Wisconsin is a spectacular location for resorts, with its beautiful lakes, expansive forests and outdoor adventures year-round. Here are five of the top resorts in Wisconsin, featuring luxurious accommodations, full-service meeting spaces, creative team building and all of the amenities you would expect from a first-class property.
Grand Geneva Resort and Spa
Located on the shores of scenic Geneva Lake about 50 miles southwest of Milwaukee, Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is one of the most popular getaway destinations in the state. The property recently underwent a renovation of its public spaces, including the lobby and lounge as well as the Grand Café, the resort’s most central dining outlet in an area called The Landing. The Landing has views of the back of the resort, the lake and the 18th hole of The Brute Golf Course. The resort also plans to renovate its guest rooms, adding new bathrooms with stone vanities and marble-tiled showers. Those renovations should be complete by spring of 2023.
The resort has 356 guest rooms and villas a short walk from the main lodge that offer one-, two-, and three-bedroom options with full kitchens. A trolley can take guests between the main lodge, villas, golf shop, ski chalet and Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark, another property owned by the same company that is just down the road from Grand Geneva.
With 62,000 square feet of meeting space, the resort can host small board meetings up to large-scale events. The Forum Convention Center has more than 13,000 square feet of space and can seat up to 1,800 theater-style. There are five ballrooms, including the 7,680-square-foot Grand Ballroom, and smaller breakout rooms. The ski chalet can accommodate up to 500 guests with a full-service restaurant and bar, and the outdoor pavilion offers great views of the lake and countryside.
Grand Geneva offers extensive team building, including skiing and snowboarding on the ski hill, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. In the warmer months, the property offers hiking, biking, disc golf and e-bike tours.
The Osthoff Resort
The Osthoff Resort is perched on Elkhart Lake, attracting guests interested in water-based activities such as renting pontoon boats or taking sunset cruises. Centrally located between Appleton, Milwaukee and Madison, the resort offers 240 guest rooms and more than 38,000 square feet of function space, including the 10,000-square-foot Grand Libelle Ballroom and the luxurious 7,500-square-foot Palm Garden Ballroom, all under one roof. All of the resort’s meeting rooms are divisible, making them perfect for separating meeting sessions from the rooms that host meals and breakout sessions.
The Osthoff has first-class audiovisual capabilities and plenty of pre-function spaces. The resort’s banquet team handles every meal and even has a cooking school on property that offers team-building activities. The most popular is the food truck challenge, where each group is given a large amount of proteins, vegetables and breads and is asked to craft food for its own food truck in a head-to-head competition.
Other team-building activities include water sports, game shows, scavenger hunts, and yoga and meditation sessions through the spa. Nearby Road America allows groups to participate in a “sunset cruise,” a leisurely, low-speed three-lap adventure around the four-mile track with their own vehicles; or race go-karts around the Briggs and Stratton Motorplex.
Osthoff Resort Spa offers a complete range of treatments, including massage, facials, pedicures, nail and salon services. Groups can rent bicycles on property, golf at a variety of nearby courses, play an 18-hole disc course or play foot golf at Marsh Park.
The Four Seasons Island Resort
Al Capone slept here. At least that is part of the mystique that surrounds The Four Seasons Island Resort, which originally opened in 1905. It was built by the Wisconsin and Michigan Railroad as a getaway for the private elite of Chicago and Wisconsin. The Miscauno Inn, as it was called, had 25 bedrooms and cost $1,500 for membership. The original resort burned down in 1923, and a new one was built in 1925, around the original fireplace. It sits on 100-acre Miscauno Island in the Menominee River, which divides Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In 2005, a 55-suite hotel was added on. The resort’s buildings reflect the property’s original architecture but include modern amenities such as a salon and spa, a large saltwater pool and jacuzzi, a workout center and a full-service restaurant.
The resort takes up 66 acres and includes a nine-hole golf course, tennis and kayaking. There are 600 miles of trails right off the island that offer ATV, UTV, snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing, fishing and pontoon boating.
The resort has a boardroom and 9,000 square feet of banquet space, including four meeting rooms that can host groups from 50 to 400. There are three ballrooms with verandas and back porch locations. An in-house executive chef handles all of the catering on property, and groups can select from a preset banquet menu or customize one to meet the needs of attendees.
Lake Lawn Resort
The 271-room Lake Lawn Resort has been operating since 1878. It sits on 250 wooded acres on two miles of Delavan Lake shoreline. The resort has plenty of fun seasonal activities to participate in and has three restaurants on property, including the new 1878 on the Lake. The resort also features the full-service Calladora Spa, 18-hole Majestic Oaks Golf Course, 165-slip marina, and one outdoor and two indoor pools.
The resort provides equipment for games and water and snow sports, including boating, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating.
The conference center has 32,000 square feet of event and meeting space that can accommodate up to 600 guests. The 5,170-square-foot Geneva Ballroom is the largest space, hosting 400 people at rounds or 600 theatre-style. Lake Lawn Room features vaulted ceilings and can host 330 for a banquet or 400 for a reception. Geneva Club also has vaulted ceilings and space enough for 160 banquet guests. There are several smaller rooms for breakouts or smaller meetings, including the Courtyard Boardroom, outdoor event venues and several pre-
The Lake Lawn Queen is a two-level, 76-foot cruise boat that is available for smaller meetings, luncheons or cocktail receptions, with cabin seating for 78 guests. Team building activities include the Lake Lawn 500, where teams prepare a track-worthy vehicle that can navigate through a challenge course or the Lake Lawn Regatta, where teams design, build and then attempt to race their seaworthy vessel across the pool or lake with only materials provided.
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is nestled in the heart of the Wisconsin Dells, about 45 minutes from Madison. Not only is the resort surrounded by natural beauty, but it also features so many fun activities, meeting planners won’t need to organize off-site events.
When groups aren’t in meetings, they can tap into their teenage selves by exploring Kalahari’s immense indoor and outdoor waterparks, which feature waterslides, lazy rivers and Master Blaster, a 570-foot water coaster. Tom Foolerys Adventure Park offers many opportunities for team building or free-time fun, with a six-story Ferris wheel, ropes course, zip line, climbing walls, laser tag, go-karts, miniature golf, a golf simulator and a 24-lane bowling alley. The resort also has the Wrath of Anubis and Bunker 57 escape rooms, an arcade and the Arena Ultimate VR Experience, a warehouse-scale, multi-player virtual reality gaming experience.
The resort has 760 guest rooms and 16 five-bedroom entertainment villas to choose from. Its convention center was recently expanded to 212,000 square feet of flexible space, including three large ballrooms, 47 meeting rooms, four luxury boardrooms and 21 meeting rooms specifically for smaller events. There are nine dining options on-site, from steak and a traditional breakfast buffet to coffee and pub food, including Double Cut Steakhouse, Redd’s Piano Bar and Lounge, Wisconsin Brew Pub, and Ivory Coast Restaurant and Lounge.