Need a short break from the hustle and bustle that is Atlanta? Tried of sitting in traffic and fighting for your space. Well believe it or not, a great hotel is closer than you think.
The Ritz Carlton at Lake Oconee is less than a 2 hour drive from Atlanta. You can choose to book a room in the hotel, or upgrade your stay with a cottage house. These houses have 2 - 4 bedrooms with a living area and wet bars.
During our stay we were amazed at how quiet and peaceful it was all day and night. If you cannot remember the last time you weren't hearing traffic and could see a sky full of stars, you may need this quiet retreat more than you think.
Now you may worried that because you are "away from it all" there will not be much to do besides sit around and hear nature. Fear not fellow traveler, we would never suggest and visit a place with nothing to do. In fact at check-in you are given a guide with all the activities going on for the week.
Here are some of our favorite activities to do at the Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee.
1) If you enjoy playing a round of golf this place has you covered. There are six 18 hole golf courses in the area. The Ritz offers a shuttle to take you from their property to other courses so that you can get your fix before heading back home.
2) I do not golf, so I sought out the pedestrian trail that allows you to run or walk 7 miles on beautifully shaded, paved paths, that view the golf course. There are mile markers every 1/2 mile and signs that point you in the correct direction. This is a hilly area of Georgia, so be warned, you will get a killer workout, walking or running. My fitness tracker had me at 77 flights of stairs by the time I finished my run.
3) After my long trek I headed to the breathtaking spa. Talk about full service! The spa has an indoor heated pool, separate men's and women's whirlpools, and cold plunge pools. The massage was extraordinary and I had no problem walking around the rest of the day. If you need a salon service you can book an variety of hair, nail, or make up appointments as well. And there is a wonderful assortment of lotions and potions that can be purchased if you want to bring home that spa feeling.
4) Perhaps you are looking to relax outdoors. The infinity pool was divine as were the bartenders that brought all sorts of fun drinks to you poolside, including a special summer treat, a Frosé. The lake has a beach and non-motorized water sports are included with your stay. If you want something with more power you can schedule a time slot to rent the jet-skis or a boat.
5) Finally, let's talk about the out-of-this-world food we tasted at the Ritz and a neighboring restaurant. It began when we arrived and were hungry, no surprise. We had access to the Club Lounge and did not know what to expect at 3 PM in the afternoon. It was dangerous! The cookies at the front of the room are AMAZING! Once you got past those you could choose from various snacks such as veggies and dip, or cheese and crackers. And there were several wines, beers, and cocktails that you could ask for as well. I can honestly say that when we got home I missed the Club Lounge. We visited again for breakfast the next morning and were not disappointed.
We decided to get off property for dinner and headed to the National Tavern. Our server recommended the pork chop and said it was their #1 seller. Of course we ordered it and loved it. It was very moist and had great flavor that is very difficult to capture with pork. The drinks were delicious and had great summer themes.
We got back to the Ritz and had to visit the fire pit to check out the fixings for s'mores. We were just going to enjoy being by a fire, but could not resist having a s'more. We learned that if you wanted a more unique dining experience you could book your dinner by the lake. We ate lunch at Gabi's and enjoyed the view of the lake and very welcoming people serving our food. In fact everyone we encountered in the Lake Oconee area showed incredible hospitality.
If you could see yourself taking a break from the craziness of Atlanta book now. And if you know lots of people that could use some quiet time, the hotel has several spaces reserved for groups. Whether you want to hold a meeting or wedding the event planners at the Ritz can make sure it exceeds your expectations.