48 Hours At Luxe Resort: Destination Kohler, Wisconsin


American Club Hotel Destination Kohler Wisconsin

About an hour north of Milwaukee and a 10-minute drive west of Lake Michigan, Destination Kohler is a pocket of unexpected luxury and impeccable hospitality. Owned by plumbing manufacturer Kohler Company, the resort offers golf, fine dining and spa services—all within a two-mile sanctuary. The American Club hotel is the only AAA Diamond hotel in the Midwest, and its premiere Whistling Straits golf course will re-host the PGA Championship this year. Though the resort is fairly small in size, there is an abundance of activities to keep any guest entertained. Shop at the 20+ boutique stores at the Shops at Woodlake, attend one of their many special events (including beer and food festivals), or take a carriage ride or art class.

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American Club Hotel Destination Kohler Wisconsin room


Though Destination Kohler offers three lodging options, The American Club provides the most central and unique accommodations. Once a dormitory for immigrant employees who worked at the company factory across the street, the hotel consists of wood-paneled hallways, outdoors patios, and luxurious public lounges. Expect to be treated well— mannerly doormen, hand-written cards, and free chocolate gifts make you feel especially pampered. Each hotel room is equipped with the latest Kohler appliances, including rain showerheads and whirlpool baths. Free coffee and tea is served during the mornings. From the hotel, on-demand shuttles carry guests across the resort, though all destinations are walkable in pleasant weather.

American Club Hotel Destination Kohler Wisconsin restaurant

Dinner at BlackWolf Run and River Wildlife

With 12 restaurants across the resort, there are plenty of dining options to entertain the palate. Overlooking the River and Meadow Valleys golf courses, Black Wolf Run offers comfortable American fare such as corn and sausage chowder and honey-glazed smoked pork chops. For the more adventurous or romantic eater, River Wildlife offers seasonal entrees with local game meat, including elk and peasant. River Wildlife is actually a three-lofted, log cabin nestled within the forest, and diners meander down a short, wooded trail before arriving at the restaurant. Of course, there is also the four-star, jacket-only Immigrant Restaurant within the American Club compound, but reservations are difficult to come by and not worth the hassle.

Kohler Design Center Wisconsin

Kohler Design Center

Only a five-minute walk from the American Club, the Kohler Design Center (free admission) is well worth a visit. Effervescent bathtubs and thousand-dollar toilets are all on display in this three-level modern structure, and guests are encouraged to try out the products. The Design Room Gallery, showcasing exquisite rooms created by distinguished interior designers, makes you wish you lived at the center.

American Club Hotel Destination Kohler Wisconsin spa

Kohler Waters Spa

The Kohler Waters Spa is one of the only 41 spas worldwide with a Forbes Five-Star, and it lives up to its distinction. Guests are provided with plush robes and can enjoy the spa premises before their treatment, including lounge chairs by the eight-foot waterfall and healthy snacks (i.e., granola bites, organic tea, and roasted almonds). Try the 50-minute Spa Citrus Reviver, a warm Vichy shower with a facial massage and cool-stone eye treatment. The dark room and rainfall on your back is unbelievably soothing, and your masseuse is always very gracious and professional. Also take advantage of the hour-long manicures or pedicures, which will leave both your feet and ankles soft and moisturized.

Brunch at Wisconsin Room

Located right within the American Club, the buffet brunch ($34) in the Wisconsin Room will satisfy any kind of appetite. Once a mess hall for the Kohler workers, the restaurant is now a large, vintage wood-paneled dining room. The sheer amount of food is staggering, from savory options like oysters and smoked salmon to sweeter delights, including macaroons and seasonal pot de crèmes. Freshly toasted bagels are available upon request, along with a fresh pat of butter.

American Club Hotel Destination Kohler Wisconsin chocolate

Chocolates at Craverie Chocolatier Cafe

About half a mile from the American Club is the Caverie Chocolate Cafe, a modern French-like bistro specializing in chocolate candies. Glass cases of shimmering truffles and homemade gelato are very tempting upon first sight, but try a warm Chai latte and Sea Salt Chocolate croissant before ordering dessert. From the dining alcove which overlooks a small lake, you can watch the pastry chefs craft Kohler’s famous Terrapin (“turtles”), a perfect morsel of chocolate, smoky pecans, and burnt caramel. Trust me—they live up to the hype. Don’t forget to pick up a box of passion fruit ganaches and pomegranate truffles for the road.

Photos: The American Club Resort/Destination Kohler

Judy Wu contributor profile


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