JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa debuts an elevated herb garden designed and planted by renowned landscape designer Lily Kwong. Kwong, whose reverence for nature comes to life through breathtaking botanical installations, is the founder of Studio Lily Kwong, a next-generation landscape design studio with a mission to reconnect people to nature.
JW Marriott is guided by similar principles, with a commitment to mindfulness that allows guests to be present in mind, nourished in body and revitalized in spirit – pillars that align directly to the JW Garden experience. This traditional kitchen garden is one of the first Studio Lily Kwong-designed gardens centered around herbs, and is growing alongside similar gardens at JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa and JW Marriott Essex House New York.
At JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa, Kwong and her team were inspired by the role citrus plays in Orlando’s agriculture, planting a unique kitchen garden with citrus fruits including oranges, kumquats, tangerines and Meyer lemons; vegetables; and edible flowers. The garden is split into four quadrants with herbs including rosemary, the garden’s signature herb, along with lavender, chives, oregano, mint and marjoram. The garden also includes sustainable elements including pollinator-friendly plants and low-emission design materials such as stucco and ceramic, while calming Shou Sugi Ban benches dot the garden for moments of mindfulness and relaxation. JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek’s executive chef Melissa Sallman and chef de cuisine Jose Escanio will incorporate the herbs grown onsite into dishes at the resort’s signature steak and seafood restaurant Sear + Sea. The Sear + Sea Lobby Bar will also serve signature cocktails using the garden’s herbs and fruit.
“An herb garden is a beautiful portal to reconnect us back to the land and our senses,” said Lily Kwong. “Our JW Garden projects were designed to honor traditional kitchen gardens, and Studio Lily Kwong’s artistic approach to plant life adds unique and unexpected dimensions. JW Marriott guests will enjoy the gardens’ beauty, as well as its bounty, and our greatest aspiration is that our work might inspire guests to grow their very own herb garden.”
To celebrate the collaboration and honor the mission of the JW Garden program, JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek is partnering with the Orlando City Foundation, an organization that brings soccer to underserved communities by investing in safe places to play, urban gardens and access to healthy food choices. Through the partnership, two new gardens will be built at Orlando schools Rolling Hills Elementary School and Lockhart Elementary School. The produce from these gardens will be donated to the Orlando community.
Guests are encouraged to take the JW Garden experience home with them. Kwong and the JW Marriott have created an Herb Garden Kit Curated by Studio Lily Kwong for JW Marriott featuring: Halden Garden heirloom Thyme, Mint and Oregano seeds; Kanso planters made of upcycled rice husk, bamboo fibre and wheat husk waste; JW Marriott chef-crafted recipe cards; and a journal collaboration with poet Mia Moretti. Studio Lily Kwong chose these powerful herbs as they grow perennially, meaning when transplanted into the ground, they will grow back every season for an endless bounty. The Herb Garden Kit is available through Curated by JW in Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques.
“There is a synergy that exists between JW Marriott’s point of view on well-being and Lily Kwong’s passion for bringing people back to nature,” said Bruce Rohr, global brand leader of JW Marriott. “Our JW Garden program invites guests to enjoy serene spaces and find balance while staying with us – the garden instantly acts as a respite for the mind and spirit, and later nourishes the body through its gifts. Lily is further elevating the JW Garden experience and we are eager for guests to enjoy her vision.”
The JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek is located at 14900 Chelonia Parkway, Orlando, Florida 32821.