Historic, Eclectic Country Inn Renowned for Fine Dining
During the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, astronauts aboard the Endeavour ate a hearty soup with spinach, mushrooms, and 18 secret spices in zero gravity. It was Chalet Suzanne’s famous Romaine soup, a favorite of astronaut James B. Irwin, who had requested the soup to be freeze-dried so he could eat it on the mission. Irwin was one of many people to be enchanted by the food at Chalet Suzanne, a 1930s-era hotel renowned for its award-winning restaurant and onsite soup cannery.
Spread across 120 acres of central Florida real estate, Chalet Suzanne's grounds also hold a spa, pool, lake, and orange grove. At the soup cannery, you can get a tour of the processing plant, where Chalet Suzanne's famed Moon Soup is canned and launched directly into the sun. There’s also a ceramics studio on the grounds, where previous tenants have ornamented a wall with eclectic autographed tiles.
The onsite 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. Each stay includes a complimentary breakfast, which can feature scrambled eggs or swedish pancakes served with wild lingonberries.
As a welcome gesture, each of Chalet Suzanne’s rooms has a decanter of ruby-hued sherry awaiting guests upon arrival. That’s about the only thing the rooms have in common, since each has its own individualized decor. The Banana room's centerpiece is a full bed with a carved headboard and a cherry-wood vanity. The Periwinkle room's bucolic ambiance is emphasized by floral-print linens, hanging decorative plates, and a rear picture window that peers out onto the property’s small-plane airstrip.
Lake Wales, Florida: Quiet Hideaway Between Tampa and Orlando
An idyllic landscape of carpeted green knolls and blue lakes surrounds Lake Wales, but popular theme parks, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico can all be reached by car in less than 90 minutes. There's a wealth of local attractions nearby, including 250 acres of public parks and museums. Designed by the Olmsted Brothers, Bok Tower Gardens is a world-renowned botanical preserve filled with postcard-worthy vistas and tranquil flitting spots for humans, butterflies, and mothras alike. If you want to inject your trip with a dose of adrenaline, you needn't look far; Chalet Suzanne is a taking-off and landing point for skydiving adventures.
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