Ship Made of Gingerbread Makes Splash in Florida
(Amelia Island, Florida) - Set sail for the holidays on the S.S. Ginger Amelia, a giant gingerbread pirate ship docked for the season at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.
A tribute to the legends and lore of historic Amelia Island (ruled briefly by the privateer Luis Aury in the early 19th century), the 17-foot wide, 12-foot high design was inspired by Aury’s vessel, the Mexican Congress. The towering structure features a mast with sails and a crow’s nest rising from the hotel lobby, while edible details include a gingerbread cannon armed with chocolate cannonballs, a gingerbread pirate captain, and a treasure chest overflowing with candied bounty.
A team of resort pasty chefs and carpenters logged over 300 hours on the creation of the ship, which begins with a gingerbread foundation made from 1,200 pounds of flour, 900 pounds of sugar, 3,000 eggs, 435 egg whites, 300 pounds of shortening, 15 gallons of milk and 14 pounds of special holiday spices.
The S.S. Ginger Amelia is the latest incarnation in the annual display of gingerbread structures showcased by the resort. Past designs have included a traditional gingerbread house and a gingerbread lighthouse, in honor of an island landmark.
The ship remains on display through December 28, with complimentary tours held throughout the month.
Holiday rates at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island are available from $199 per night. For a complete guide to the seasonal events and activities offered by the resort, visit www.ritzcarlton.com/ameliaisland.
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in Northeast Florida is known for its unique natural beauty and warm Southern charm. The AAA Five Diamond luxury hotel is home to the award-winning restaurant Salt, and The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island, has been named one of the top spas in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. Featured amenities include three pools, on-site golf, a fitness center, children’s recreation programs, a teen lounge, and 444 guest rooms with a private balcony and a view of the Atlantic coastline. For reservations, call The Ritz-Carlton toll-free at (800) 241-3333 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com/ameliaisland.
Nearby, in Miami, Florida, Miami-based Desires Hotels has been appointed as management company for the new hotel development Villas CeSar in St. Petersburg, Florida. The boutique property is the latest addition to an ever-expanding Desires Hotels portfolio and is scheduled to open in June of 2010. With beach access and a marina on site, Villas CeSar is nestled on Tampa Bay’s barrier island between the intercoastal waterway and Gulf of Mexico on St. Petersburg Beach.
Guests of Villa CeSar will experience all of the charms and comforts of a Tuscan villa with 72 graciously appointed oversized guestrooms and suites. Rates will start at $229 a night with each room having balconies that offer either breathtaking views of Boca Ciega Bay or the Gulf of Mexico, state-of-the-art audio visual technology, and walk-in spa showers. Leisure time amenities feature a swimming pool with poolside bar, full service spa, fitness center, and restaurant that includes an alfresco dining experience. Beach activities are highlighted by recreational seaside walks, biking, fishing, and kayaking. And for the business traveler there are meeting rooms, a business center, 3,000 square foot banquet facilities, concierge, and complimentary wireless internet.
Named to the TripAdvisor.com Top 10 Beaches in the U.S., St. Petersburg is favorite travel destination because of its 35-miles of white sand beaches and diverse city attractions. Home to championship golf courses, the world’s largest collection of the surrealist master’s paintings at the Salvador Dali Museum, and neighboring Tampa Bay - the city has a wide array of activities to choose from.
“We are very excited to have an opportunity to establish a partnership with Desires Hotels,” said Henry R Suarez, Principal Owner of Villas CeSar. “We have been looking for that perfect hotel management company in a very challenging market. We think we have found the perfect fit with Desires Hotels, as they bring the staff, experience, dedication and focus that we have been looking for to make Villas CeSar a top destination on the Tampa coast.”
According to Raul Leal, President of Desires Hotels, the respect is mutual.
“Villas CeSar is a great addition to the Desires Hotels collection with its unique amenities and great location this property epitomizes everything that one of our individual boutique hotels should be,” Leal said.
Villas CeSar is located at 3701 Gulf Boulevard on the southern end of Tampa Bay's barrier island on St. Petersburg Beach. The hotel is 25 minutes from St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport and 35 minutes from Tampa International .