Okay, it’s time. No, wait, I need to start like this: The Ritz-Carlton Lake Oconee (which is actually Greensboro, Georgia) is one of our favorite RCs. And it feels different than the others we’ve been to (Atlanta, Amelia Island, New Orleans, St Louis, and Dallas) because it’s so outdoorsy and not quite so buttoned-up.
I mean, I love the buttoned-up, totally polished too, but this is a sweet departure.
It’s time to figure out holiday plans. Some of the really terrific hotels go to their highest rates and/or they run out of availability. The Ritz Carlton in New Orleans used to be really easy to stay in December over the winter holidays but not right around the bowl games. That’s changed a little, and who knows what that will look like later this year. But the RC Lake Oconee pulls down to a lower rate around the holiday, and it’s also a great time to go.
That’s undoubtedly because one can’t do all the lake activities, etc because it’s cold outside, but the hotel makes up for that with other offerings.
The best way to work around the fluctuations in cost is to book on points when that’s an option, and that’s exactly what we’ve done both times we’ve stayed here. For instance, there are some dates in September that rooms are $1700+. Second week of November, $1900+. There are some $500/600/700 rooms sprinkled around, but you have to get lucky or work around what you want to do with the calendar.
In the summer, we love to go because there are kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddleboard, water bicycle, a great water mat, and more. You can just lounge on the lake beach and get in the water as you please. This is the RC, after all, so there are people everywhere to help with water activities or even just getting your fire pit going in the evening.
This firepit below is used for s’mores every evening.
The pool is a nice size with plenty of loungers, and there’s also a pool for younger guests as well as a hot tub. There’s food/cocktail service at the pool also.
There’s also golf, a spa, an indoor pool, bicycles, access to a sporting grounds, and a little train.
Our first stay was in 2018, when the rooms looked like this, but scroll further down for our stay last December and the new look:
Our latest stay was in December 2020, the last week of the year. The hotel was still beautifully decorated, and this was their gingerbread creation:
Here, the updated room:
Ha, one day we even watched a wedding!
It was cold, so no swimming, and we ate outside at every meal at both open restaurants. The food was not incredible but fine (not going to be too critical as there’s a service shortage and we all need to be especially kind with everything going on).
While the water temperature was too low to get in the water, we still bundled up and sat on the beach, and there was a firepit to keep each group warm
Nightly s’mores was fun, as was the room to explore outside with not too many other guests there.
Another thing to love: so many RCs do a great calendar of events — something going on every single day. For instance, today, there’s “Creepy Candy Crafting” for Halloween, a pumpkin patch, happy haunted hayride, and more. Okay, let’s go. It’s points time. 🙂