In the News

Since our grand re-opening of Shangri-La Springs to the public in 2011 to the active vitality center we are today, Shangri-La Springs has been making headlines in the news.

The Latest

The Shangri-La Springs, a historic resort in downtown Bonita Springs seen on Sept. 19, 2017, did not sustain damage to its building following Hurricane Irma.
(Photo: Patrick Riley/Naples Daily News)
Sep 19 2017

Bonita Springs' Shangri-La resort, Buffalo Chips restaurant weather Hurricane Irma
Although parts of Bonita Springs remained flooded Tuesday — more than a week after Hurricane Irma roared across Southwest Florida — some of the city's venerable institutions weathered the storm.

The Shangri-La Springs, a historic resort in downtown Bonita Springs that was built in 1921, sustained "zero damage" to its building, General Manager Lee Bellamy said, and the property's two 80-year-old Mysore fig trees will pull through, too.

"They just need to get cleaned up," Bellamy said of the famous trees, which tower over the property's courtyard and had some of their mighty branches mangled by the powerful winds.

"They're going to be fine. ... Didn't damage the root system at all."

The giant Mysore fig trees are two of only four in all of Southwest Florida, said John Domanski, the property's facilities and maintenance manager.

That number grew even smaller after the ferocious hurricane uprooted a large Mysore fig tree on the property of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. Another — bigger — Mysore fig tree at the Estates survived the storm.

"These are pretty strong trees," Domanski said.

A recently caught lionfish | Kevin Lollar
May 19 2017

Lionfish Pervade Waters Off Florida's Coasts
Saturday is "Lionfish Awareness and Removal Day" in Florida. Lionfish are an invasive species off Florida's coasts. People in southwest Florida are studying the fish's impact and others are helping to keep the invasive species' population under control.

Sometime in the 1980s, a boat coming somewhere from the Indo-Pacific had lionfish onboard. That's how they ended up in the waters off Florida where they don't belong. They’re white with red stripes, and have eighteen hypodermic-like needle-sharp venomous spines on their fins. They're the kind of fish you see in aquariums.

They’re pretty fish. But, as Florida Gulf Coast University marine biologist Mike Parsons said, their impact on the waters off Florida’s coasts, where they’re not supposed to be, has been anything but pretty.

Eddie Rose
Instructor Eddie Rose strikes a typical Qi Gong pose at Shangri-La Springs. Staff |
Apr 1 2017

Qi Gong’s four principles said to unlock the unconscious self
When Eddie Rose was 19 years old in 1977, he was already a black belt in martial arts. by James Hilton. He was young, strong, wired, and in the best shape of his life. Then, he met the man who would teach him Qi Gong (pronounced CHEEKung), the 5,000-year-old Chinese health and spiritual practice that integrates physical postures, breathing and meditation.

At first, Rose used Qi Gong to stay in shape. For him, it was just another martial art to master. “What really changed it all for me, though,” says Rose, “is the fact that I got sick. I got really sick.” While working as a police officer, his colon ruptured. He developed peritonitis and his organs began to fail, requiring removal of a part of his colon. He was pumped full of so many antibiotics that, had he required more, the medications could have killed him.

Luckily, he survived. Says Rose, “Medical science saved my life. Eastern medicine helped me heal my body and my mind.” Now he teaches Qi Gong. Using the four principles of the practice – mind, breath, movement and vibration – Rose teaches his students to apply the healing effects of Qi Gong to their everyday lives and to be more mindful of themselves. The idea, he says, is to master the principles so that you can tap into the next level of the self.

Mar 19 2017

Spotlight on Shangri-La Springs
Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production will be held at Shangri-La Springs April 27-29. It’s called No. 27 and was written specifically for the location by Ghostbird co-founder Katelyn Gravel and FGCU Theatre Professor Barry Cavin. Shangri-La Springs is one of the most historic spots in all of Bonita Springs. The Mission-style structure was formerly a hotel, built in 1921 by the family of Fort Myers merchant, banker and developer Harvie Heitman on 8.1 acres of land in the heart of what is now Old Bonita. The family was developing property to the west and the 25-room Heitman Hotel provided potential buyers a place to stay while their new homes were constructed. The natural Shangri-La Springs Bonita spring for which the town is named is located on the grounds and flows into Oak Creek.

Mar-Apr 2017

Paradise Found in Bonita Springs
You may be familiar with the fictional paradise first described in the 1933 novel, Lost Horizon by James Hilton. Those who lived there enjoyed a carefree, harmonious existence and virtual immortality. Nestled on 8.5 acres between Tamiami Trail and Old 41 (thanks to a recently completed makeover, now known as Historic Old 41), Shangri-La Springs Resort in Bonita Springs has been busy living up to the name, quietly implementing a major restoration of its buildings and grounds over the past number of years. Upgrades are nearing completion and the schedule of events, classes and goings-on is staggering. From yoga, art and dance to healing arts and spa services, there’s something for everyone in search of rejuvenation. It’s also becoming quite the popular setting for weddings and private events. As General Manager and Artistic Director Zawi Borsa puts it, “It’s about bringing everybody together and allowing this property to give back to the community in general.”

From the street, the sign beckons. Turning into the property you instantly begin to catch the vibe. The majestic Great House greets guests out front. Built in 1921 by the Heitman family, the Great House was originally a 25-room hotel designed to house potential buyers of nearby property that they were developing. It was expanded to 50 rooms by a subsequent owner, Walter Mack of the Cadillac family. Proprietors that have followed, right up to the present, have been more interested in developing Shangri-La Springs as a health resort. Among the Great House offerings, says Zawi, are live painting, lunch and dinner service, a bar, and gift shop. There’s also live music.

Feb 8 2017

Children's behavorial health services critical for area
We are so fortunate to live in the thriving and generous community of Southwest Florida. What we sometimes overlook is that there are over 230,000 children living in the area between Tampa and Miami, and many of them are not thriving today. Many of our local children struggle with behavioral health issues such as ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders or drug and alcohol abuse, among others.

Until now, behavioral health services for children in our community have taken a back seat.

With the new Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest FL opening this spring, a group of concerned volunteers have started a pediatric behavioral health initiative called Kids' Minds Matter — Voices for Behavioral Health at Golisano Children's Hospital. The goal of Kids' Minds Matter is to raise awareness in the community about the need for behavioral healthcare for children and to raise funds that will enable Golisano Children's Hospital to begin providing more comprehensive outpatient behavioral healthcare to the many children in our community.

Feb 8 2017

Celebrate Valentine's Day the Southwest Florida way
When it comes to romance, our area has all the ingredients for an outstanding Valentine's Day.
Take the day to go island hopping. Indulge in a sunset cocktail. Count the dolphins. Escape to a deserted island. Rent a kayak. Take a romantic dinner cruise. Browse charming boutiques and galleries. Walk on shell-covered beaches. Many properties, spas and restaurants are offering romance packages. Check them out here:

Take a trip to Paris for the evening
With a view of the restaurant's own Eiffel Tower, Bleu Rendez-Vous French Bistro on Sanibel Island offers a romantic setting. The Valentine's Day menu offers a choice of New Zealand rack of lamb with dijon rosemary au jus, stuffed filet Oscar with crabmeat and bearnaise, lobster au gratin, and slow-roasted duckling a l'orange. Dine on the patio and bring Fido for homemade doggy Valentine treats. Details and reservations: or 239-565-1608.

Celebrate Love at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs
Three dinner seatings, an organic Valentine's menu, live music and a glass of bubbles are enticements at Shangri-La Springs. Spend time under the giant Mysore fig tree or make a reservation in the spa for a couples massage. (Editor's note: as of 1/31/2017 Shangri-La is fully booked for this dining event; walk-ins starting at 7:30pm will be seated on a first come, first serve basis. Learn More)

(Photo: Sugarshack)
(Photo: Sugarshack)
Feb 3 2017

Shangri-La Springs + Sugarshack: A new tradition for your Friday nights
Sugarshack, a Bonita Springs-based multimedia company, has partnered with Shangri-La Springs.
The pairing makes sense. Shangri-La is steeped in Bonita Springs history. Sugarshack gives that history a modern twist.

You can catch acoustic music at the historic downtown site. Local and regional musicians stop by, thanks to Sugarshack, and play sets of original music. The artists represent different genres, but they all share the passion that makes watching someone create in real-time exhilarating.

The current wave of Sugarshack acts will be featured in a series that runs through April. Shangri-La Springs organic cafe will be serving wine, beer, and food. The scheduled dates are as follows:

  • Feb. 10: Soulixer
  • Feb. 24: Wilder Sons
  • March 10: The Freecoasters
  • April 7: Roman Samuels

News Archives

Older online news items of interest.

Good Thoughts