Follow our itinerary for the ultimate weekend of indulgence and pampering in Kohler
Pack your swimsuit, lounge-wear and dinner attire and jump in the car. Tune the radio to a jazz station and make the easy two-hour drive to Kohler, a village just west of Sheboygan. Your first stop is the charming Craverie Chocolatier Café for a light lunch of sandwiches, soup or salads—and of course a chocolate or two. (A word of advice: Pick up a box of chocolates for the rest of your weekend. You’ll thank yourself later.) Next, drive a few blocks to the Carriage House, a property of the revered American Club resort, and home to the Kohler Waters Spa. Drop your bags off at your room, a stately space outfitted in Baker and McGuire furniture and Kohler bathroom fixtures. Change into your suit and robe—it’s spa time!
Make a quick lap around the beautiful subterranean spa and decide what to do first: Read magazines or nap in posh lounge chairs? Take a dip in the eighty-five-degree pool and submerge yourself under the waterfall? Enjoy the whirlpool, invigorating plunge pool, steam room and sauna in the locker room? Oh, but don’t forget the spa services you’ve scheduled. Water treatments are a signature: Have buckets of warm water streamed over your body in the Highland Fling or enjoy the contrasts of warm and cool water applications in the Aquatonic Body and Face. An organic facial feels and smells divine, while other skin-rejuvenating treatments are also available. And if you can’t decide between the Swedish, ah-shiatsu, warm stone or sinus massages, opt for the massage sampler, which melds all four. Top off all that pampering with a visit to the Carriage House’s new rooftop lounge where you can stretch out on a chaise or sofa under skylights or near a sleek fireplace. Ahhhh …
After a quick shower—or not so quick, depending on how sidetracked you get by the bells and whistles of your bathroom—slip into your evening best. A short walk brings you to the American Club, the only hotel in the Midwest to receive AAA’s Five Diamond Award. Have a drink at the cozy Library Bar, where a piano player provides music and ambience Friday and Saturday nights. At the award-winning Immigrant Restaurant, you’ll be seated in one of six elegant rooms decorated in the style of Wisconsin’s early settlers: the English, Dutch, German, French, Normandy and Danish. Don’t be afraid to ask for wine and food recommendations; the staff is both knowledgeable and friendly. After indulging in a meal of contemporary and regional dishes—caviar, wild boar and a Wisconsin artisan cheese flight are among your choices—head back to your room and sink into the fluffy bed. Good night, indeed.
If yesterday’s spa treatments have you feeling refreshed, stop by Yoga on the Lake for an early morning vinyasa class; beautiful hardwood floors and natural light streaming in will help you find your center. Or simply soak in your bathroom’s whirlpool tub if you want to ease into the day. Later, walk back over to the American Club for a buffet brunch in the grand Wisconsin Room. Awaiting you are fresh-squeezed orange juice (and mimosas), made-to-order omelets and waffles, specialty pizzas, mini smoothies, fresh fruit, pastries and pretty one-bite treats.
Reluctantly admit that your weekend getaway is winding to a close. But before you leave Kohler, wander through the Shops at Woodlake and browse the boutiques’ gifts, home décor, artwork and clothing. And if the town has left you inspired to upgrade your own bathroom, check out the Kohler Design Center, where you can peruse sinks, faucets, tubs and more and pick up ideas in designer-created vignettes. Relaxed, inspired and happy, you’re now ready to face reality.
Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine.