The Ritz Carlton Reynolds Plantation is a gorgeous property just one hour east of Atlanta, set on the shimmering Lake Oconee and surrounded by towering pine trees. And, it was just named as a 2013 AAA Five Diamond Lodging and 2013 Forbes Four-Star resort!
My family just returned from a week on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, but we decided to take the long, fun way to get there! So to start, we flew into ATL and stayed a night at the Ritz Reynolds to tour the property, check out this pretty little area of Georgia, and, I won’t lie- I really wanted my toddler to make her first s’mores. I am completely obsessed with the idea of campfire s’mores, and the Ritz Reynolds has them every night at their fire pit outside.
This hotel has 251 well-appointed rooms, including 18 executive suites. The suites have partial lake views, and with a king bed and queen pull-out couch can fit up to 5 people. If you need even more space, a roll-away bed may be added and also, all suites connect to a double room. The Ritz very recently underwent a renovation and the rooms were updated with fresh and brighter decor, incorporating art representing the Creek Indians who used to roam the land there. There are six cottages- 5 two-bedroom and 1 three-bedroom. These are just steps from the main building and right on the lake. A unique feature of these is the barbecue butler who will cook your dinner, bring it back, set it up family-style on the porch, and finally give you some good barbecuing tips. Sounds like a perfect evening for a large family, multi-generational trip, or group of friends!
The Ritz Club level provides food and beverage presentations throughout the day, which is really a great value for families with kids. We had breakfast in Georgia’s Bistro, which was a varied buffet of hot and cold items including an omelette station, and we enjoyed dinner at Gaby’s on the Lake, a casual open-air restaurant next to the pool and just in front of Lake Oconee. And you know what.. it just felt RIGHT sipping my “Georgia Peach” cocktail on the patio overlooking the beautiful lake and taking in this beautiful state.
A golfer’s and spa-lovers paradise, the Ritz Reynolds is home to 5 world-class golf courses and a 27,000 square foot spa. The relaxation room contained a fireplace and the lobby a “bath salts bar.” I am SO going to make some time to get a treatment next time I am here!!
The lawn was expansive, and rolled like a soft green carpet down the gently sloping hill all the way from the main building to the shore of Lake Oconee. My toddler could not help herself but to run like crazy from the rope swings which hung in the trees, to the playscape (yes, there is a children’s playscape lakeside!), to the fire pit. Which brings me back to s’mores. The “s’mores butler” which seems an appropriate title, continually sets out marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate squares starting at 8pm in the evening and gives tips on how to best toast your marshmallow. Unsure at first, my daughter quickly caught on and was really into it, especially when she realized she could eat chocolate. Of course Ryan and I had to practice making and eating the treat too..
Our gorgeous lake view room even looked right out over the fire pit, so long after we had retired back to our room, we could see older kids and adults creating the wonderfully messy and sticky treats over the roaring fire.
The Ritz Reynolds is so perfect for families.. we saw MANY families with young children there, and the hotel has tons of activities for families during holidays and the summer. The Ritz Kids Club offers fun activities like scavenger hunts and pottery painting for kids 5-12. If you would like a relaxing adult evening, babysitters are available for an extra charge. I even received a 7-page PDF of “Memorial Day activities” in advance of my stay! And, to top it all off, my kids were so excited to enter the room and see little gifts just for them.. which was so sweet and thoughtful of the staff.
Although many of this hotel’s guests are local, I would definitely visit here from Dallas again and would recommend it to golfers, spa-lovers, families (more during the summertime and holidays though) and couples looking to relax. DFW-ATL is less than 2 hours and was a pretty reasonable fare, so it is perfect for a quick and luxurious getaway!
Virtuoso amenities include: upgrade upon arrival subject to availability, daily full breakfast for two, and $100 resort credit