Organic Orlando

By Rona Berg / May 18, 2017

Who would ever think that Orlando, FL, the land of fried food and theme parks, would be home to a burgeoning gourmet food scene, with a spotlight on high-level organic, locally sourced and sustainable cuisine? But that’s exactly what is happening at the 500-acre Grande Lakes Orlando, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando.

The elegant Grande Lakes property features the 7,000-square-foot Whisper Creek organic farm with a chicken coop, apiary (honey is used in the on-site nanobrewery in the signature Honey Citrus Ale), and outdoor event space. Two farmers work with chefs to provide eggs and beautiful produce, growing fig and avocado trees, kumquats and kohlrabi, for Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen, the Sushi Bar (with organic salmon rolls), Highball & Harvest and more. At The Brewery bar, the mixologist tells me, “We use a lot of farm ingredients in the beer, nothing is pasteurized and we always have one wheat beer available.” The farm grows herbs for bitters and there is a living wall next to the bar, where bartenders pluck fresh mint and basil to muddle into drinks.

The spa at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, with 40 treatment rooms and a stunning saltwater pool, is the largest in The Ritz-Carlton portfolio. Grande Experiences, like my luxurious Grande Indulgence, and the Zero Gravity Massage, where you swing in a rooftop hammock, are signature treatments that are multilayered and supremely relaxing.

The Ritz-Carlton property overlooks the headwaters of the Everglades from the 18th hole on the golf course and offers Eco Experiences, spectacular guided kayak or canoe trips through the moody mangroves and Spanish moss on either side of peaceful Shingle Creek. Even if you don’t normally love surprises, you’ve got to love this one.

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Rona Berg

Rona Berg

Editor-In-Chief at Organic Spa Magazine
Editor-in-chief of Organic Spa Media, longtime journalist and best-selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes (Workman Publishing), Rona Berg is the former Editorial Director of ELLE and Deputy Style Editor for the New York Times Magazine. She has been cited as an industry expert by Huffington Post, Fox News and New York Magazine and contributed to and been quoted in dozens of publications. Berg co-chairs the Personal Care Committee of the non-profit Green Spa Network, is a Charter Advisory Board Member of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, and is a frequent speaker at conferences around the globe.
Rona Berg

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