By Leonard Finkel
Set at the legendary headwaters of the Florida Everglades, the AAA Four-Diamond Rosen Shingle Creek honors the natural world. Named for the cypress shingles that sheltered the area’s original settlers and inspired by 1900s era Spanish Revival-style architecture, the hotel is set on 255 lush acres featuring 1,501 elegant guestrooms and suites, each with exquisite views, luxurious furnishings and first-class amenities.
The classic architecture complements the natural backdrop of enchanting flora and wildlife. Adding to the experience are fifteen restaurant and lounge options, 4 heated swimming pools, the Shingle Creek Golf Club and The Spa at Shingle Creek. The icing on the cake is its proximity to International Drive, all the nearby world-famous attractions and Restaurant Row.
Shingle Creek Golf Club is a primary reason the luxury property is a true oasis in the heart of Orlando’s tourist and convention-center corridor. With the golf course recently redesigned by the Arnold Palmer Design Company, there’s even more reason to visit Rosen Shingle Creek.
Palmer’s senior golf course architect Thad Layton designed three totally new holes on a 25-acre parcel on the northern end of the hotel, re-created numerous other holes to accommodate a future hotel expansion and updated the balance of the golf course with creative design features while still preserving the pristine beauty of the course’s mosaic of Florida plant life.
Some of the more noticeable changes made to the course were replacing Shingle Creek’s traditional green complexes protected by bunkers and thick rough to that of fairway-cut surrounds or runoff areas, providing golfers of all levels more forgiveness and multiple recovery options.
According to Layton, his team’s philosophy was to place strategy and variety at the heart of the golf experience with design features that “hearken back to the golden age of golf course design.” Golfers will now experience an diverse assortment of putting surfaces ranging from small and subtle to massive and not so subtle. The newly configured bunkers, like those strategically placed in the landing area on the par-5 second hole or the pot bunker short of the horseshoe shaped green on the drivable 14th, require sound strategy and precision to score but provide ample fairway width for alternate routes of play.
Brad Brewer’s Golf Academy showcases some exciting new features at the back of the driving range. A greatly enhanced short-game practice area doubles Brewer’s previous putting, chipping and bunker areas. Brewer also integrated some new state-of-the-art swing analysis and game improvement technology at his indoor hitting bays. A new 15,000-square-foot putting green was built at the footsteps of the clubhouse, including chipping and bunker areas.
“With everything we’ve done with the new greens and strategic bunkers to the mix of drivable par-4s and super long par-4s and par-5s, there are just so many more decisions to make,” says director of golf Dave Scott. “Whether you’re an average golfer to the professional, it gives them more options and strategy to think about.”
Designed with comfort and luxury in mind, the oversized guest rooms (436 square feet) are among the largest in Central Florida. Taking advantage of the hotel’s elevation, every guest room has a wonderful view of the surrounding environment and recreation areas—from the perfectly manicured greens of the golf course to the pristine creek, magnificent cypress trees and lush natural vegetation.
Each guestroom provides style and comfort artfully combined with a custom carpet design in shades of caramel and bronze. Luxurious Creek Sleeper beds feature new crisp white sheets dressed with chocolate and copper scarves from New York-based textile designer Stacy Garcia. Reflected in the fabrics, artwork and lighting are soft coppers, sky blues, teals and chocolate tones, bringing a modern feel to the guest rooms. Forty-inch LED HDTVs, RFID locking system, complimentary Wi-Fi and other high-tech conveniences complete each guest room’s tuned-in-yet-relaxed ambiance.
Relax and rejuvenate in style at The Spa at Shingle Creek. Experience the warmth of a mud wrap, the bliss of a soothing massage or the tranquility of signature facials. Personalized body treatments are developed for the ultimate day spa experience. Enjoy a workout in the sleek fitness studio overlooking scenic views, a swim in one of four invigorating pools or an afternoon of total mind and body relaxation.
Leonard Finkel is the author of The Secrets to the Game of Golf & Life and former editor in chief of Golf Journeys Magazine. His work has been featured in almost 200 publications including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Player Magazine. He has written more than a dozen cover stories for Golf Today Magazine. He has written extensively about golf and travel and has added poker to his writing repertoire. Finkel also works as a marketing and public relations consultant. His specialty niche is writing advertorial copy. Prior to his career in golf, Finkel owned a chain of retail stores and a consulting and import company based in Asia. He attended the University of Utah.