A longtime hotel in Wrightsville Beach has a new name and a new look.
When South Carolina-based OTO Development, a part of The Johnson Group, bought the former Holiday Inn Sunspree in late 2020, it became one the 65 hotels they operate — many of which they repurpose from existing properties.
They’ve now unveiled Lumina on Wrightsville Beach, a Holiday Inn Resort at 1706 N. Lumina Ave. named for the island’s iconic turn-of-the-century pavilion.
A Solstice soft opening
OTO made the announcement about the change on June 21, the summer solstice. That also happens to by the name of the renovated restaurant. But general manager Brian Elliott said that they hotel is still really in a soft opening phase.
While they’ve already finished many renovations (including updating the mechanical and HVAC systems) and a complete interior redesign, there are still a few more details to put into place, like the indoor and outdoor seating, more lighting, and extras like televisions in the lounge areas.
Those who check it out now, though, can already get a feel for the modern, ocean-inspired look.
New food options
Solstice Oceanfront Kitchen + Cocktails is one of three new food-and-beverage venues at Lumina. (And another, a sports bar, is also on the way.) One reason is that they want to offer enough options so that vacationers (or staycationers) don’t necessarily need to go elsewhere.
“Every night they can have something different,” Elliott said.
Solstice serves coastal-American cuisine and signature drinks. Previously, a long hallway lead to the onsite Oceans restaurant. Now, the space is lighter, brighter and has an open floor plan with a large U-shaped bar at the center.
In addition to indoor tables with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, the restaurant will include 20 outdoor patio tables that overlook the pool-and-hot tub complex below.
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Near the pool, they opened Surfside Beach Bar & Grille, featuring tropical drinks and bar bites, this weekend. By the reception area, there’s Longboard Coffee & Market, which will have coffee, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, sliced fruit, and grab-and-go fare.
Food and beverage director Wes Berry said they are offering a taste of what the area has to offer with the help of local beverage businesses like Wrightsville Beach Brewery and Blue Shark Vodka.
“And the crew here has done a great job with the cocktails, and the menu,” he said.
The new cocktail menu includes the Summer Fashioned, which is bourbon-based with a house-made blueberry shrub and ginger syrup. There’s also the tequila-and-pineapple Equinox and the summery blue Mermaid Water with both spiced and coconut rums.
Chef William Roberts, who has worked at the hotel for more than four years, is in the process of revamping the menu. Look for a wide variety of selections from a crab cake appetizer, served with a slice of fried-green tomato and house-made pimento cheese, as well as pork belly and sesame tuna.
Entrees range from ample salads and sandwiches to dishes like shrimp and grits and filet. Roberts also offers daily chef’s specials.
Elsewhere at the Lumina
Beyond the food and drink options, the room renovations included adding bunk beds to some rooms to better accommodate families. A fitness center has a view of the beach. And a new hammock garden and event lawn offer more ways to relax.
While locals (and visitors) can enjoy Solstice and the other food and drink options now, there will also be a grand opening scheduled later this year when the renovations are complete and the look is finalized.
Allison Ballard is the food and dining reporter at the StarNews. You can reach her at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Holiday Inn Sunspree in Wrightsville Beach renovates, becomes Lumina