Kohler, Wisconsin – The Perfect Chicago Escape

Kevin and I took advantage of a generous offer from my parents to watch Palmer while we snuck off for a mini getaway to Kohler, Wisconsin over New Years weekend. If I’m being honest, this trip was a welcome respite. I’d been feeling off since New Year’s morning and this trip, however short, was the perfect way to reset and reconnect going into 2021.

As the name Kohler suggests, it’s home to the well-known plumbing manufacturer, Kohler Co., who has managed to turn this small town just 53 miles north of Milwaukee into a luxury destination. Our trip was pretty low key so instead of detailing our itinerary, I’ll give you six reasons you should visit Destination Kohler next time you’re looking to get away or just need some quality rest and relaxation!

{The American Club Resort in Kohler, Wisconsin}

1 // Five Star Accommodations. We stayed at The American Club, a Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond Hotel in Kohler, Wisconsin. In addition to The American Club, Destination Kohler boasts several other premier accommodations in the area including The American Club Carriage House [a spa and wellness-focused luxury hotel] and The Inn on Woodlake [currently closed until Spring]. We chose The American Club because the rates were good and they allow children [Carriage House does not and we originally planned to bring Palmer] and we really enjoyed our stay. The property is stunning, originally built in 1918, it is beautifully maintained and decorated in a rustic, dark and masculine style. In addition to the incredible amenities I mention below, they also offer a plethora of recreational activities in their Sports Core Fitness facility [two swimming pools and fitness equipment], afternoon tea in The Greenhouse cafe, valet, complimentary shuttle service anywhere in town and 24 hour in-room dining. If you choose to stay at the Carriage House, in addition to the above, you also receive complimentary continental breakfast, evening drinks and hors d’oeuvres, classes at Yoga on the Lake and Bold Cycle studios at the Shops of Woodlake, passes to River Wildlife for hiking and access to spa amenities without booking services Sunday – Friday. Even as I type this, I’m mentally planning a trip back!

{The American Club Resort in Kohler, Wisconsin}

2 // Luxurious Spa. If you’ve read any of my previous travel posts, then you know I love a good spa experience. This is actually my second time visiting the Kohler Waters Spa at Destination Kohler. I first went years ago on a mother/daughter trip with some close family friends. It was my first real spa experience and since then I’ve always wanted to go back. This time I got the Uniquely Yours facial and opted for dermaplaning and a hydrating mask to rehydrate and replenish my skin. I actually really wanted a massage but I booked too late and they didn’t have any availability. [Note: they are operating at 25% capacity due to COVID.] I enjoyed the facial but I will say that it wasn’t anything too special. I’m a few days out now and my skin still feels nice and smooth, no breakouts or irritation, but it’s hard to know how much of that is due to the facial. However, the real perk of receiving spa services at Kohler Waters Spa is access to the spa amenities including underground relaxation pool, sundeck with fireplace, multiple hot tubs, sauna, steam room and several relaxation areas. The ambiance is perfect for a little R&R – calm, clean, comfortable – the staff are unobtrusive and there are multiple places to escape if you’re looking for a more private or romantic setting. It’s really a lovely place to unwind or decompress. [Note, they do have a two service minimum during holiday weekends and on Saturdays.]

{Relaxation Pool at Kohler Waters Spa at The American Club in Kohler Wisconsin}
{Relaxing post facial on the sundeck at Kohler Waters Spa}

3 // World Class Golf. Destination Kohler has four world renowned golf courses between Whistling Straights and Blackwolf Run. They are regulars on Golf Digest’s list of Best Public Courses and have hosted many PGA Championships and other respected tournaments over the years. It being January when we visited, we obviously didn’t golf but I’ve only heard the best things. I know Kevin is dying to go back this Spring/Summer to hit the links himself.

4 // Fine Dining. Most of the restaurants are located at the American Club Resort which is super convenient but it isn’t your typical hotel food fare. For example, The Immigrant Restaurant is rated AAA Four-Diamond and a Four-Star by Forbes and requires gentlemen wear jackets. We aren’t that fancy so we opted to eat at Horse & Plow, the casual, pub-style restaurant where there’s no dress code and reservations aren’t required. The food was good, prices reasonable and the service excellent so no complaints but it definitely was not a romantic dinner by any stretch.

{Greenhouse cafe at The American Club Resort in Kohler, Wisconsin}

5 // Boutique Shops. The Shops of Woodlake are quite charming. All the shops are small, locally owned and boast the best selection of curated goods. It’s a great place to look for unique gifts that you wouldn’t typically find in the chain stores. After we arrived, we strolled over on our afternoon walk and enjoyed perusing the Kohler Gardener Shop, Wisconsin Trader and Little Love. We also stopped in Woodlake Market for some wine and cheese to take back to our room for a little pre-dinner treat.

{Kohler Gardener Shop at the Shops of Woodlake}

6 // Low Key Town. There’s really not much to do in Kohler outside of the resort amenities. You can visit the neighboring town of Sheboygan on Lake Michigan but otherwise it’s a pretty low key destination. For us, that was perfect and exactly what we needed. I’m a doer and experience extreme amounts of FOMO so if you take me somewhere where there’s something to do, I’m probably going to do it, even if I don’t really care to. It helps me relax knowing I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing – which is nothing in this case! Plus, Kohler is only 2 short hours north of Chicago which makes it the perfect city escape!

{The small and quiet town of Kohler, Wisconsin}

All in we were only in Kohler for about 24 hours but it’s a special for sure and one I know we will return to soon!



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