What if Your Seventh Clubhouse…. Were The Ritz-Carlton?

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Written by David Short

Nestled on 35 acres of lakefront in the heart of Reynolds, and only about a 5-iron from The Oconee Golf Course and The Reynolds Kingdom of Golf, sits The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, which has been welcoming guests from around the world, and from around the corner, since 2002.

Lakefront Luxury

There is a warm, rustic ambiance to The Ritz-Carlton. Valet parkers are waiting with apple cider before leading you into a timber-flanked lobby framed by a family-sized stone fireplace on one end and by Finn and Skye, the hotels’ welcoming mascot dogs on the other. While the warmth of the lobby invites you to “Linger Longer” in one of the comfortable sofas, or maybe cue up a game of pool or chess in the adjacent bar, it is the view of the lake that ultimately catches the eye.

“No Shoes, No Shirt…Our Pleasure”

Cascading down to the lakefront, the backyard of The Ritz-Carlton is like a year-round summer camp for adults and kids. Tucked away in the trees are hammocks perfect for curling up with a good book or simply swaying away the day. Down on the beach are low- and high-speed water toys. Perhaps you prefer pulling up a stool at the taco bar or finding a cozy corner of the infinity-edge pool. No matter what you start with, it won’t be long before you’re taken in by the cadence of “Lake Life”… Ritz-Carlton style. And no visit is complete without making s’mores after dinner around the stacked-stone fire pit as the sun retreats over Lake Oconee.

We looked all over before coming here and nowhere had the vibrancy in the membership and amenities that Reynolds offered, and for sure, nobody else had a Ritz-Carlton front and center. Gerald and Ava Wilborn, Reynolds Members

Everybody Knows Your Name

Beyond what The Ritz-Carlton means for its guests, it has become, in the words of General Manager Ralph Vick, “kind of the seventh clubhouse for Reynolds members.” Gerald Wilborn and his wife Ava, Reynolds Members for more than a decade, says, “We looked all over before coming here and nowhere had the vibrancy in the membership and amenities that Reynolds offered, and for sure, nobody else had a Ritz-Carlton front and center. It was the icing on the cake for us and rarely does a week go by where we don’t either use the spa, boat over to Gaby’s for lunch, or enjoy the best steak on the planet at Linger Longer Steakhouse. For us, the hotel and its staff adds another dimension to an already terrific lifestyle here.”

Part-time residents Gregg and Kirstin Funkhouser from Virginia enjoy all of it. “The fireworks, the summer concert series, the spa, Five for Five at the steakhouse, it all plays a big role for us. We even use the hotel as a guest house when we get a little crowded,” grins Gregg. “Our guests love us!”

With fewer than a hundred Ritz-Carltons in the entire world, it’s a point of pride for Reynolds members to have their very own next door. It’s also clear that the feeling is mutual with the hotel staff. “The Ritz-Carlton is very fortunate to have such a unique property and we feel blessed to be part of the fabric of Reynolds,” says Vick, who counts members among his frequent guests for weekly specials, holidays, and occasions that aren’t really occasions at all. Maybe it’s coffee and a paper in the morning, a comfortable chair in front of the fireplace, or a welcome smile from the staff that knows you by name… and whose names you know, too. But whatever it is, it’s comfortable and it’s friendly. Just like your clubhouse should be.

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