Hawks Cay to Close for Renovations

The ball is finally rolling on renovations to Hawks Cay Resort, which was sold earlier this year. The hotel portion of the property will close its doors on August 13 for extensive renovations, which will include a complete remodeling of the guest rooms. Plans are to reopen the hotel by the end of the year, and villas will remain open throughout the renovation process.

Other plans for the Duck Key property, which will become a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, include a new lobby, new dining options and a redesigned pool and lagoon area, which will serve as the centerpiece for the resort. The anticipated completion date for the entire project is late 2007/early 2008. After the initial renovations, upgrading of the two-and three-bedroom villas will begin.

Meanwhile, two top management positions have been filled. Stephen Bello, formerly of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, has been named managing director and Joe Derks is the new director of sales and marketing.

Derks told Travel Agent that a guest-recognition program will be added to provide a more personalized experience for guests. Also, by taking the resort from mid-market to high-end, hiring a higher caliber of personnel is on the list of operational enhancements.

Following the extensive renovation process, the best room to book will be the Spa Suite, which will boast a 2,000-square-foot ocean-front terrace. Another "best" pick will be the two-bedroom suite on the top floor, which will include a spa treatment room.

Northview Hotel Management serves as the new management company for the resort. Travel agents sending their clients can contact Derks at 305-289-2996 or josephderks@yahoo.com.

For more on the resort, see the March 5 issue of Travel Agent at www.travelagentcentral.com.

Mackenzie Allison