Salamander Hotels & Resorts launches Grand Golf Resorts of Florida collection

Sheila C. Johnson’s company partners with Reunion and Hammock Beach resorts’ owner; Salamander unites both properties with Innisbrook Resort to create an unparalleled destination featuring the Legends of Golf Trail

ORLANDO, FL (October 27, 2011) – Three of Florida’s grandest golf resorts have united under the management of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. Sheila C. Johnson, Salamander’s owner and CEO, today announced the formation of the Grand Golf Resorts of Florida, which features Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, Reunion Resort in Orlando, and Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast.

As a result of a partnership with Lubert-Adler, L.P., a real estate equity firm which owns the resorts, Salamander has assumed the management of Reunion Wyndham Grand Resort and Hammock Beach Resort. Salamander has owned and operated Innisbrook Resort since 2007.

“Florida is the world’s greatest year-round and most-accessible golf and vacation destination, and we are creating an experience unlike any other,” said Johnson, who made the announcement accompanied by ten-time Major Championship winner Annika Sorenstam. “This resort concept has never before been accomplished, and because of the unique characteristics of each property, it cannot be replicated. There are numerous synergies between the resorts, and their geographic locations make them natural partners.”

The Salamander Collection has a new website called, and offers 162 holes of golf designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Larry Packard. Each of these playing and architectural legends has fashioned a total of nine Signature Designs from the Gulf to the Atlantic – including PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and LPGA Tour event venues, as well as some of Florida’s highest rated courses. Grand Golf Resorts of Florida also features the world’s only resort-based ANNIKA Academy, an innovative teaching facility designed and developed by Annika Sorenstam.

Salamander also unveiled the Legends of Golf Trail, which traverses 200 miles between the resorts and across the Sunshine State. There is only a 90-minute drive between each multi-course location, at which Grand Golf Resorts of Florida guests and members enjoy the best rate and value.

“We are delighted to have Sheila C. Johnson and her Salamander team as our partner,” said Dean Adler, CEO and co-founder of Lubert-Adler, L.P. “At Reunion and Hammock Beach, we have created some of the finest golf and family facilities in the country, and look forward to seeing our properties and their valued membership programs flourish under this partnership.”

Salamander was founded by Johnson, who also has ownership in three professional sports teams: the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and the NHL’s Washington Capitals. In addition to the Grand Golf Resorts of Florida, the company’s portfolio includes a collection in the Dominican Republic called Grand Resorts at Cap Cana, which features three resorts: the oceanfront Sanctuary Cap Cana, the marina-inspired Fishing Lodge Cap Cana, and the boutique-style Ocean Club Cap Cana opening in 2012. The company also manages the Forbes Five Star- and AAA Five Diamond-rated Woodlands Inn near Charleston, SC; and is developing Salamander Resort & Spa, a 340-acre equestrian-themed, ultra-luxurious resort located near Washington, D.C.

In addition to its stellar group of courses, Grand Golf Resorts of Florida features 1,250 spacious suite accommodations that include beautifully appointed living and dining areas, fully equipped kitchens, large balconies, and multiple bedroom and bathroom floor plans. There is also 200,000 square feet of meeting and function space, 25 swimming pools featuring slides and lazy rivers, 17 tennis courts, 16 restaurants, three spas and numerous nightlife options. Salamander will also be offering a new Grand Membership program that includes unparalleled club benefits involving all three properties, details of which will be announced soon for the 2012 season.

“By creating this collection of unique grand resorts, we are enhancing our guest and member experience through multi-property value packages, the promise of the exceptional service standards for which Salamander has become known, and a unique Grand Rewards Loyalty Program,” said Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts. “We will also develop a long-range plan for the continuous improvement of amenities and facilities at all three resorts. Ultimately, our goal is for the collection to become known as the finest golf- and family-friendly destinations in America.”

Located in Orlando, Reunion Resort features 330 accommodations, including luxury condominiums, private villas and deluxe vacation homes surrounded by 2,300 acres of lush landscape and nature preserve. Accommodations are highlighted by the 82-suite Reunion Grande, an 11-story hotel, replete with stunning lobby and bar, exquisite décor, elegantly appointed meeting space, and two restaurants – including the hip Eleven, which features a rooftop pool and nightly views of the fireworks from nearby Walt Disney World. The resort is the only location in the United States with golf courses designed by golf greats Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, and also features the exclusive ANNIKA Academy by Annika Sorenstam. Additional facilities include a boutique spa, multiple pools, slides, water playgrounds and a 1,000-foot lazy river.

Currently celebrating 40 years of excellence, Innisbrook Resort is situated on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area on Florida’s Gulf Coast, and is located just 25 minutes from Tampa International Airport. Recently and completely renovated, the resort features four courses of championship golf designed by living legend Larry Packard, 600 spacious guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, the Innisbrook Golf Academy, 11 tennis courts, the new luxury Indaba Spa with 12 treatment rooms and state-of-the-art fitness center, six heated swimming pool complexes, a nature preserve, and three conference halls with 65,000 square feet of meeting space. The resort hosts the PGA TOUR Transitions Championship at its famed Copperhead Course, and the LPGA-supported Legends Tour Open Championship, held annually at the equally challenging Island Course.

Located along 2.4 miles of spectacular Atlantic beach on Florida’s Palm Coast, the AAA Four Diamond-rated Hammock Beach Resort features 320 accommodations, including a 12-story tower of ocean view luxury suites, and an intimate 20-room lodge that features spectacular ocean and golf course views. Hammock Beach is famed for its two spectacular golf courses. The Ocean Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is one of Florida’s highest rated and plays six holes directly along the Atlantic Ocean. The Conservatory Course was designed by Tom Watson and is one of Florida’s longest layouts, characterized by waterfalls, babbling brooks and field stone work. The resort also features countless amenities for families and groups, including a multi-level water and swim pavilion, indoor atrium pool, spa and fitness center, oceanfront meeting and function space, and numerous dining choices including the oceanfront Atlantic Grille restaurant.

About Salamander Hotels & Resorts
Salamander Hotels & Resorts is a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson in 2005, the company has a portfolio that features the Grand Golf Resorts of Florida, a collection of three stellar golf resorts including the recently renovated Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, Reunion Wyndham Grand Resort in Orlando and the oceanfront Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast; Grand Resorts at Cap Cana, a collection of three luxurious properties in the Dominican Republic including the oceanfront Sanctuary Cap Cana, the marina-inspired Fishing Lodge Cap Cana, and the boutique-style Ocean Club Cap Cana opening in 2012; the Forbes Five- Star- and AAA Five Diamond-rated Woodlands Inn near Charleston, SC; and the under- construction Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, a 340-acre equestrian-themed, ultra- luxury resort located near Washington, D.C. For additional information, call (540) 687-3710 or visit

About Wyndham Grand Collection
The Wyndham Grand® Collection portfolio is an ensemble of distinguished hotels within the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts brand that represent one-of-a-kind experiences in key destinations with refined accommodations, attentive service and relaxed surroundings. For more information, visit

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