Five Romantic Trips for Valentine’s Day

Wisconsin resorts offer everything from a rustic getaway to an indulgent spa weekend

The Sandhill cabin in Kohler makes for a romantically rustic getaway for two.

The Sandhill cabin in Kohler makes for a romantically rustic getaway for two.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SANDHILL

Private Luxury

For a perfectly secluded getaway, look no further than Canoe Bay. The private, adults-only resort offers twenty-five different, divinely designed accomm-odations, including freestanding Prairie-style cabins made of cedar, oak and stone and packed with luxuries. Decks and windows overlooking a lake keep nature near; to get closer, snowshoe through the grounds’ three hundred acres. Rather relax? Spend an afternoon reading by the fireplace in the library, go for a sleigh ride or schedule an in-room massage. Breakfast is delivered right to your doorstep and lunch can be, too. You’ll become so accustomed to the quiet that encountering other guests in the gorgeous, dimly lit dining room for dinner may come as a bit of a shock.

Love Shack

While it was conceived of as a “hunting shack” for guests visiting Kohler and its renowned American Club resort, Sandhill is a celebration of rustic luxury. This private, red-roofed, two-thousand-square-foot cabin is set on a 350-acre slice of wilderness. Inside, rough wood beams and walls set the backdrop for a rich leather sofa, thick rugs and a gourmet kitchen—which can be stocked before your arrival. A lofted bedroom is a cozy hideaway. Snowshoes are ready if you want to explore outside, or head into town for pampering at the Kohler Waters spa or a meal at one of the American Club’s renowned restaurants.

Nestled in History

The “quiet season” is a lovely time to visit Door County, especially if you’re staying at the historic Blacksmith Inn. Made up of two buildings—the Zahn House, built in 1912, and the Harbor House, added in 2000—the adults-only and Travel Green-certified inn combines a respect for the past with timeless hospitality. Each of fifteen guest rooms boasts its own fireplace, whirlpool and private balcony, and many overlook Baileys Harbor. Enjoy a homemade continental breakfast and cherry oatmeal cookies. Guests can also borrow snowshoes, perhaps for a stroll along the Lake Michigan shore or a visit to the nearby Ridges Sanctuary, where a trek takes you past a lighthouse down to the chilly beach.

Serene and Soothing

What’s better than visiting a luxurious spa? Staying the night after a full day of decadence. That’s the beauty of Sundara Inn & Spa. Tucked within a pine forest, this peaceful retreat seems a world away from its Wisconsin Dells address. Here, you’ll find plenty of ways to relax—from a couples massage to one of Sundara’s new bath treatments to a simple soak in the outdoor whirlpool or heated pool. Continue to unwind in a suite with a king-size featherbed and jacuzzi tub or a private villa decked out with a kitchen, living room and veranda; either is a great spot for a private, in-room hatha yoga class. In the morning, wake up with a healthy buffet breakfast.

A Grand Getaway

Originally the country’s first Playboy Club hotel when it opened in 1968, the Grand Geneva has evolved into a destination resort worthy of its name. Handsome guest rooms and suites, designed in the style of the area’s estate homes, overlook the lake and golf course. The sprawling resort features a chophouse and Italian restaurant for dinner, plus a light-filled dining room for an impressive brunch. The lobby lounge carries on a grand hotel tradition: With soaring windows, a huge roaring fireplace and comfy seating, this is a prime spot to relax with a cocktail and enjoy live music each evening. Up for an adventure? Rent skis or snowboards and take to the resort’s hill—it has more than fifteen runs, including seven black diamonds.

Katie Vaughn is managing editor of Madison Magazine.

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