It seems like it was just yesterday that I was at the Grand Resort and Spa toasting with owner Casey Koslowski for their 10th anniversary celebration. However that was 5 years ago and on Friday, January 9th, from 5:30 to 10pm Casey and his staff will be celebrating their 15th Anniversary. The anniversary will feature the musical talents of Eric Himan and all the proceeds from the night will benefit 2 of Fort Lauderdale’s outstanding Organizations: The Pride Center at Equality Park and Sunserve. This event is by invitation only. To receive your personal invitation contact them at [email protected]
The Grand Resort and Spa is Fort Lauderdale Beach’s premier gay owned and operated men’s resort and spa, located just steps from the beach and convenient to all the attractions and nightlife for which Ft. Lauderdale is now world renowned.
Their standard of contemporary luxury rivals that found in today’s popular boutique hotels. What sets them apart is the genuine hospitality of their staff, which is available round-the-clock making them one of only 2 men’s resort open 24/7. Their personal attention to their guests’ desires, like that found in smaller guesthouses, is consistently noted by their many frequent guests.
Upon check in you receive 2 cold towels infused with mandarin, green tea, lemon, jasmine and freesia (a flower native to South Africa). This is an amazing mix that is very invigorating, especially after a journey.
When you enter your room you are greeted with the beautiful decorations, flat screen TV’s (45” in suites), Pillow top mattresses, 2 bottles of complimentary Fiji water as well as an Asian Vitality Mix (which I got to taste and is DELISH).
Each morning begins with a complimentary Continental Breakfast served in their Club Room or Poolside. They offer assorted juices, freshly brewed coffee, tea, hot chocolate, muffins, Danishes, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, bagels with cream cheese and assorted cereal and oatmeal.
Some of the other amenities they offer at the Grand are:
- Lush landscaping
- Their brand new Patio suites with outdoor showers and upgraded furniture
- Guest Computers in The Club Room to surf the net, check your e-mail or verify travel arrangements
- Complimentary Wi-Fi network throughout the Resort
- A library of books, current magazines, newspapers, videos and games are available
- An oversized heated pool for lap swimming or soaking up the sun on a floating mat
- Clothing Optional Tropical Courtyard with the soothing sound of their 30 foot fountain splashing in the background
- A 10 man Jacuzzi
- Fitness Center equipped with Matrix and Hoist Free Weights and Cardio equipment
- An ocean view sundeck
- They offer a plentiful selection of fine soaps, shampoo and bath amenities as well as monogrammed robes for lounging.
- Last, but certainly not least, is their award winning Grand Spa (named a “Top 10″ for 2014 by the Travel Channel. The ONLY GAY property on this year’s list as well as one of the ten best gay-owned spas by OutTraveler Magazine). They offer massages, body scrubs, facials, manicures and pedicures, waxing, and their Hair Studio is ready for all your hair styling needs. Arrange just one service or a whole day of pampering with one of the Spa Day Packages! I have been lucky enough to experience the pampering of this luxurious spa many times and spa director, J.D. Greene is not only a wonderful guy, but one of the best in the business. He has been a licensed Massage Therapist since 1989, with an expertise in Swedish, Sports, Reflexology, Neuromuscular Re-Education and Trigger Point Therapy. Being a licensed Esthetician, J.D. also specializes in a number of body treatments to include Body Wraps, Scrubs, Waxing’s and Facials. .J.D.’s employment has included some of South Florida’s finest Spas, Guesthouses and Chiropractic offices. J.D. has many employees, but my favorite is my wife Paula (ok, ok, she is married to a straight guy and has 2 children, but I am her gay husband…LOL) who gives the most amazing facials and pedicures. Trust me on this you will not be disappointed.
In the summer of 2001, Casey Koslowski, along with partners based in his hometown of Milwaukee, purchased the Grand Resort. Since then he has been a huge ambassador for gay travel to Fort Lauderdale championing the brand all over the world. It was a pleasure to sit down with Casey for this short Interview just a couple weeks before the 15th anniversary celebration on Friday, January 9th.
- What made you decide to purchase the Grand?
I have always loved to travel and had long been intrigued by the higher end of the hospitality industry so much so that right after college I worked for Marriott International (based in the US) and later General Hotel Management (based in Singapore), the hotel chain that gave birth to the famous Setai Hotel on South Beach. I wanted to bring a 5-star level of quality and service to a men’s resort and with The Grand Resort I found a property that had the location, layout and potential to do that.
- Has the Grand lived up to your expectations?
The Grand has, as we say, “Exceeded Expectations” for me and that is because even with the horribly bad economy of 2008-2010 our loyal guests came back and we were able to nimbly weather the storm unlike many of our rivals. Not only has it been wonderful to see the resort do well through the years, but to see so many of our guests come year after year – approximately 80% of our business is repeat guests and their referrals.
- What has been your favorite change to the Grand and why?
There are so many changes that I am proud of but if I had to pick one it would be expanding the massage room into what had previously been the night watchman’s apartment that allowed us to open our award winning full-service Spa. The Spa is so loved both by our guests as well as locals. With there no longer being a night watchman with the creation of the Spa at The Grand Resort we evolved into the area’s first 24 hour men’s resort meaning we always have a team member on property now and our front desk is open 24/7 so that our guests’ needs can be tended to round the clock.
- What does the future hold for The Grand Resort and Spa?
The future is likely to hold one or two more locations soon 🙂
For more information on the Grand Resort visit their website at: GrandResort.net