A few years ago, my family and I spent a wonderful spring break vacation at the Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia, located halfway between Atlanta and Augusta. Situated on a 35 acre complex with 81 holes of golf, the AAA 5-diamond resort offers relaxation, beauty, and pampering. Although it is a Ritz Carlton property, we were surprised the price was less than the typical Ritz Resort.
The Ritz Carlton at Reynold’s Plantation, Lake Oconee
The designated-for-luxury hotel is dripping with Southern charm in a natural setting amid hundreds of Georgia pines. Reynolds Plantation offers many comforts such as: onsite restaurants; a 26,000 sq. foot spa center; horseback riding; canoe, bicycle, and paddleboat rentals or lake cruises. You can dine on the lawn with your private chiminea bonfire complete with Adirondack chairs, cozy blankets, and a beautiful view of the lake.
The guest rooms are plush and functional. You never have to leave the property to be entertained. Stroll through the well-manicured property, find a big comfy couch for reading, sip a nice cordial after dinner in the lobby bar, or enjoy the nightly campfire for all guests.
The resort’s restaurants include Linger Longer Steakhouse, Georgia’s Bistro, and Gaby’s by the Lake, which makes great salads & sandwiches and delicious sweet tea. Our favorite was the Linger Longer where we enjoyed delicious Maine lobster bisque and perfectly cooked steaks and seafood. If you happen to go during Easter, make a reservation for their impeccable Easter brunch in the Grand Ballroom. The room was filled with different cuisine stations, my favorite being the risotto and Asian stations. No desire was left unfulfilled, from the huge raw seafood bar and roast beef/lamb carving station, to the beautiful desserts display. They even offered small buffet-style tables for kids with kid-friendly food items. I loved the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut in the shapes of bunnies.
Easter Festivities at the Ritz Carlton, Lake Oconee
As a family-oriented resort, the Ritz Reynolds Plantation had a huge petting zoo and an Easter egg hunt for children. Our girls loved the colored chick and bunny display where you could hold and pet the animals. Those egg-injected dyed baby chicks were one of the cutest things I have ever seen. The chicks will shed their colorful feathers and become a normal color later, although their feet might remain colored.
The Reynold’s Plantation spa is visually stunning and they offer wonderful treatments, as well as an indoor/hot tub setting for the entire family. The treatments are pricey, but if you can afford the splurge, definitely take advantage of it. I recommend the deep-tissue massage for men and the lemongrass body polish for women. You should at least visit the spa for their free fitness center and indoor pool.
How About a Day Trip?
Take a side trip to Atlanta since it only 75 miles away. Have lunch at Dailey’s or dinner at Max Lager’s American Grill & Brewery, which the kids will love. Head downtown to Centennial Olympic Park, World of Coca-Cola, and the CNN studio tour. Make sure to drop by Buckhead, with its great Lenox Square Mall, or across the street the place I love, Phipps Plaza.
FYI: Our car broke down in Atlanta during a day trip and could not be repaired until the next day. We phoned the Ritz at Reynold’s Plantation and their concierge made us a reservation for the Ritz Carlton Buckhead, across the street from the mall we were at, at no charge. This room, during a weeknight and in the corporate area, goes for $400-450 per night. Not only could we just go straight to our room and not worry about cabs, they even offered us free toiletries because we have nothing with us for the night. They even sent a snack platter to our room. How amazing is that for service? That is why the Ritz sets the standard in pleasuring the guests, stories like this, and all the while saying “My pleasure Mrs. Pittman”.
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