A Capital Resorts™ Monthly Owners' Newsletter
Volume Two, Issue Eight - August 7, 2015
Featured Location: Polynesian Water Park Resort
The Polynesian Water Park Resort, located in Wisconsin Dells, also known as the “Water Park Capital of the World,” is the perfect destination for your next family vacation. Besides the obvious water park – the numerous area attractions, fun outdoor activities and gorgeous natural scenery can’t be beat.
While there’s plenty to do at the Polynesian to keep you occupied throughout your vacation, one of the most popular activities that doesn’t involve water is going to see a show. The Dells is home to a number of different shows from theaters such as the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater, Palace Theater and the Crystal Grand Magic Theater. Show favorites among frequent visitors are the Rick Wilcox Show at the Rick Wilcox Magic Theater, The Little Mermaid at the Palace Theater and Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Lumberjack Show.
One of the most attractive things about Wisconsin Dells is the beautiful scenery, so it only makes sense to enjoy a day outdoors while vacationing at the Polynesian. If getting in a round of 18 holes is high on your priority list, Wisconsin Dells is home to two beautifully designed golf courses - Wild Rock Golf and Trappers Turn. The Wisconsin Deer Park is great for families to get close to the natural habitat of the Dells. This zoo-like attraction allows you and the kids to get up close with deer, including petting, feeding and taking photos with them.
You can also spend a day touring the Lost Canyon in the Dells or the Wisconsin River on attractions such as the Lost Voyage and the Original Wisconsin Ducks. Or, if you want to go on a tour yet stay in the air conditioning, make time to tour the Fawn Creek Winery or Port Huron Brewery. End the day by learning a little bit of something about the area you’re visiting. The H.H. Bennett Studio features captured images of the growth of Wisconsin Dells through technology advances and natural landscapes.
While there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do in Wisconsin Dells, we know you will love your time spent at the Polynesian. Capital Resorts Group acquired the hotel about a year ago and has started a metamorphosis of the property to turn it into a luxury vacation resort. While plans are underway for a multi-phase renovation, we recently completed Phase 1. Renovations in Phase 1, added several completely redesigned elegant suite types, modernized several of the original suites as well as updated some of the most beloved guest amenities.
For the completely redesigned suites, we added eight one bedroom suites with efficiency kitchens, five deluxe one bedroom suites with full kitchens, and three studio lock off suites that can be combined with a deluxe one bedroom suite to make a two bedroom suite. Some of these suites will include water park views as well. We are also excited to introduce the first Presidential Suite to the property and can’t wait to impress you with their gourmet kitchens, washers and dryers, water park views and other luxuries. At Capital Resorts we care about the environment which is why we decided to go the extra mile by investing in the durability of the property by adding sustainable products to each of the suites like long lasting flooring, cabinetry and countertops, as well as energy efficient stainless steel appliances.
In addition to the completely redesigned suites, 14 hotel rooms were refreshed in the spring featuring refinished and painted walls and trim, ceiling and vanity lighting, new carpet, pillow top mattresses with new bedding and flat screen televisions.
As far as guest amenities, the Pirate Ship in the outdoor water park was improved. A guest laundry was added with five washers and dryers, a folding counter and a front load washer and dryer for handicapped accessibility. The corridors were also updated to include new finishes and dramatic lighting.
Though several changes were made during our first phase of renovations, there are still more exciting things planned. Starting in the fall of this year, renovations to rooms in Building 1 will continue, providing an additional 24 units - two of which will be constructed as handicapped accessible units. We don’t want to give all our surprises away, but we will tell you that a fire/water feature in the outdoor water park is planned for the 2016 vacation season.
As the Polynesian undergoes the process of becoming a luxury vacation resort, we can’t wait for our owners and guests to see all of the new additions being made to the property while also enjoying the fun adventures and attractions found throughout the Wisconsin Dells.
A Taste of Hollywood, Florida
With a vast variety of different restaurants to choose from, it can be difficult deciding where to dine while vacationing in Hollywood, Florida. The area offers a smattering of different cuisines, all of which revolve around the one thing the area is best known for – the delicious and always fresh seafood. There are a ton of great restaurants to choose from throughout Hollywood, that’s why we created this list of our favorite restaurants in the area by category to help you narrow the list. Bon Appetite!
Best Seafood: GG’s Waterfront Bar and Grill
606 N. Ocean Drive - 954-929-7030
No matter what time of day you choose to dine at GG’s Waterfront Bar and Grill – whether it’s Sunday brunch, lunch or dinner, you can’t go wrong! However, one of the best features of GG’s is watching the gorgeous sunset over the Florida Intracoastal Waterway, so if you make it for dinner and the temperature is right, we recommend dining on the outdoor porch! Because of GG’s prime location, many boaters take advantage of the restaurant’s private dock with free parking.
GG’s made our best restaurant list for a very good reason – it’s all about the SEAFOOD! The award winning restaurant offers a variety of seafood dishes, each one creatively designed, infused with flavor and prepared to perfection. Some of the most popular menu items include Crab Cakes, Ceviche, Pan Seared Sea Bass, Cioppino and Scallops & Shrimp. But if it’s in season, make sure you order the Florida Stone Crab, a local delicacy that you must try. They also offer an extensive cocktail and wine menu, with happy hour specials most nights of the week.
In addition to GG’s excellent location and delicious food, the wait staff always goes above and beyond to make sure each customer has an excellent dining experience. So the next time you’re vacationing in Hollywood, make sure this restaurant is at the top of your list – you won’t regret it!
Best Breakfast: Ocean Alley
900 N Broadwalk - 954-921-6171
When vacationing at Hollywood Beach Tower, Ocean Alley is just a leisurely stroll from the resort making it the perfect choice for breakfast, any day of the week. This casual, open air restaurant located along the area’s famous Broadwalk gives diners a perfect view of the ocean while enjoying delicious food at a great price with friendly service.
While they do serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, (all three are great by the way) breakfast is our favorite because it’s the perfect time to sit outside, enjoy the cool breeze and chow down on one of their scrumptious menu items. If you’re in the mood for seafood, try the Tropical Seafood Omelet, a 4 egg omelet with shrimp and scallops served with home fries or grits and toast. For something more traditional, we love their breakfast wrap. And be sure to try their Allie’s Pain Killer, a delicious fruity drink, and no, it’s not too early to enjoy a cocktail with breakfast – after all, you’re on vacation!
Best Overall Dining Experience: Taverna Opa
410 N Ocean Drive - 954-929-4010
Get ready to dance on the table when you visit Taverna Opa! From the moment you arrive, you’ll be greeted by belly dancers, napkins flying through the air, plates smashing on the floor and shouts of “OPA!” echoing through the restaurant. The waiters keep you entertained throughout the experience joining in the revelry by intermittently performing the traditional Zorba’s dance. We recommend you bring a lively group of people you can socialize, drink and enjoy the upbeat ambiance with!
The great atmosphere isn’t the only thing this gem of a restaurant has going for it, they also have AH-mazing authentic Greek and Mediterranean dishes, plus signature drinks and Greek wines. Every table is served their delicious hummus with pita bread, but don’t let that deter you from trying some of the other items from their list of starters. The Opa Cold Pikilia Sampler is a great option because it includes several traditional Greek dips served with pita bread and their excellent stuffed grape leaves called Dolmades. As far as entrees go, they offer an extensive menu, with choices ranging from salads, seafood and pasta to steaks, meat platters and kebobs. One of their most popular dishes are the Lamb Chops (and for good reason). Each chop is marinated with thyme, rosemary and garlic and literally melts in your mouth. It comes with a delicious serving of lemon potatoes and vegetables. You haven’t really lived until you have tasted this dish!
Best Steak: Council Oak Steaks & Seafood
1 Seminole Way - 954-327-7625
For the best fine dining experience in Hollywood, it doesn’t get any better than the Council Oak Steaks & Seafood. It’s the most upscale restaurant on our list and can be on the higher end of the price scale, so this restaurant should be reserved for a romantic date night or special occasion. But don’t let the prices scare you off, the food at this award winning restaurant is to die for!
Council Oaks offers a variety of menu items including appetizers, soups, salads, specialty seafood and pasta, but the area we want to focus on is the U.S.D.A. Prime Steaks and Chops and WAGYU Steaks. The first thing you’ll notice upon entering the restaurant is the Butcher Shop. Here, diners can see Council Oak’s process of personally selecting, cutting and branding only the finest cuts of meat, which are then dry aged to perfection for 21 to 28 days making them extremely tender and full of flavor. You’ll also want to check out their extensive wine list, featuring over 300 wines from more than 13 countries, which has been consecutively recognized by Wine Spectator with an Award of Excellence every year since 2009.
Given that it is located inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, it can get busy at times, so we suggest making a reservation to ensure you are seated in a timely manner. After dinner and cocktails, make plans to venture over to the casino to test your luck at the slots and table games.
Best Place for a Quick Bite: The Taco Spot
1500 N Broadwalk - 954-921-4003
The Taco Spot is a beachside shack offering one of the best meals you’ll experience on the beach while vacationing in Hollywood! The cuisine is unique, incorporating a fusion of Mexican, Californian and Asian, with every item on the menu being made from scratch, including their delicious sauces. When dining at The Taco Spot, we of course recommend the tacos. They are all delicious, but our favorites include the Korean Short Rib Tacos and the Grilled Mahi Tacos in a flour, corn or hard shell with their signature cilantro cream, cabbage, pico de gallo, chopped cilantro and radish. We recommend opting for the combo so you can try their rice, black beans and most importantly – the corn on the cob, which is fire roasted, brushed with cilantro pesto and rolled in parmesan cheese. They have other great menu items to choose from as well including appetizers, salads, nachos, quesadillas, burritos and a kid’s menu.
Besides the food and great prices, one of the best things about The Taco Spot is its location within walking distance from Hollywood Beach Towers, right on the Broadwalk overlooking the ocean. It’s such a great place to grab a drink and relax while taking in the awe-inspiring views, plus it’s an ideal spot for people watching. And speaking of drinks, be sure to try one of their tropical drinks with your meal, either the Coco Loco served in a fresh coconut or the Pineapple Colada served in a fresh pineapple are both great choices!
Best Late Night: Nick’s Bar & Grill
1214 N Broadwalk - 954-920-2800
If you’re looking for a fun place to grab a drink and a bite to eat late at night, then Nick’s Bar and Grill is your place! Open until 4:00 a.m. each night, Nick’s offers an array of menu items from their delicious appetizers, burgers, sandwiches and soups like their Famous New England Clam Chowder to steak, pasta and specialty seafood dishes.
But at Nicks it’s not just about the food, it’s also about the casual oceanfront atmosphere, the friendly patrons and helpful staff. One major bonus is most nights of the week they feature a live band, playing upbeat music that gets people up and dancing. And don’t be fooled by the small size of the restaurant, people are not afraid to dance right next to their tables. It’s just a fun place to hang out and it’s popular for both locals and vacationers to the area.
Foodie Photo Contest
WIN AN 8 DAY, 7 NIGHT
VACATION TO THE BIG EASY!
Enter to win by simply snapping a photo of a delicious plate of food or food item you enjoyed while vacationing with Capital Resorts Group. Just for sharing your photo, you could win a getaway to New Orleans, Louisiana.
Enjoying the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
First established in 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the original and by far the most popular tourist attraction in the Pigeon Forge area. It is the largest protected land area east of the Rocky Mountains and is the most visited national park in the American Park System. With its main entrances located along US Highway 141, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park stretches over 800 square miles and is home to over 17,000 documented species.
The size and wildlife are only part of what makes the park so attractive to tourists. There are endless things to do within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and taking a walk along one of the hiking trails and observing the wildlife is definitely one of them. The park has several trails to choose from, each one with its own natural beauty. For a sightseeing experience that doesn’t require hiking steep mountainous trails, many visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains start at Cades Cove. This popular area consists of an 11-mile driving loop allowing visitors the best opportunity for sightseeing and catching a glimpse of the abundant wildlife native to the area. Allow 2 to 4 hours or more if you want to also walk some of the trails. If you love the tranquil sound and beauty of a waterfall, the area has several that are right for you - Porter’s Creek, Abrams Falls, Grotto Falls and Laurel Falls. For a more challenging hike, Chimney Tops, Alum Cave, Rainbow Falls and Mt. Cammerer are the more strenuous trails in the park.
Hikers in the Great Smoky Mountains travel an average of 1.5 miles per hour, depending on their level of experience. The National Park Service recommends traveling no more than five miles roundtrip for novice hikers. If you’re wanting to take in a breathtaking sunset while on a hike, sunset times vary from 5:00 p.m. in December to almost 9:00 p.m. in the summer. While being aware of the distance you are hiking, also be aware of your surroundings. Bears are known to be active in the park and the National Park Service has issued alerts to visitors regarding these animals. To learn how to stay safe in bear country like the Great Smoky Mountains, visit the National Park Service website.
In addition to hiking, another way to experience the beauty of the park is on horseback. Pigeon Forge offers three horseback riding stables near Pigeon Forge. Cades Cove, Smoky Mountain and Sugarlands riding stables are all within driving distance from The Lodges at The Great Smoky Mountains and offer guides to take you on a horseback trip through the Smoky Mountains.
Hiking and horseback riding through beautiful scenery is a great way to spend the day, but for those seeking an adrenaline rush, there is always whitewater rafting through the mountains. If you like a challenge and aren’t afraid to get wet, Rafting in the Smokies and Smoky Mountain Rafting are just a quick drive away from the resort and will take you on a once in a lifetime trip on the Pigeon River.
There are four different grades of rivers for rafting in the Great Smoky Mountains for beginners to experienced rafters. Rivers in the Pigeon Forge area start at Grade 1, meaning the river has very small rough areas and requires very basic skill level, and end at Grade 4, meaning there are medium waves with the possibility of rocks and considerable drops requiring whitewater experience.
For something totally different, the Outdoor Gravity Park in the Great Smoky Mountains may be up your alley. Here you can climb into an OGO, an 11-foot transparent sphere that you can roll down hills or float on the river in. The Outdoor Gravity Park also offers the Fishpipe barrel, the world’s first rotating barrel ride. Climb in the barrel and slide down a 1,000-foot hill with 20 gallons of water in the barrel with you for a unique experience in the Smokies. There are also several places to experience ziplining, giving you a spectacular view of the area from a higher vantage point.
Of course, there is always fishing – a sport that allows you to relax while enjoying the great outdoors. The Great Smoky Mountains are home to over 2,115 miles of streams and are one of the last wild trout habitats in the Eastern United States. You can fish the streams of the mountains year round as long as you have a license.
No matter which outdoor activity you prefer, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers many choices while enjoying the breathtaking scenery with the chance to catch a glimpse of wildlife. From zip lining through the mountains to rafting down the rivers or simply fishing, make sure you set aside some vacation time to spend a day outdoors in the Smoky Mountains.
Biloxi Has It All
One of our Capital Collection’s most coveted destinations, especially during the summer months, is Biloxi, MS. From clear blue beaches to theaters and casinos, you are bound to find something to keep you entertained. Just steps away from the broad, sandy Gulf beach and a short stroll to one of the area’s favorite casinos, Ocean View Vacation Villas is the perfect resort for you and your family to enjoy your next getaway.
For a peaceful vacation at a home away from home, Ocean View includes various amenities that are sure to make this a reality.
• Fully Equipped Kitchens• Dishwasher• Cable TV• DVD Player Available• Balconies• Outdoor Pool• Elevator Access• Tennis Court• BBQ Grills• Covered Pavilion• Picnic Area• Wireless Internet Access
Another great amenity available to you is grocery delivery, because who wants to go out to the grocery store when arriving on vacation when you could just check-in and have your kitchen already stocked with the basic necessities? It’s simple: visit our website, choose a grocery delivery option from the pre-made packages and enter your contact information at the bottom. We will get in touch with you to discuss pricing and delivery details so you can spend your time doing what matters the most – enjoying your vacation! At Capital Resorts we care about helping you create a million perfect moments and will always offer new and convenient options like grocery delivery that can make all the difference.
Aside from our in-house amenities, if you would like to venture out and explore what Biloxi has to offer, you won’t be disappointed! You can always step out and enjoy a short walk to the clear, sandy beaches. Of course, the Biloxi casinos are one of the most popular activities in the area, but here are our top three historic sites you should make time to visit.
Biloxi Lighthouse: Erected in 1848, the Biloxi Lighthouse was one of the first cast-iron lighthouses in the south. After surviving Hurricane Katrina, it has become not only a landmark, but a symbol of the city’s strength. If you would like to visit this beautiful site, we recommend arriving early since it only has three daily tour times: 9:00 a.m., 9:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Reservations are only required for group tours and admission starts at $5 for adults and $2 for students.
Ship Island: About 12 miles off the coast, Ship Island is a popular day trip among families due to the beautiful beaches, white sand and history. Once there, you can take a tour of Fort Massachusetts, which was built to defend the coast following the War of 1812. Ship Island has some of the finest stretches of National Park beaches to enjoy swimming and relaxing, but keep your eyes open – you might spot a Bottlenose Dolphin in the area!
Beauvoir: Another historic site in Biloxi is Beauvoir, the retirement home of President Jefferson Davis. After the Davis family moved on, Beauvoir has had a few different uses. First it was used as a retirement home for veterans, now it is a memorial to the former President. Sharing the property is a Civil War museum, a historic cemetery, a botanical garden and a presidential library. The grounds are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and tours start at $9.
A Perfect Moment...
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Photo of the lifeguards at the Polynesian Water Park Resort, courtesy of Chris Lewis.
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