and soothing music will champion the seaside setting. Inside the rooms, the Heavenly Bath is as much a treat as the beds, creating a spa-like experience enhanced with White Tea Aloe products, a plush Heavenly Robe and the brand’s massaging Heavenly Shower.
The Westin Jekyll Island will include 5,700 sf of meeting space and banquet facilities, a full-service restaurant and the brand’s signature Westin WORKOUT gym.
“The Westin will have an outstanding location on the beach next to a world class convention center, as well as strong partners and owners with prior experience operating on Jekyll Island,” says Gerald Chase, president/COO of New Castle Hotels & Resorts. “When you have all these strengths aligned, it makes for a winning hotel.”
The LEED Silver-certified Jekyll Island Convention Center is just months from the May 21 ribbon-cutting ceremony. More than 65 overnight convention groups are already booked for the remainder of the year, showing significant increase from last year’s 22 groups. The center will be integrated into its natural beachfront location in a manner that minimizes impact on the environment while creating a positive guest experience. It will host groups up to 4,000 pax.
The island offers a vast array of offsite group experiences. Tour the nearby Landmark Historic District and check out the Jekyll Island Museum, or follow one of the bike trails down miles of barrier island beaches and sandbars. Dolphin watching tours and kayak rentals are also fun options for groups, as well.