In late fall, I had another opportunity for a quick getaway to a favorite Midwestern destination of mine, Lake Geneva, WI. My overnight stay was at the Abbey Resort & Avani Spa. I finally had the opportunity to briefly check out the Grand Geneva Resort & WELL Spa; in all the years I’ve been visiting this area, I’ve never had the opportunity to check this resort out or its spa out. At both spas, I’d also experience a treatment. The evening brought a surprise dining experience at the fully restored Baker House. Obviously with such a short amount of time in my schedule, I wasn’t able to fully take advantage of a special gathering of area journalists to explore the variety of activities, accommodations and eateries for singles, couples and families. Of course, my hosts graciously extended a standing invitation for me to return to experience what I wasn’t able to experience this time around. For me, the travel time from my home to this popular tourist destination is approximately two and one-half hours. I’m already thinking about doing a return visit next spring.
The allure of this destination may vary depending on what has drawn someone to its shores, but one thing is certain, each time a person returns, they discover new things about picturesque Lake Geneva and its beautiful Geneva Lake. That newfound information always beckons their return!
An Historical Snapshot of The Newport of the West ~
“…The Lake Geneva area is unique for many reasons, including its incredible number of beautiful historic and contemporary mansions. The community began earning is nickname "The Newport of the West", almost from its official inception in 1836. The great Chicago fire brought increasing number of Chicagoans into the Lake Geneva area. Many had lost their homes and businesses in the fire and simply moved to Lake Geneva as a "temporary solution" while their homes and places of business were being rebuilt. Often, they elected to stay, lured by the expansive natural surroundings and solid job market that offered numerous farming and manufacturing opportunities. Others elected to stay, drawn by the new found quality of life they had discovered, and commute via rail to their businesses in Chicago. Over the years, many lovely homes, estates and cottages were built. Today, many of these homes still exist and can be seen along the Geneva Lake shoreline. The Lake Geneva area is unique for many reasons, including its incredible number of beautiful historic and contemporary mansions. The community began earning is nickname "The Newport of the West", almost from its official inception in 1836. The great Chicago fire brought increasing number of Chicagoans into the Lake Geneva area. Many had lost their homes and businesses in the fire and simply moved to Lake Geneva as a "temporary solution" while their homes and places of business were being rebuilt. Often, they elected to stay, lured by the expansive natural surroundings and solid job market that offered numerous farming and manufacturing opportunities. Others elected to stay, drawn by the new found quality of life they had discovered, and commute via rail to their businesses in Chicago. Over the years, many lovely homes, estates and cottages were built. Today, many of these homes still exist and can be seen along the Geneva Lake shoreline…”
My Brief Encounters ~
Abbey Resort & Avani Spa ~ A new addition to the Avani Spa’s impressive treatment menu is the Reflexology Treatment. My therapist, Amanda, meticulously worked all of the major organ regions that run throughout my body, converging within the hands and feet. One of the better such treatments I’ve received over the years. It was both therapeutic and restorative. My only disappointment was that lunch around the gorgeous Spa Pool was eerily quiet, because my timing was during the federal government mandate for all pool drains to be retrofitted for safety reasons. http://www.theabbeyresort.com/
Grand Geneva Resort & WELL Spa ~ This resort was the former Playboy Club Mansion, which catered to golf and tennis, and the gawkers of the bunny-tail types. The WELL Spa is housed in a separate building that also contains tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. Although the walk from the main resort isn’t that great of a distance, I wouldn’t want to traipse from the lobby outdoor in frigid wintery weather to get from the resort to the WELL Spa. Because my schedule was limited, I opted for the Signature Pedicure minus the color; Wendy, my technician, did a wonderful job of exfoliating, grooming and buffing; I also enjoyed the foot and leg massage. http://www.grandgeneva.com
Baker House ~ A restored Victorian manor house that is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Baker House transports its guests to an era of fun and frivolity. Upon entering, period dressed staff greet guests and extend an invitation for them to select a vintage hat, which they’re encouraged to wear for the duration of their visit. At sunset, all guests go to the picturesque front yard and after the bugler plays a flourish, a toast is made by all on the history of the manor house and the glorious setting sun amidst Geneva Lake as its backdrop. Following the Sunset Toast, a tasting dinner of delicious cuisine was served on antique china followed by period costumed staff; guests were encouraged to sit in one of the restored rooms that harken to a bygone day where the stresses of life were inconsequential. The food was as delicious as the visuals were tantalizing and unique experience.
Before leaving, my group was given tours of the exquisitely decorated guest suites; each room was decorated differently with distinctive details reminiscent of the Victorian era. http://www.bakerhouse1885.com
Additional accommodation suggestions include Bella Vista Suites http://www.bellavistasuites.com
Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva http://www.lodgingbythelake.com and Lake Lawn Resort http://www.lakelawnresort.com
Lake Geneva is closer than you think and is waiting to be discovered. The destination offers an abundance of activities for singles, couples or families; it’s an ideal destination for friend’s getaway weekends, class reunions, meetings, etc. Seasonal and year round activities include ziplining, hiking, boating, skiing, golf, themed lake cruises, antiquing, arts and crafts, wine and cheese tastings, guided historical tours, museums, special attractions and of course, dining to please every palate and pocket-book. It’s also a preferred wedding destination, with close proximity for fly-in guests from either Chicago O’Hare International Airport, or Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport. To discover more about this wonderful year round destination, visit Lake Geneva ~ It’s always been the place. http://www.lakegenevawi.com
That’s it for this edition. Until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those you love.
By Terry Herman
Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In addition to writing and reviewing, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker. She also serves on EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness Advisory Board, which is comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa. She also serves as a Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(Opening photo credit from The Baker House website; all others as represented by the specific brand.)
N.B. Google’s blog platform is incompatible with my Mac OS X and Firefox browser latest software versions, which is why some web links appear in different colors and why when attempting to have embedded images their sizing is consistent and/or can’t be sized.