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Putting on the Ritz

Article and photos by Kathleen Walls

One of the Ritz Carlton's rooms

Most of us have heard the expression 'Puttin' on the Ritz - but how many realize it was a hit song written by Irvin Berlin for the 1929 musical of the same name. It referred to the Ritz Hotel, possibly the swankiest place Berlin could think of then.

Today, the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation is still maintaining that reputation and mixing it with good old down to earth fun. It's the kind of place a sophisticated couple would choose to spend a romantic weekend and it's also a great choice for a family with children to pick for a fun vacation for the entire family. a Girls' Getaway Weekend or a corporate meeting would be comfortable there too. Even presidents have enjoyed time at the Ritz Carlton at Reynolds Plantation.

The thing that sets this Ritz Carlton apart is the natural beauty of the surroundings. Some colorful wood ducks may be bobbing on the shimmering waters of Lake Oconee. Overhead, a pair of ospreys may be swooping and diving engaged in an elaborate waltz against the background of softly verdant hills and a bright blue sky. A shy doe and her fawns may venture onto the manicured golf course.

Hard to beat this scene on the banks of Lake Ocoee. Even the rainbows are special here.

The graceful curve of the lodge seems to follow the lake's natural contour. A room here might be perfect for the romantic couple. They would find themselves surrounded by mahogany and cherry wood furnishings with amenities found in all rooms here; cozy featherbeds, feather duvets and goose down pillows, Egyptian cotton linens and Italian wool throw blankets. there would be a set of matched plush terry bathrobes for lounging. In fact they could lounge around the luxurious room for the entire weekend as there is 24 hour room service. But with so much to do who would want to do that. They might workout at the fitness center and then take a dip in the pool.

For dinner, she might have planned a surprise for him. Their escort would greet them at the concierge desk in the lobby and bring them to the lakefront where Adirondack chairs would be set up in front of their own personal Chiminea. Their elegant meal would be accompanied by a bottle of house wine. That is romantic in spades!

The Kids Club House is a fun place

The family would have other interests. They would check into one of the suites. The kids would love their sofa bed with their own balcony overlooking the lake. Mom and Pop would welcome their own separate bathroom accessed from the master bedroom and the mini kitchen and stocked refreshment bar.

Naturally the kids would be so hyped up and wanting to explore so the family would rent a pontoon boat for a tour of the lake. After returning, a pizza at Gaby's by the Lake would let the kids splash around in the pool where parents can keep an eye on them while still enjoying the lakeside views.

Bourbon Pecan Tart with Jack Daniel's Ice Cream, Whipped Vanilla Sauce

Next, the youngsters can take part in Kids Camp where they go for a nature hike, get back on the lake in a canoe and take part in lots of other fun activities while parents get to enjoy a glass of wine and Bourbon Pecan Tart with Jack Daniel's Ice Cream, Whipped Vanilla Sauce while they spend some quality time together.

A group of women reconnecting with several friends will have different needs and expectations. They would opt for one of the two or three bedroom cottages. among the regular amenities they will appreciate might be the ironing board, blow dryers and twice daily housekeeping. Naturally they will love having a full kitchen, living room with a fireplace and dining room so there is plenty of room to gather together and swap their latest experiences.

The pool at the Spa


The Spa would be a big favorite here. The ladies would revel in the gorgeous indoor pool with its own fireplace and the equally well appointed hot tub with its own smaller fireplace. Dinner would have to be at Georgia's Bistro seated at a table by the stone fireplace. Naturally this would be a time to splurge on one of the specialized desserts. They might split the Chef's Assortment of House Made Ice Creams and Sorbets with a choice of three scoops from any of these; Vanilla Gelato, Jack Daniel's Chocolate, Cheesecake, Banana Ice Cream, Coconut, Raspberry, Mango Sorbet.

The businessmen and women might be there for a convention being held in either one of the 16 function rooms, the ballroom or one of the outside venues: The Lakeside Lawn, The Event Lawn, The Forest, and The Lakeside Landing.

Mr. Executive would choose the Club Level combining intimacy, comfort and exclusivity with the personalized service and attention to detail that are the hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton. This fifth floor oasis, often referred to as a hotel within a hotel, provides a dedicated concierge, continuous culinary offerings throughout the day (breakfast, light snacks, hors d' oeuvres, beverages and sweets) and access to a computer station. This fits his busy life to a tee but he will find time to tee off at one of the five courses offering 99 holes on courses designed by the game's best known architects, Rees Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and Bob Cupp.

The Sea Scallops

He will dine with a few cohorts at Linger Longer Steakhouse. He would have some hard choices to make form the extensive seafood and steak menu and maybe decide on Pan Seared Sea Scallops for an appetizer and dig into a Kansas City Strip for the main course. He would have had to choose a dessert, maybe the New York Style Cheesecake with Berry Salad, Toasted Pecan Crust.

Even high powered celebrities and heads of state have a special choice here. The Presidents House, a three story 5400 square foot lakeside retreat, features four master bedroom suites and full residential appointments including a first floor Great Room that opens to a private heated outdoor pool overlooking the shores of Lake Oconee. This luxury cabin has already provided relaxing getaways for at least two U.S., presidents and may other notables. These elite guests would opt for their own personal chef to come and prepare a feast worthy of a king right there in the mini-mansion.

The lobby of the lodge

No matter what your station in life, you may find it very hard to return to everyday life after a stay at this five star resort. You are not alone. Mercer Reynolds, Sr., one of the original owners of the land where the Ritz Carlton stands today, loved this place. He named the hunting lodge he built there "Linger Longer" an name that lingers in the steakhouse and becomes the desire of each guest when it is time to depart.



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Provided by American Roads Travel Magazine - Visit American Roads Travel Magazine website.

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