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

Executive Chef Allen Fisher poses for a portrait in the Shangri-La Springs organic garden in Bonita Springs on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. Fisher grew up on a farm in Marshall, North Carolina, where his family grew almost everything they ate - an experience that taught him to respect the ingredients he cooks with. Fisher will appear on an upcoming episode of Food Network's "Chopped" that will air on March 26. (Photo: Alex Driehaus/Naples Daily News USA TODAY NETWORK - FLORIDA)
Mar 7 2019

Bonita Springs chef will tackle mystery ingredient baskets on Food Network's 'Chopped'

A Southwest Florida chef had the chance to test his skills on the hugely popular Food Network show "Chopped."

Chef Allen Fisher, who will lead dining operations at Shangri-La Springs' Harvest & Wisdom restaurant targeted to open later this year, was one of four chefs who competed in the episode, which will air at 9 p.m. March 26 on Food Network.

Fisher couldn't say much about his appearance before the air date, but he said the experience was "a lot of fun."

"You can expect to see my hands drain of blood when I'm standing there with the basket," Fisher said, laughing.

On "Chopped," professional chefs from across the country compete in a series of rounds — appetizer, main course and dessert — in front of a panel of esteemed judges. At the beginning of each round, contestants are given a basket of bizarre mystery ingredients, and judges taste-test the dishes, making eliminations until a winner is crowned and awarded the $10,000 prize.

Allen said the idea of tackling the show's mystery baskets was terrifying.

Deborah Leible
Jan 3 2019

Shangri-La Springs welcomes Dr. Deborah Leible as spa manager

(MENAFN - PRLog) Shangri-La Springs is pleased to announce that Dr. Deborah Leible has joined the team as spa manager. In this role, Leible is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the on-site organic spa, which includes providing personalized treatments, maintaining high-quality health and beauty services available to guests and offering exemplary customer service.

Leible brings more than 30 years of holistic health care experience to her new role. Prior to joining Shangri-La Springs, Leible owned and operated holistic health care practices in New York, Hawaii and most recently in Florida. As a holistic health practitioner, she offered a variety of services including chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and soft tissue therapy. Dedicated to advancing the field of holistic health care and massage therapy, Leible established Healthy Fit in 2016, offering a variety of online and live hands-on workshops for continuing massage education courses with a focus on soft tissue therapies.

Jan 1 2019

Art and Nature Night set at Shangri-La Springs
Experience “Branching Out” with Shangri-La Springs on Jan. 9. Set for 6-9 p.m. at 27750 Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs, this free art and nature community night will feature a variety of activities, live performances and presentations from local artists and musicians.

The “Branching Out” event will include a live piano performance by Mickey Basil in the Great House, as well as a community drum circle in the courtyard and complimentary massage treatments in the spa. Featured artists include Andrew McClure, who uses air plants and juxtaposing outdoor and repurposed elements to showcase the beauty of nature, and Rosemary Allen, a painter recognized for her works of art highlighting the landscape and wildlife she encounters. FORT MYERS READERS: Sign up for Florida Weekly's Fort Myers email edition here.

The event also will include sidewalk chalk art by Jane Portaluppi Durand, hammered dulcimer performance by Debo and paper grotto theatre by Lily Hatchett with live music by Kat Epple, as well as visits from local circus performers including contortionists, human statues and stilt walkers.

In addition, guests can get an assortment of organic small plates for purchase in the courtyard, as well as organic beer and wine at the bar in the Great House.

Cecelia Morales
Dec 12 2018

Cecelia Morales joins Shangri-La Springs as organic garden manager
(MENAFN - PRLog) Shangri-La Springs is pleased to announce that Cecelia Morales has joined its team as the new organic garden manager. In her new role, Morales is responsible for managing the care and maintenance of Shangri-La Springs' organic garden, which will support the property's farm-to-table restaurant, Harvest, opening in early 2019.

A Southwest Florida native, Morales brings a wealth of organic and sustainable gardening knowledge to her new role. Prior to joining Shangri-La Springs, Morales was a nursery caretaker and plant retailer at Fruit Scapes Nursery in Bokeelia, where she cultivated and maintained a variety of local and imported fruits and plants. While attending Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Morales dedicated more than three years to the university's Food Forest, a student-run sustainable permaculture garden, where she assisted in food cultivation and served as the service-learning coordinator.

Morales earned a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from FGCU and a certification in permaculture design.

"We are honored to have Cecelia join our team and manage food cultivation on our organic garden, an important source for Shangri-La Springs' restaurant, Harvest," said Lee Bellamy, Shangri-La Springs general manager. "We look forward to highlighting a variety of organic produce grown by Cecelia and the food production team with the opening of Harvest in early 2019."

Dec 7 2018

How Kids' Minds Matter offers mental health help
(Excerpt) In 2019, Kids’ Minds Matter will help Lee Health launch a first-of-its-kind TelePsych program that allows Southwest Florida families to receive advice and counseling on mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and trauma via digital devices.

We’re encouraged by the progress and the road map for the future; however, we need your voice and support to help us reach our goal of raising $10 million to change the landscape of pediatric mental and behavioral health care in our community.

How can you help? Partner with Lee Health to provide philanthropic support, attend our Secret Garden Gala on March 6 at the historic Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs, attend a community education course and continue the dialogue. The more we talk about solutions, the more we erase the stigma and reach those in need.

For more information or to donate, visit or call 239-343-6950. For information regarding mental health services at Golisano Children’s Hospital, call 239-343-6050.

Scott Spiezle and Susan Goldy are founders of Kids’ Minds Matter.

Allen Fisher
Dec 5 2018

FYI-Food: New menus celebrate the season

New executive chef

Allen Fisher has joined the historic Shangri-La Springs in downtown Bonita Springs as executive chef and food and beverage director of its on-site restaurant and bar.

Currently undergoing renovations, the organic restaurant, scheduled to reopen in early 2019, will make its reintroduction as “Harvest,” offering delectable farm-to-table meals, featuring fresh ingredients from the property’s on-site, no-till garden.

Fisher brings more than 18 years of professional cooking and kitchen management experience and an extensive background of developing new concepts using local and organic products to his new roles. Prior to joining Shangri-La Springs, Fisher garnered culinary management experience at casual and fine dining restaurants across the country, including locally-owned Bistro 41 in Fort Myers; Red Strip Restaurants in Los Angeles; Silvia Restaurant in Woodstock, New York; and Chef Daniel Boulud and The Dinex Group, in New York City. He earned his culinary degree from Schoolcraft College in Michigan, and a master’s degree in business from Western Carolina University in North Carolina.

Shangri-La Springs, 27750 Old 41 Road, is accepting job applications for its culinary team and food production staff. To learn more about the job openings or to apply, go to

Mar 12 2018

Shangri-La Springs hosts Art & Nature Community Night “Roots”
Shangri-La Springs invites the community to experience an evening of artistic and tasteful experiences at its Art & Nature Community Night “Roots.” The free event will take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 6 to 9 p.m., and will feature a variety of activities and performances throughout the property including a tapas dinner, live performances and presentations of artistic works from local artists and musicians. The “Roots” event will feature award-winning painter Carol McArdle, recognized for her inspiring works-of-art highlighting natural Florida landscapes and wildlife.

Guests can enjoy a decadent organic tapas dinner in the Great House from 6 to 8:30 p.m., featuring small plate entrees infused with fresh ingredients from the on-site garden at Shangri-La Springs. The tapas dinner is prepared by Artichoke & Company.

Artist Lily Hatchet at her Fort Myers home.
(Photo: Andrew West/The News-Press)
Mar 5 2018

Passion for peculiar: Artist Lily Hatchett brings unique performance art to SWFL scene
Lily Hatchett’s artwork is like nothing most people have ever seen. It’s performance based, colorful, artistic and extremely unusual. Using large sculptures of paper as a backdrop, Lily projects colorful images on this stage as dog costumes move about and music plays. More than just art and performance, it’s atmosphere and creativity.

“I started making paper dogs out of napkins when I was a kid at dinner,” Lily says. “I would entertain anyone who was sitting next to me with the paper napkins.”

When Lily grew up and moved to New York City, she wanted her art to stand out from the crowd.

“I was in a group show in Manhattan,” she explains. “I created a whole bunch of paper dogs and decorated the elevator with the dogs, so everyone who came to the show and left the show saw the paper dogs. They were part of the art show, but they were in the elevator. I was going to put in a painting, and everyone else was putting in paintings, and I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing.”.

Mar 1 2018

Couple spreading message that Kids' Minds Matter
About 20 years ago, Scott Spiezle’s daughter approached him and told him words that would petrify any parent:“Daddy, I’m feeling I’m going to hurt myself.”

Spiezle’s daughter is bi-polar, a manic-depressive illness and a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. That night and for many nights after over the years, Spiezle took his pillow and blanket and slept on the floor in her room. Spiezle, 64, has been on an emotionally fraught journey with his daughter, who was misdiagnosed and given drugs not meant for a youth until he connected her with the proper mental-health specialists. “The worry never goes away,” he said.

Katie Klann/Naples Daily News
Feb 22 2018

Photos: Renovations at the Shangri-La Springs
Naples Daily News stopped by Shangri-La Springs last week to see the completed renovations, along with projects we are still working on. Check out an exclusive look at the progress of our upstairs hotel rooms!

Jan 31 2018

Naples and area restaurants offer all their love for Valentine's Day
Naples is a Valentine's Day delight with restaurants and other outlets offering romantic packages for that special day.

Shangri-La Springs: Feb. 14, 6 to 9 p.m. at Shangri-La Springs, 27750 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs. This free event features live performances and presentations of artistic works from local artists and musicians. Guests can enjoy an all-levels yoga class at 7 p.m. and complimentary massage treatments at the spa. A three-course dinner prepared by Artichoke & Company is available for $68.50 per person from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Jan 2018

Creative Juices Flow through Shangri-La Springs

There is something otherworldly and yet down to earth about Zawi Borsa, operations manager of Shangri-La Springs Resort. She serenades birthday guests in a beautiful operatic style. She may, in her hand-customized corduroys, meander through banyan and Mysore fig trees while making up an impromptu acapella or singing one of her originals that seem to come like dreams for a person she’s yet to meet that day. If that sounds like too much of a fairy tale, it is Shangri-La, after all. The 1921 hotel, a historical gem for Bonita Springs, was named after that mystical place where everyone is happy in an earthly paradise of utopia—a fictional imagining of author James Hilton that has become the epitome of the idyllic hideaway. But Borsa brings it to life in what is now Shangri-La’s healing, arts and nature center.

A friend recalls a time with Borsa that indicates she brings the fairy tale along with her wherever she goes. “One time, we were visiting the Wonder Gardens and she started singing to the talking bird in the lobby and the bird started singing back!” recalled Jane Portaluppi Durand, an Italian sidewalk chalk artist.

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