By IVA MAURIN
SAN ANTONIO, Saipan — Three years after getting severely hit by Super Typhoon Yutu, Coral Ocean Resort Saipan is back —offering a beach bar ambiance on island, plus 90 rooms, a 100-seat banquet facility, the 100-seat gourmet Restaurant Olé, and a new concept swimming pool never experienced in the South Pacific region.
The resort reopened Dec. 29, branding itself as Saipan’s only beach club resort, as well as the island’s first wellness retreat. The pool offers a water fog misting system and a photo zone.
Looking back, Calvin E. Y. Park, general manager of Coral Ocean Resort; told the Journal that after Super Typhoon Yutu hit, cars, containers, and stones and building debris spread evenly on the 90 hectare-land not just on the golf course, but on the whole resort.
“All the staff personally help and repaired the rubble, and it took three years to complete the renovation work. During the unpredictable restoration work, there was a tremendous effort by many employees. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of our staff,” Park said.
Moving into the present, the Coral Ocean Resort team visited major vacation destinations in more than five countries around the world to ensure both a comfortable and enjoyable experience for what they expect will be both a young and a sophisticated clientele.
Park said there are also plans to develop an additional new hotel, and to transform the property into a comprehensive Spanish-concept resort. In line with this concept, Spanish tapas cuisine, various seafood buffets, and a steakhouse are now being operated at Coral Ocean Resort.
The new Coral Ocean Resort also boasts a Beach Club, located at the poolside – available for hotel in-house guests, as well as for anyone who would pay the admission fee. They can also swim until 10pm.
“The Beach Club is a space where you can enjoy Spanish tapas while sipping fine champagne and premium cognac. The Ocean Ring in the center of the pool is perfect for taking pictures that will last a lifetime,” Park said.
“Outside customers must pay a minimum admission fee of $120 to enter. However, all meals and drinks are available for the amount paid.”
After 5 p.m. the Beach Club converts into an “adult-only” area for those 19 years of age and older, boosted with music and fantasy lighting. There are no entrance fees after 5 p.m., which means any adult can stay at the bar and at the bean bag zone (but not the swimming facilities — sunbed, cabana, hammock, and the pool).
Park said the resort’s relaxing atmosphere and new facilities “will completely change the water slide-oriented recreation” in Saipan.
Coral Ocean Resort also is home to the only official LPGA Tour-standard 18-hole golf course in the Mariana Islands, designed by professional golfer Larry Nelson. The golf course re-opened on Jan. 15, 2021.
Park declined to comment on the cost of the recent renovation, except to say that in looking at the resort “many people will be able to know that COR … invested a huge amount of money.”
According to Journal files, estimates in 2013 for the original resort renovation were $40 million.
The E-land Group owns the resort. Sister properties in the Marianas E-Land Corp. are Pacific Islands Club Saipan and the Kensington Hotel Saipan. The group has been hosting “travel bubble” tourists. mbj