Lake Lawn Resort
Best Resort and Best Prime Rib/Steakhouse
This Walworth County getaway, which traces its beginnings to 1878, is situated along two miles of Delavan Lake’s shoreline. Modern amenities within Lake Lawn’s 271 rooms include private balconies and patio areas. The venue also features an 18-hole championship golf course, boat and water sport rentals, two outdoor swimming pools, an indoor swimming pool, two hot tubs, an outdoor children’s pool, a 165-slip marina and a fitness center. At the in-house Frontier Restaurant, Chef John Billings offers up a variety of specialty entrees with fresh ingredients.
Location: 2400 E. Geneva St., Delavan, WI
lakelawnresort.com | 262-728-7950
The Cherry Tree Inn
Best Bed and Breakfast
This historic establishment, which gained notoriety in Bill Murray’s comedic movie, “Groundhog Day,” is located within the Victorian home. The Cherry Tree Inn features intimate wedding packages and casual family and friend retreats. Private chef services are available on the menu, as are in-room romantic dinners. “Classic Americana is alive and well,” their website says, “and is just waiting for you to take part in celebrating life.”
Location: 344 Fremont St., Woodstock, IL
cherrytreeinnbnb.com | 815-308-5946
The Geneva Inn
Best Bed & Breakfast Inn
Situated on the shores of Geneva Lake, this year-round establishment offers up panoramic waterfront views and a range of hospitality, dining and personalized service. In addition to accommodations, which include assorted rooms and suites, The Geneva Inn also serves as a popular meeting spot for corporate retreats, group and private events and even weddings. The on-site Grandview Restaurant offers diners a spectacular lakefront view. Menu items include signature fresh seafood and prime steaks, among other savory meals.
Location: N2009 S. Lake Shore Drive, Lake Geneva, WI
genevainn.com | 262-248-5680
For all seasons, ages, and tempos: Grand Geneva Resort and Spa
Debuting as the Playboy Club Hotel in 1968, today the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa attracts all ages, whether for the bountiful outdoor activities, or as a relaxing retreat.
The resort sits on 1,300 acres of Wisconsin’s woodlands, and is located just three miles northeast of downtown Lake Geneva. The main lodge’s Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired design of wood and stone comprises 356 guest rooms and suites. For more privacy, 29 villas, for one to eight guests, offer spacious living areas, full kitchens and outdoor seating areas.
Whatever the season, activities abound at the Grand Geneva, from golf and swimming in the summer, to skiing and ice-skating in the winter.
Families love the Moose Mountain Falls Waterpark at Timber Ridge Lodge, the resort’s sister-property. There, children can zoom their way down 35-foot high slides or relax along a lazy river, while toddlers can splash around in their own reserved space.
When it’s time to luxuriate, the WELL Spa + Salon at Grand Geneva offers massages, body treatments and facials. Guests who need a pick-me-up visit the salon for a haircut, manicure, pedicure or make-up application.
A variety of eateries caters to every taste— from the Links Bar and Grill for lunch before a round of golf, to an elegant dinner at the Geneva ChopHouse.
Grand Geneva offers its guests the finest of facilities and amenities in a beautiful setting – in all seasons, for all ages, at any tempo.
Location: 7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, WI
grandgeneva.com | 262-248-8811
Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark
This all-suite resort and indoor waterpark is a Lake Geneva staple. The 50,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor water park features 35-foot-high slides, with an adventure-filled 300-feet of twists and turns ending in a heated pool, as well as more than 500 feet of relaxation along the Lazy River. There also is an area for young swimmers, aptly named Tiny Timbers. In addition to this, the venue includes fully stocked suites designed to maximize the getaway experience, with full kitchen, a whirlpool tub and in-room fireplaces. Other offerings on Timber Ridge’s grounds include an adventure center, golf, horseback riding, multiple dining options and a spa.
Location: 7020 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva, WI
timberridgelodge.com | 262-249-3400
Best Bed & Breakfast
Visitors to the “Redwood Cottage” at 327 Wrigley Drive in Lake Geneva might be surprised when they first lay eyes on this Queen Anne mansion. With its California Redwood shingles, stained glass, custom crafted doors, inlaid wood floors, and carved mantels, this work of architectural beauty is a cottage only in the Gilded Age sense.
Built under the direction of Emily Baker as a tribute to her late husband Robert, the 17,000-square-foot, 30-room Baker House offers six elegant hotel rooms and a fine dining restaurant.
The house and its location on Geneva Lake are “things that people go over the moon for,” says Courtney Waller, the Baker House’s general manager.
But the Baker House is not about tuxedos and white tablecloths. Instead, the home’s history as a summer retreat lends a relaxed and welcoming air.
After crossing over the RHB (for Robert Baker) inlaid tiles on the threshold, guests are welcomed into the parlor, game room, or dining room, to enjoy their leisurely meal. The front porch and lakefront garden are also available for dining.
Chef Joe Lazansky has added classic dishes from the Wisconsin supper club menu, such as roasted duck and braised short ribs, to the menu that includes lobster and filet mignon. A seafood parfait featuring lobster, crab, and shrimp is a customer favorite, Waller says.
On Sundays, Baker House hosts a brunch where Bloody Marys and mimosas complement breakfast items, lunch entrees, salads, omelets-to-order and desserts.
Guests come for the live music on Friday and Saturday nights, to watch the sun set over the lake from the garden over drinks and appetizers, or to celebrate a wedding or anniversary.
Whatever the occasion, guests are welcome to choose one of the vintage hats from the Baker House collection – a fedora or a straw boater for the gentlemen, a 1920s cloche or a 1960s pillbox for the women. They’re part of the fun at Baker House, where donning a hat lets guests step back in time to the Age of Elegance, while enjoying exquisite cuisine.
Location: 327 Wrigley Dr., Lake Geneva, WI
bakerhouse1885.com | 262-248-4700
Camp Wandawega is a historic campground located on the shores of Lake Wandawega in Elkhorn. Built in 1925 by a group of Chicagoans looking to create a speakeasy during the Prohibition Era, the property has quite a history: it has been a tavern, a lakefront resort and even a Latvian church camp.
Later it was purchased by David Hernandez—who spent his childhood camping there—and his wife, Tereasa Surratt. The couple’s goal was to restore the property, so they began by sprucing up the cabins, the lodge and the other structures. They also added vintage items and outdoorsy decor to pair with the natural surroundings.
Hernandez and Surratt do their best to inform prospective visitors that Camp Wandawega, which is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, wasn’t created to be a luxury experience. Their website includes a “Manifesto of Low Expectations,” explaining that the camp is the “definition of rustic.”
The 25-acre property has a multitude of activities including an archery field, shuffleboard, horseshoes, a tennis court, hiking trails, vintage bicycles to ride, canoes, several vintage aluminum boats, fishing equipment, a private lakefront, and a giant bonfire pit. The lodge, the main building of the former Wandawega Hotel, provides indoor communal areas, such as a great room and dining room, and guests are welcome to cook their own food using any one of the camp’s grills, smokers or griddles. The newest addition to the camp is the Hill House, a recently restored three-bedroom, two-bath home adjacent to Camp Wandawega’s property.
Location: W5453 Lake View, Elkhorn, WI
wandawega.com | email@example.com
Best Boutique Hotel
This deeply rooted hotel was the first mansion built in Lake Geneva and over time has hosted a number of dignitaries and socialites. More recently, current owners have restored the Maxwell Mansion to its original 1800s-era character. The mansion offers six traditional-style rooms designed to mirror old-world customs with antiques and other similar décor. The venue also houses the more modern, rustic-themed Carriage House and Stable Suites, which is adorned with reclaimed building materials from some of Wisconsin’s barns. Other features include a lawn draped with century-old oak trees, gardens, a lounge area, outdoor fireplaces, a heated pool, croquet and an area for bocce ball tournaments.
Location: 314 S. Wells St., Lake Geneva, WI
maxwellmansion1856.com | 262-248-9711