The American Club
What We Love
- The resort is a two-hour drive from Chicago and a one-hour drive from Milwaukee
- Demonstration Kitchen cooking series, hosted by Kohler’s resort chefs, every Saturday from January through April
- Kohler’s enormous world-class fitness facility, featuring six indoor tennis courts, top-tier instruction, scheduled classes, every conceivable piece of equipment and a restaurant
What To Know
- A six percent resort fee per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- The resort is spread out, and some attractions are too far to walk; free shuttles are provided
- Some restaurants and resort facilities operate on limited schedules and the golf course is closed in the winter
- Treatments in the 25,000-square-foot Kohler Waters Spa can be pricey; spa usage fees and minimum service requirements may apply
- The American Club is popular for weddings, events and corporate retreats
- Guests 15 and under are not permitted in the Carriage House Immersion Suite
- Golf Course
- Parking On Site
In the early 20th century, industrialist Walter Kohler hired Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York’s Central Park, to build a Utopian factory town for his immigrant workers. Today, Kohler is still an American dream, a four-season resort with world-class golf courses, hotels, spas and restaurants. Its flagship is The American Club, a luxury boutique hotel in which every bathroom is a one-of-a-kind showcase for Kohler’s highest-end spa and plumbing products.
Bed and Bath
Rooms feature heavy down comforters and high-thread-count sheets, wet bars and fine furniture from Kohler’s own lines: Baker, Mark David, and McGuire. But it’s the bathrooms where the company makes its grandest statement. In the main building, they range from very impressive to over the top, each one featuring a signature Kohler “Shower Experience,” which might include steam, chromotherapy lights, massage jets or a combination, while many also have jetted tubs.
Kohler owns virtually every shop, restaurant and hotel in town. The result? A seamless town-slash-resort hybrid in which you can charge everything to your room, from meals at the off-premises Cucina Italian restaurant to classes at Yoga on the Lake. The American Club’s four-star Immigrant Restaurant offers fine dining with a nod to regional traditions, like local walleye, while the Horse & Plow pub serves homemade Wisconsin bratwurst and other hearty Midwestern specialties. The other resort facilities include a 25,000 square foot spa, the enormous fitness and racket club, an upscale shopping center at Woodlake, an 800-acre River Wildlife nature and outdoor sports preserve (for an additional cost), and a litany of tours and scheduled activities.
How to Get There
Kohler has the best in materials and design at their fingertips; why do they continue to decorate the hotel like its 1985? Truly terrible design, and I don’t know if it’s the designer or the management to blame. I can tell you, at this price, the room should be a comfortable place you would love to lounge and hate to leave. Instead it’s the place you really try not to come back to until bedtime. Such a shame. The staff is A+. The spa is unsurpassed. The yoga studio is the bomb. The food is so good. Why is the decor SO BAD? Traditional is one thing. Dark and dreary is quite another.
The rooms were nice and the showers were fantastic! They have a golf course there (but I didn't play). Went trap shooting on property - so much fun. The staff was accommodating and very friendly. Resort was clean and well organized.
UPDATE (05/31/2019). You have to be impressed when a hotelier takes responsibility for their shortcomings and offers immediate, unsolicited recompense to the aggrieved guests. This is what happened to us after we completed an in-house survey of our stay at Kohler. Yes, our stay was not perfect (see below), but the excellent response from Management goes a long way toward restoring our good opinion of Destination Kohler.
This was our third stay in two years at the Carriage House, and it will probably be our last. While the place still has plenty to recommend it (beautiful facilities/grounds, commodious well-appointed rooms, lots of recreational activities), it is just not up to standard, In our view.
A few examples:
The group of young doormen in front of the American Club always seemed to be talking and joking among themselves, so that you felt like you were interrupting when they paused to open the door for you. Their “period” costumes (black bowler hats, trousers) are a bit weird and gave them, we thought, an almost sinister look.
The only milk served on the premises of the Carriage House is skim. No two-percent, no whole. That means, if you like your coffee/tea with cream or half-and-half, you’re out of luck. If you ask for something other than skim (as we have each time we’ve stayed here), you’re told there’s nothing but skim.
The offerings for breakfast at the Carriage House are certainly ample, but light fresh fare is way under-represented. For cereal, you have a choice of a few boxed Kellogg varieties or a very sticky and sweet granola—again with skim milk only! Yogurt consists of containers of flavored Yoplait—no plain. The only juice is a watery commercial orange juice. And, if you should select one of the cereals, the only bowls offered are small condiment bowls not large enough to hold even the dry cereal, much less the milk. When my husband asked for a larger bowl on our last morning there, he was snapped at by a member of the kitchen staff, although we ultimately received a usable bowl.
The other Kohler restaurants are much the same. Lots of food, but short on quality. I had a very nice steak at the Wisconsin Room one night, which was overcooked and over-seasoned (not to mention, over-priced at $55).
Beds. Mattresses are okay, but linens are inferior. My bottom sheet had several small tears, for example. Pillows are like boulders—overstuffed and unyielding—impossible for smaller back sleepers.
The carpet in our room was soiled in several places. This is a shame, as the rooms are otherwise beautifully appointed.
The spa is very nice, but be advised that the main areas (pool and adjacent lounging spaces) are located on the basement floor. There is no natural light, and the rooms are kept purposely dark. This is relaxing, but it can also feel a bit enclosed. What’s not relaxing is every time one of the young staff members rolls her huge laundry cart down the length of the spa, inches from guests in the lounge chairs. This makes a terrible racket, and should not be permitted.
A general comment about the staff. We noticed an abundance of very young (as in high school age) staff members. They were mostly charming, but clearly lacked the training and experience to deliver the refined kind of service expected of a “five star resort.”
This hotel is very nice. I can't speak for what is in the area because I was there for a golf trip. The rooms and staff are both very nice. They have shuttle buses that will take you all over Kohler as well as a shuttle bus that leaves once an hour for Whistling Straits. I don't know what other options there are to stay in the area, but I don't know why you would choose any other hotel.
A great place to relax and enjoy yourself. The staff, facilities, and restaurants are all top notch. The best resort hotel I have ever stayed at! We had a deluxe king room that was wonderful. The bathroom was fabulous as you would expect. I am already looking forward to coming back!