A Crystal River Plantation Hotel Legacy
Built Upon Southern Hospitality
Our Central Florida golf resort and spa in Crystal River is a one-of-a-kind escape from the busy day-to-day. Originally constructed in 1962, it was brought into the limelight by a wealthy Texas developer by the name of W.W. "Will" Caruth Jr., a man who focused just as much on developing good will and harmony with nature as he did on developing new properties. In fact, to this day, the Caruth Foundation gives millions of dollars to organizations seeking cures for diseases, and donations to municipal police departments and community development.
After its construction in the Sixties, the Plantation on Crystal River stood alone along Florida's "Nature Coast" as a testament to elegance, southern hospitality, and natural splendor. However, as the Gulf Coast of Florida began to grow, it became clear that our Crystal Florida hotel was due for a reinvigoration of its spirit and energy.
In 1975, enter Will Caruth who purchased the property and added an assortment of upgrades, while still maintaining its charm of a bygone Florida era. Caruth’s dedication to the Plantation’s new improvements were once again realized in 1998 with a $4-million re-design, including an additional $2.5 million invested on hotel rooms the very next year. Furthermore, the trend of continual upkeep and renewal at the Plantation on Crystal River would be reinstated in 2005 with a major capital improvement plan to the tune of $6.2 million, and again with its purchase in late 2010 by investors lead by Scout Real Estate Capital LLC.
Restoring a Gem of Florida's Nature Coast
Scout and its partners have invested more than $3 million in renovations, completed in January 2012, to refurbish our guest rooms and public spaces at the Plantation on Crystal River, including the restaurant, bar, The Palm Room and lobby. Most of our accommodations, including our guest rooms and junior suites, have been updated and restored to the original splendor. Our renovated guest rooms convey the original sophistication of the resort with an Old Florida feel. The color palette used throughout includes crisp whites, deep blues and bright greens, which are reflective of the surrounding Nature Coast. Flat-screen TVs, new refrigerators, classic wicker chairs and new sofa sleepers in the junior suites have been added, with existing furniture updated and re-purposed with a more upscale look.
Bringing the beautiful colors of the Crystal River and Kings Bay indoors, the refurbished lobby area features updated lighting and furniture in muted blues and greens, along with splashes of warm yellows and oranges. The famous winding wooden staircase—a favorite for guest photo opportunities—remains intact. Our new contemporary lobby bar features a "grab and go" coffee bar and blends nicely with similar colors, complemented by black and white artwork showcasing the scenic river. The dining room reflects a more casual feel, with an airy ambiance highlighted by new chairs, booths, carpet, artwork and stained concrete floors. The Palm Room, a 2,304-square foot meeting space located above the lobby area, has also received new carpet, lighting, tile, new windows and a fresh new colors.
The eco-friendly Plantation on Crystal River is surrounded by the natural springs of Kings Bay and more than 25,000 surface acres of pristine lakes and rivers, as well as wildlife refuges and state parks. On site, the Plantation features a full-service family-oriented dive and tour marina, 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space, 27 holes of golf, an Aveda® spa, delectable dining and inviting accommodations. Guests have the unique opportunity to swim with the manatees—the only place you can in all of North America, rent a pontoon or Jon boat, relax by the riverfront pool, enjoy a game of croquet on the manicured lawn, or hire a guided fishing charter. With more than 1,600 feet of seawall, overnight guests can tie up their boats at any of over 80 spaces. A golf school and SCUBA certification classes are also available to guests of the resort.
Our new ownership and management team lead by Scout Hotels brings a new level of professional service, management, and hospitality that further elevates our status as a premiere Central Florida destination resort. It is this unique combination of the esteemed legacy of Caruth and the professional standards of Scout and its partners that make the Plantation on Crystal River a destination resort unlike anyplace you've ever experienced.