Historical, Eclectic Country Inn Renowned for Fine Dining
On the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, astronauts aboard the Endeavour sampled a succulent soup in zero gravity. Duncan Hines, the noted restaurant reviewer from Chicago, sampled the very same soup during his earthbound travels through Florida. The hearty blend of spinach, mushrooms, and 18 secret spices may have reminded both men of home. That rich brand of nostalgia is ever present at Chalet Suzanne, a 1930s relic that sustains renown with an award-winning restaurant and the warmest brand of hospitality.
Although each of the Chalet Suzanne’s 26 rooms hosts a welcoming decanter of ruby-hued sherry, no two are quite identical. A full bed with a scrolled headboard and intricately patterned linens graces the chic Banana room, and the rear window of the cozy Hideaway North room peers out onto the property’s small-plane airstrip. A delectable breakfast rings in each day at Chalet Suzanne, with scrambled eggs cuddled up next to swedish pancakes served with wild lingonberries. The restaurant's triple-caramelized grapefruit and famous lobster newburg have helped it earn Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Award so many times that the magazine inducted the upscale eatery into its Hall of Fame.
Spread across 120 acres of prime south Florida real estate, the Chalet Suzanne grounds also hold a spa, a pool, a lake, and an orange grove. Within a ceramics studio on the grounds, previous tenants have ornamented a wall with eclectic, autographed tiles, and the reception building hosts a complimentary wine and cheese tasting before dinner. Overnighters can tour the soup plant, where Chalet Suzanne's famed Moon Soup is canned and launched directly into the sun.
Lake Wales, Florida: Quiet Hideaway between Tampa and Orlando
Idyllic landscapes with verdant knolls and shimmering lakes surround Lake Wales, but Disney World, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico can all be reached by car in fewer than 90 minutes. There's also a wealth of local attractions, including 250 acres of public parks and museums. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers, Bok Tower Gardens is a world-renowned botanical preserve filled with vistas and tranquil flitting spots for humans, butterflies, and mothras alike. Even thrill-seekers can find pleasure just around the corner, as Chalet Suzanne is the taking-off and landing point for skydiving adventures, granting daredevils the chance to take in the scenic sweeps from high in the air.