There is a little piece of paradise in the Midwest, only two and a half hours from Chicago. It is the lap of luxury for a perfect Wisconsin winter getaway. Growing up, I used to ask my parents why we were one of the only people in our area without a summerhouse or timeshare. They would tell me that it is better to explore new destinations than to revisit the same place over and over again. As such, I’ve never been one to revisit the same properties. Well, until I visited Destination Kohler and The American Club.
The American Club is one of only 89 AAA five diamond properties in the country. It is pure luxury in Wisconsin. The unique niceties of the property and the impeccable professionalism of the staff are astonishing. Eddie and I have spent one weekend away at Kohler over the past three winters (update: five winters!) because it is such a remarkable place. What makes it so much more special than any of the other places I’ve stayed? I’ve made a list of five reasons why I continually visit this hotel of luxury in Wisconsin.
1. The History of the Property
There is an element of extra magic when a building or locale holds a significant place in history. I am confident that most people reading this post are familiar with Kohler goods. Known for their high quality kitchen and bathroom fixtures, the Kohler Company is a prominent manufacturer with a wide reach across America. When the Kohler Company built its American manufacturing plant outside of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Walter J. Kohler recognized that his employees would be mostly immigrant men from Eastern Europe.
In an effort to help create community and provide affordable housing to his employees, Kohler built a dormitory across the street from the factory. Here, starting in 1918, employees of the Kohler Company slept, ate meals, practiced English, and learned about what it meant to be an American. After dormitory style housing was no longer necessary, the building fell into disrepair. While it earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, it wasn’t until 1981 that it opened to the public. Now, it embodies luxury in Wisconsin as the state’s only AAA five-diamond property.
The Courtyard of the American Club: Luxury in Wisconsin
The Hearth at The River Wildlife Lodge at Destination Kohler
Pure Luxury in Wisconsin in the Snow Covered Courtyard of The American Club.
2. The Rooms
The lobby at The American Club.
There are three different wings in the American Club at Kohler. There is the original house, where there are common areas and restaurants on the property. These rooms are delightfully rustic, with rich wood trim and lovely red tartan. Each bathroom is outfitted with the high quality Kohler fixtures for which the company is known. The sinks, with deep bowls and stainless steel faucets, have plenty of counter space for toiletries, hair products, and makeup.
There is a mirrored wet bar within the room proper which is a nice touch for two people freshening up for at the same time. From the inside, the A frames of the timbered roof are charming but not claustrophobic.
The A-frame rooftop
Walking through a windowed corridor through the first cloister, the second building of the American Club has the same tartan plaid along the floor with dark wood trim and ornate wall sconces outside of each room. There is a tromp l’oeil effect down each hallway where they seem to be never ending.
3. Kohler Waters Spa
In the Carriage House, rooms are housed in the same building as the Kohler Waters Spa. Guests walk around in robes and slippers while visiting the shimmering mirage of the fountains and various pools of the spa. I have yet to experience a stay in the Carriage House, but can only imagine the decadence. I visited the spa during a girls getaway to Wisconsin, but word to the wise: it books up quickly. I particularly enjoyed the soothing whirlpools next to the glittering fireplace in the upstairs waiting area.
The first floor communal area of Kohler Waters Spa.
4. The Holiday Cheer
The American Club is a fantastic winter resort, especially between Thanksgiving and the New Year. There are loads of holiday offerings on the property, like gingerbread house making competitions and weekend Christmas carolers. Evergreen trimmed bannisters and holly lined bookcases are gleeful additions to the season. The smell of cinnamon seems to subtly waft through the corridors as the holiday greens so nicely contrast with the décor of the common areas. While it certainly embodies luxury in Wisconsin, it also is delightfully traditional and whimsical.
5. Winter Fun
While one might equate luxury properties with stuffiness, Destination Kohler is a place for both fun and luxury in Wisconsin. While fun in the summer may come in the form of golf, there is a diversity of whimsy and fun in the winter that is unbeatable. Ice skating on Woodlake, cross country skiing, and sledding are some of the outdoor delights. Inside, I’ve enjoyed listening to carolers and drinking hot toddies by the fire. It is such a delightful place to spend a few days of luxury in Wisconsin. Consider Destination Kohler and the American Club for your next Wisconsin winter getaway.