FX Excursions

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5 Reasons to Stay at the World’s Largest Equestrian Hotel in Ocala, Florida

by Aoife O’Riordan

Mar 16, 2023

© Ethan Tweedie Photography

Daily

Everyone has most likely heard of popular horse-racing destinations like Louisville, Kentucky; Freehold, New Jersey; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Saratoga Springs, New York. But horse and horse-racing enthusiasts know Ocala, Florida, is the place to be for winter and spring racing. Now, fans of the sport can enjoy horse events and luxurious accommodations at The Equestrian Hotel, a new property spanning 380 acres, first opened in June 2021.

Embracing equestrian culture, The Equestrian Hotel invites competitors and spectators alike to enjoy the many amenities and features awaiting them at this sprawling estate. Here are five reasons to stay at The Equestrian Hotel on your next trip to central Florida, whether it be for a horse event or not:

guest room

© Ethan Tweedie Photography

Elegant Rooms and Suites

Select from an array of rooms and suites to enjoy European linens, frameless showers, marble bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, spa-style toiletries, high-speed WiFi and more. Suites like the double king suite provide plenty of space to relax while enjoying views of the training center and arena. All rooms and suites incorporate elements of equestrian life, with framed artwork, haberdashery-style plaid and textured vinyl wall coverings and velvet draperies. Guests also enjoy access to hotel amenities like a zero-entry pool and state-of-the-art fitness center. Additional amenities include complimentary parking, valet service access and golf cart rentals. Guests can also book a session at Calluna Spa for skin care, massage and body treatments.

Yellow Pony Restaurant

© Ethan Tweedie Photography

Seven Restaurant Concepts

The Equestrian Hotel boasts seven restaurants throughout the property. Stirrups offers fine-dining dishes like prime steaks and chops, as well as sustainable Florida seafood and Southern-inspired specialties. Those with a sweet tooth will love Emma’s Patisserie, a favorite of guests, with authentic French macarons, coffee and European-inspired pastries. Executive pastry chef Yohann Le Bescond, hailing from France, makes each pastry and sweet fresh each day. Outside, Horse to Water Pool & Bar offers guests refreshing cocktails and light bites. The Yellow Pony Pub & Garden embraces a pub atmosphere with shareable appetizers and entrees, as well as signature cocktails and a selection of bourbons and whiskeys. Other food offerings include Filo’s Mexican Cantina (serving traditional Mexican flavors with street tacos, fajitas and more), Ralph’s (classic American fare), Viola & Dot’s Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria and Miss Tilly’s Lollipops (selling chocolates, confections, coffee, ice cream and more).

Stirrups

© Ethan Tweedie Photography

Unparalleled Wine Program

Roland Micu, who became the world’s youngest master sommelier at 28 years old, leads the wine program with more than 6,000 wines, many rare releases. Wines include Paul Hobbs, Penfolds, Chateau Latour and Chateau D’Yquem.

horses

© Andrew Ryback Photography

Equestrian Events

The Equestrian Hotel looks over the World Equestrian Center, featuring 16 outdoor competition rings, five climate-controlled indoor arenas and miles of bridle trails. Indoor arenas include 1,400 seats and VIP spaces, as well as a stadium with 7,500 seats and a Grand Arena with 2,500 seats.

patisserie

© Ethan Tweedie Photography

On-Site Stores

Guests needn’t leave the property to get some shopping done. The hotel and World Equestrian Center offer more than 25 retailers carrying equestrian lifestyle and luxury goods. Stores include Lunago Diamonds, Mr. Pickles & Sailor Bear Toy Shoppe, The Debonair Collection and A Sudden Impulse.

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