True confession, I reside with my family in the wonderful state of Wisconsin. With terrific schools, communities, food and an exceptional quality of life, the Madison area is the perfect place to call home.
Being close to Chicago, and O’Hare, allows me to jet set to any amazing destination around the world. The Windy City is a quick drive away, and I can fly to New York in just a few short hours. Easy access to the good things in life.
As I travel the world for a living, it felt odd that I hadn’t reviewed more destinations in my own backyard. As the Badger state offers exceptional parks, restaurants and resorts, I decided to place an emphasis on local experiences. First on the agenda was Old World Wisconsin. A family-favorite, but certainly not a luxury destination.
The second “must-do” travel destination, which truly offers luxe experiences, is the American Club Resort in Kohler. As Wisconsin’s only Forbes Five-Star and AAA 5-diamond hotel, this luxury spa and resort exceeds expectations with its modern conveniences, superb services and premium amenities.
A tiny hamlet located minutes from the city of Sheboygan and the Lake Michigan coast, the Village of Kohler and their hospitality destinations are best described by two words: remarkable and memorable.
For a remarkable escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, step back in time to a different era. Kohler and the American Club offers historic appeal, uncompromising service and gracious hospitality which guests will never forget. With its Tudor architecture, soaring roof peaks and slate tile, the resort exudes Old World charm. Acclaimed interior designer Frank Nicholson designed the interior, and all 240 rooms have Kohler fixtures in the bathroom. The hotel is also filled with traditional American heritage Baker and McGuire furnishings.
The memorable experiences are plentiful, from the in-house Wisconsin Room restaurant known for its tasty brunch to the Kohler Waters Spa for its wide array of treatments and services. If you prefer to be active, there’s also a sports facility that features pools, tennis courts, golf courses and more.
Getting around Kohler is a snap. Shuttles are available on demand to transport guests to the sports clubs, restaurants, shops or spa.
Surprisingly, this timeless getaway is relatively new to the hospitality industry. The American Club property was once a dormitory, complete with a pub, bowling alley and barbershop, for immigrant employees working at the Kohler factory.
Kohler CEO Herbert Kohler Jr. had a vision to transform the namesake village into one of the Midwest’s most luxurious vacation destinations. In 1981, after a detailed restoration and renovation, the American Club remerged as a full-service resort and spa.
Soon after followed the renowned golf courses of Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, eleven dining outlets, The Shops at Woodlake, River Wildlife, Sports Core and other resort properties.
Regarding Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, golfers praise the championship courses, saying their beauty rivals the rugged courses of Scotland.
Escape to Wisconsin for sublime dining, shopping, golf and relaxation. The American Club Resort, a Pursuitist Platinum property, is a remarkable and memorable destination for a quick getaway from the ordinary. Watch our video tour below:
We arrived at the Village of Kohler. First on the agenda, lunch at Blackwolf Run…
Blackwolf Run offers an award-winning 36 holes of championship golf on two courses.
Lunch was enjoyed in a cozy and rustic room complete with a toasty fireplace.
Wonderful Wisconsin views are endless at Blackwolf Run.
Just a quick drive away is the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Even their restrooms are creative and stocked with Kohler plumbing fixtures. Here’s the Men’s room…
The Center is devoted to innovative explorations in contemporary American art.
Finally, we arrived at the American Club Resort with its Old World charm and exceptional service.
A quick tour of our comfortable room…
Elegantly designed and spacious…
Complete with Kohler products…
On to dinner at the remarkable River Wildlife Lodge.
Literally, River Wildlife Lodge is a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods.
Friday. Fish. Wisconsin. Delicious.
We surprised our daughters with a horse-driven carriage ride back to the American Club.
Afterwards, a quick cocktail at the bar off of the lobby.
The next morning, breakfast at the Wisconsin Room. Terrific brunch.
And then a walk around the charming grounds.
Waiting for a shuttle as we’re on our way to the Sports Core.
And we took a paddleboat out for a quick ride around the lake.
Then on to swimming. After swimming, custom-built smoothies were needed!
And more delicious treats at the Craverie Chocolatier Cafe.
Who wouldn’t want to spend hours here?
On to the Spa. A truly beautiful and relaxing destination.
Another photo of the horse-driven carriage as we’re waiting for a shuttle.
As we arrive to the Whistling Straights Golf Course and Restaurant.
Which offered exceptional wine and food…
In a beautiful setting overlooking Lake Michigan.
The next morning, brunch in the Wisconsin Room. “Life without Labor is Guilt; Labor without Art is Brutality.” – John Ruskin.
One last trip to the dessert table.
A visit to the Kohler Design Center.
And then a quick farewell to the lovely American Club.
Departing in the Lexus GX 460.
Christopher Parr, is the Editor and Chief Content Creator for Pursuitist, and a contributing writer to USA Today, Business Insider — and the on-air host of Travel Tuesday on Live at 4 CBS. He is an award-winning luxury marketing veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. USA Today has named him one of the “Top 10 Luxury Travel Bloggers” — and Madison Magazine honored him as one of the “Top 20 Most Influential People in Madison.”