The 4-diamond Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa is tucked into the 26-acre Estero Aquatic Preserve overlooking the serene waters of the Gulf Coast in Bonita Springs near Naples. The Hyatt Regency was the first Florida hotel to be awarded Florida’s signature Three Palm certification for green lodging, so there’s an overwhelming symbiotic relationship with nature in this 454-room resort.
The Hyatt recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary with a major shift toward advanced sustainability. For example, water runoff from melted ice is used to cool the hotel and wind sensors shut off the fountains when the winds pick up.
“We always try to come up with new ways to earn more green certification,” says Erin Flanagan, business travel sales manager. “What’s even better is that this green haven was designed with groups in mind.”
The indoor meeting facilities are located on the first floor. The Calusa Ballroom is the largest venue with over 14,000 sf of function space under 22-foot ceilings. The breezy terrace can be divided into eight sections for a total of 1,800 attendees theater-style. There’s also a smaller ballroom for 896 pax, six conference rooms, two exec boardrooms and the 1,440-pax Royal Palm Courtyard.
The overall vibe within Hyatt Regency Coconut Point exudes a charming Old Florida look and feel. The lobby has dark pine ceilings enhanced with copper chandeliers and Italian marble floors, and the abundance of fresh orchids are a delightful welcome.
The newly revamped Tarpon Bay waterfront seafood restaurant transports you to an old Key West beach house with white wooden tables, chairs and walls surrounding the stainless steel open kitchen. There’s a full raw bar and eight varieties of ceviche, and the local food writers say they’ve got the best sweet tuna in town. We like the salmon with sweet chili and almonds, and the oozing, gooey lobster mac ’n cheese.
Reminiscent of Old Havana, the 4-diamond Tanglewood restaurant was completely redesigned last year. It matches the lobby’s luxurious vibe with dark pine tables and chairs. Also new, their gourmet brick oven pizzas are to die for.
“When I first tried them, I said I was going to have one slice only,” says Flanagan. “But I just kept eating.”
Three pools, including one of which is adult-only, light up at night. They surround an endless chain of fountain lights that lead to a center stage cascade. Ask for your logo reflected off the cascade during poolside soirees. The pool area’s emerald green lawn yields 7,000 sf of function space.
“We like surprising meeting groups,” says Flanagan. “They absolutely love having their logo there.”
For offsite group excursions, you take a 15-minute boat ride out to the hotel’s private Big Hickory Island Beach. The secluded beach has a solar-powered pavilion great for daytime events up to 450 pax. Evening events at the island are only allowed between December and May, outside turtle nesting season. Kayaking and sunset sails are available year-round. Or, you can work with one of the resort’s two in-house DMCs to catch a glimpse of passing dolphins during an eco-watch tour.
The Audubon-certified 18-hole golf course is two minutes away on the resort shuttle. And for serious post-meeting pampering, the newly renovated 19,000-sf Stillwater Spa offers water shiatsu treatments, where your body floats in a 98° pool as a therapist helps you gently stretch your muscles.
Another cool option, groups up to 20 can enjoy s’mores outdoors by the massive firepit, a short walk down the pier. We tried it and it makes a great laid-back mini networking session. Such a natural environment seems to inspire natural dialogue when the only other sound is sea breezes rustling through the palm fronds.