A three-year, $34 million expansion project at the legendary Honey Lake Plantation Resort and Spa is near completion. A 2011 soft opening has been widely successful, with rave reviews coming from the plantation’s diverse customer base.
Owner Bob Williamson is a veteran entrepreneur but felt a calling with Honey Lake Plantation. “I’ve been involved in over a dozen successful businesses in my life, but I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming feelings I had when I first saw the property. I was in awe of the magnificent century-old live oaks covered in Spanish moss to the 80-acreHoneyLakeand the rolling hills bisected by the Little Aucilla River. An idea quickly came to mind, and that has been our mission statement: to preserve the magnificent property and to share her beauty with others. Now that we’re in our final phases of construction I spend more of my time with my ministry. My son Jon oversees all daily operations of Honey Lake Plantation and he and his team do a terrific job.”
According to COO Jon Williamson, “one of our goals was to create a business model that would enable Honey Lake Plantation and its 4600 acres to survive in perpetuity. To that end, we created a resort that caters to the seasonality of Northern Florida while maintaining the rich sporting tradition of the Red Hills region. In the spring, summer and fall we host corporate and spiritual retreats, board meetings, weddings and family reunions, and other special events. Many guests also come to experience our wonderful spa and outdoor activities. And as life-long sportsmen we decided to add a variety of activities that would appeal those who enjoy the distinctive sporting lifestyle. Our guests enjoy the best of both worlds.”
Construction plans called for a variety of buildings. At the plantation’s epicenter is the Gathering Hall which features a grand ballroom and reception area, a retail store, a restaurant, and a series of boardrooms and break out rooms. The Lakeside Pavilion hosts large outdoor receptions in a picturesque, waterfront setting. The Honey Lake Chapel with seating for 250 parishioners is a short walk away.
Lodging on the property is as diverse as the activities, and the Williamson’s spared no details. The Honey Lake Lodge offer five luxury king guest rooms, each with private baths. Living areas are finished with heartwood pine floors and cypress walls, and there is a full kitchen, breakfast counter, wet bar, leather couches, and fireplace. Adjacent to the lodge is an 800-square foot premier suite that features a private kitchen, bar, living room, and master bedroom. Nearby are the Five Pines and Two Oaks Cottages which offer two suites, each with private baths and double queen beds. There is a common living room that separates the suites. The Pansy Poe Cottage is a three-bedroom, 2000 square foot cottage that is part of the original plantation and is situated on the shores ofHoneyLake. The last part of the build out is the Equestrian Lodge which provides 24-private suites and a series of common rooms all within a few minute walk from theEquestrianCenter. Cellular telephone coverage is excellent for all major carriers, and free Wi-Fi service is available throughout the plantation.
Honey Lake Plantation is approximately 45 minutes from both Thomasville, Georgia and Tallahassee, Florida in The Red Hills region, historically known as the Quail Capital of the South. The plantation was founded in the early 1900’s as a day hunting companion to Elizabeth “Pansy” Ireland Poe’s adjoining Pebble Hill Plantation. Honey Lake Plantation has enjoyed a strong wild quail population for over a century and occupies a position on the prestigious Georgia-Florida Field Trial map. Honey Lake Plantation is owned by the Bob Williamson family and offers a wide variety of family and sporting activities that range from traditional quail, deer, duck and turkey hunting, trophy bass and bream fishing, clay target shooting, luxurious spa and salon treatments, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and horseback riding.