With the return of travel and a continued interest in local and regional American destinations, many hotels and resorts are gearing up and ready to welcome travelers and give them all the space they need – especially the resorts that have plenty of it.
The award-winning, AAA Four-Diamond Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, an AAA Four-Diamond all-seasons resort, has been looking forward to summer 2021 and the return of simple summer pleasures. Another summer of guests enjoying the resort’s 1,300 acres of Wisconsin countryside and collection of outdoor experiences and traditional summer offerings. Located 90 minutes from Chicago and 50 minutes from Milwaukee, the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa features 356 guest accommodations, including deluxe rooms and suites, along with 29 villas.
On site, guests can enjoy the WELL Spa + Salon; two championship 18-hole golf courses; The Mountain Top, a ski and snowboard facility; 62,000-square-feet of meeting and convention space and three restaurants. Also on the resort’s grounds is the Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark, featuring 225 guest suites and 50,000 square feet of year-round, indoor/outdoor waterpark excitement, bringing the total number of rooms on the Grand Geneva campus to 609.
Highlights of these simple summer pleasures include the return of classic experiences such as fireworks, the pool, and open air and summer breezes, at Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, Lake Geneva, WI.
Summer isn’t complete without fireworks! Start your week with a bang. Grand Geneva kicked off the unofficial start of summer with the return of its annual Sunday night fireworks beginning Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend (May 30-September 5). The show begins 9:15pm each Sunday evening from May 30 – July 25 and 8:45pm every Sunday evening August 1-29 and 8:15pm on Sunday, September 5. Those interested can take advantage of the resort’s special package which includes overnight accommodations, the fireworks show lakeside yof the resort, a bottle of red or white wine or sparkling water, a picnic blanket and two portable wine glasses.
My friend and I stayed for the weekend this summer at Grand Geneva, and it was an experience beyond any other in the Midwest! It was a real pleasure to be at such a relaxing, yet elegant hotel. The resort exudes excellent customer service and hospitality. We stayed in a junior suite in the main lodge with a small kitchen and eating area. There was a separate part with comfy sofas to watch TV and a writing desk and chair. The beds were like laying on soft linen clouds. My favorite part of the room was the outdoor patio attached, which gave us a nice view of the golf course (also recommended as a great spot to watch the fireworks). Grand Geneva also made us feel very welcome with a plate of chocolate covered strawberries saying in chocolate script “Welcome to the Grand.”
The lobby interior of Grand Geneva is also a beautiful place to see and walk through. An elegant, commanding chandelier composed of antlers and candles oversees the center of the lobby, while there are plenty of places to sit, lounge and put your feet up. The lobby also has a snack, coffee and drink bar, where you can relax in between resort activities. The lounge area has high opened ceilings with a lovely view of the outdoor pools. I highly enjoyed swimming in the Grand Geneva outdoor pool. It was perfect and refreshing to swim in on a hot, summer day. The pool deck area had a great ambiance and was very family friendly.
Our Sunday evening during our Grand Geneva stay began with an incredible dinner at the Grand Geneva Chophouse. The resort takes its culinary arts very seriously and goes out of its way for its guests. Abigail, the restaurant manager, came over to our table and checked in to see how we were doing during the meal.
Everything we ate and drank was culinary extravagance. We ate outside on the beautiful patio, also with lovely views of the golf course. We started the meal with crisp, clean margaritas and glasses of white chardonnay. Main courses included a marvelous seafood dish for my friend (the Branzino Meuniere – a blend of crab, spinach, caper butter, preserved lemon and herbs) and the vegetarian Buddha Bowl, which was perfect for me (a harmonious and delicious medley of wild mushroom, asparagus, bell pepper, sweet potato, chickpeas, quinoa-farro tabbouleh and chimichurri). My dish was wonderfully spiced and prepared. Our side dishes were fluffy and buttery yukon gold mashed potatoes and toasted carrots with apple blossom boney and chervil.
What is a grand dinner without a fantastic dessert to finish the meal off? We sampled luscious carrot cake (vanilla bean cream cheese anglaise, carrot glass), creamy creme brulee (vanilla bean custard, bruleed sugar) and a sinful salted chocolate caramel cake (chocolate cake, coffee Italian chocolate buttercream, brownie brittle, salted caramel ganache).
Besides the outdoor dining patio for the Chophouse, there is also patio space for guests to have bites, drinks, including a sitting area with a fireplace. At night, strands of white lights shine above your head like bright stars in the dark sky. After dinner, my friend and I enjoyed the Sunday evening fireworks show outside on the resort grounds. The fireworks were beautiful and beyond impressive-I had not witnessed such an amazing fireworks display in quite a while.
Other great options for summer activities offered by Grand Geneva include the unique option to zip around the rustic roads of southeast Wisconsin on a scooter. Guests and visitors may rent a scooter privately for a few hours or take a guided tour around the area with Lake Geneva Scooter Tours and Rentals at Grand Geneva. All that’s required is a valid driver’s license and some quick on-site instruction. Scooters are available for rent via the resort’s Adventure Center which also offers hiking, biking, sand volleyball, disc golf and more.
We also loved the opportunity to ride a classic car! Grand Geneva has teamed up with the classic car rental company, American Classic Rental (ACR), to offer guests the opportunity to rent and drive popular American cars from the 1940’s through 1970’s. Guests can social distance in style in the fresh air, and explore the open Wisconsin country roads in some of America’s most popular vintage vehicles. The resort’s lineup of cars includes a 1969 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow; 1980 Chevrolet Corvette; 1965 Shelby Cobra Tribute; 1968 Pontiac GTO; 1972 Oldsmobile 442 W-30l and more. Cars may be booked online in advance, and are available through the resort’s Adventure Center.
We had the honor of driving a beautiful, red 1968 Pontiac GTO. We had the classic vehicle for two glorious hours and drove it all around downtown Lake Geneva. The only setback of the experience was that Lake Geneva’s speed limit does not get much faster than 35 miles per hour; we felt that this car was not being driven or utilized to its full potential.
The overall summer vacation was chock full of outdoor and culinary adventures, which you can only experience at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. Summer’s not over just yet-book and reserve now!
Photos: Jennifer Lunz