Puttin' on the ritz isn't all about popping a vintage Krug or slathering heaping mounds of caviar onto tiny blinis. For The Ritz-Carlton Naples, it means gaining a certain degree of control over the produce coming through the kitchen. It isn't unusual for hotels to roll out their own farming programme, but The Ritz-Carlton Naples is one of the few luxury marquees that have harnessed the latest technology in precision farming to grow their greens.
Utilising a hydroponic vertical growing system known as CropBox, the hotel is able to grow pristine produce within a fully-controlled environment. Unlike gardens and greenhouses which are influenced by its environment, the conditions within the CropBox can be tweaked to nurture non-native crops which would otherwise have to be imported from afar. After experimenting with CropBox for a year, the hotel is happy to report a successful harvest of cilantro, spinach, arugula, cabbage, and assorted micro-greens.
As the first resort within The Ritz-Carlton group to pilot the CropBox system, chefs aren't the only ones celebrating the success of the programme. Guests at the hotel are privy to the fruits of their labour as they tuck into fresh produce harvested within the hotel grounds.