The Ritz-Carlton Lodge
\nThere are few less appealing stretches of highway in the United States than I-20 heading east from Atlanta, a traffic-choked mess that finally melds into characterless suburbia. But there is one reason for you to hit the brakes before you reach Augusta the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation.
\nThe Lodge sits on the shores of Lake Oconee and comfortably earned Gold Medal status in our 2008 ranking of North America's Premier Resorts, thanks to its seamless merging of the regal and the rustic. The rooms offer all the comfort you'd expect of Ritz-Carlton, and the signature restaurant, Georgia's, is superb (the lobby bar could use a little more life, but you can't have everything!).
\nWhat really distinguishes Reynolds Plantation is the golf. There are five courses open to visitors, two of which Rees Jones's Oconee Course and Jack Nicklaus's Great Waters track are ranked among Golf Magazine's Top 100 Courses You Can Play. Both layouts feature dramatic closing holes alongside Lake Oconee. The Nicklaus finisher is a reachable par 5, while Jones tests you with a hefty par 4. The first tee at the Oconee is just steps from the hotel's front door, while Great Waters is only a short drive away.
\nGear geeks who happen to have extra money burning a hole in their pocket should visit the new Taylor Made Kingdom experience, the ultimate in equipment fitting that was until recently reserved for Tour pros.
\nFall prices start at $299 per night, with golf packages starting at $369/night.
Call 706-467-0600 or visit ritzcarlton.com.