Whether it's with your significant other, your entire family, just your girlfriends or simply by yourself, we all need to take a little time off from daily life so that we don't go crazy, right? I sure do.
Around here in the Midwest I've never really been aware of too many options other than a trip to a spa, a night in a traditional hotel or... hopping on a plane and heading somewhere cool.
Until now; now that I have been introduced to the one place that does it all: The Abbey Resort on beautiful Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
My picture on the left, covered with snow. The Abbey Resort's photo on the right of how beautiful it is there in warm weather.
Walking inside The Abbey Resort, it took all but one look around to see that this was a place that would be perfect as a romantic destination or as a family vacation, as it had something for everyone to enjoy.
We were immediately greeted by welcoming staff and each person I talked to had the answers to my questions - something I appreciated. The overall casual and comfortable feel of The Abbey made me start to relax as we walked towards our room and the visit was just beginning!
Located on 90 acres of manicured grounds, The Abbey Resort is right on the shores of Lake Geneva and the view out of our window (even though it was covered in snow) was still beautiful. The room itself was cozy and immaculately clean, right down to every inch of the shower door (yes, I notice these things).
I was ready to lie down and take a nap right there on the comfortable bed, but my husband suggested we give ourselves a tour of the resort, which was also a good idea. After all, as we had come to visit sans-children, there was plenty of time for soaking up the peaceful silence that awaited us.
Our first stop as we strolled through the hotel was the entrance to Fontana Grill, one of The Abbey's two restaurants. With a menu boasting everything from seafood to steaks to chops and a Saturday Prime Rib Buffet and Harborside Sunday Brunch, there is something for all tastes - even children's selections. Yum!
Right upstairs from Fontana Grill, we were surprised to find a quaint and uniquely-decorated seating area that would be perfect for a gathering, dinner meeting or rehearsal dinner. From the iron gates to the intricate mural work to the large fireplace and huge windows on either side, I loved the idea of using this space for a nice meal in a private setting.
The Abbey Resort actually offers a ton of options for holding gorgeous weddings on their grounds, both inside and out. I can only imagine how beautiful it is to use their gazebo and have it surrounded by trees and settled right on the lake... I love simple, classic ceremonies like that.
Or, for a wonderful indoor option, The Abbey Resort has plenty of indoor ballroom space to accommodate from the rehearsal to the ceremony to the reception. We happened to come across one room that was in the set up stages for an upcoming wedding in a winter wonderland theme and it was very chic and pretty!
Again, my photo on the left and The Abbey Resort's on the right. Now I need someone I know to get married outdoors there - how stunning!
After marveling at all of the wedding decorations, my husband and I continued walking through The Abbey and found the areas that I knew my kids would have loved: the pool and game rooms.
The main indoor pool is large and very family-friendly, with plenty of lounge chairs and pool toys for resting or playing. I especially liked the big foam floating toys that were perfect for kids to sit in and get to feel as though they were on their own boating adventure on the sea (sorry, no pictures because there were kids enjoying these toys and I didn't think their parents would appreciate a stranger taking photos of their children).
But if a traditional pool wasn't enough, I was picturing the sheer amount of time that my 2-year-old would have spent in the smaller, children's pool right next to it. With that cute little slide and fun continual waterfall in the shallow water, kids could play forever in there (or at least I know mine would)!
Heading out of the pool area, we walked through a hallway filled with tables of games of all kinds. Board games, strategy games, even a mini putting green - there were options for all ages and a varying number of a players just sitting out waiting to be played. What a great way to have a fun home-away-from home experience with their Board Game Bonanza!
But if arcade games are more your thing, the Abbey Arcade is filled with popular video games, air hockey, billiards, ping pong and more. Kids (and adults) of all ages can come hang out and spend an entertaining afternoon or evening trying their luck or perfecting their skills on the pool table.
Finishing up our tour of The Abbey Resort, my husband and I headed off to dinner at the second of the restaurants there, The Waterfront. Known for its food, drinks and live entertainment, we settled in to peruse the menu and check out the sports updates on the various television screens (making my husband especially happy).
And then there was the food.
Oh, the food.
I'm not exaggerating in saying that this was the best meal that I have had in a long time. We sampled the drinks, appetizers and entrées and were both blown away at how delicious everything was. My husband's plate of their Signature Baby Back Ribs was so large that it was hanging off on both ends... and, after sampling them, he agreed that they were some of the best he had ever eaten. I can say the same about my Grilled Vegetable Wrap with yummy Plank Cut Potatoes!
Even though we had had plenty of food already, who were we to complain when our friendly waitress set down one more plate? Especially when it looked like this:
Do I even need to tell you that the Colossal Chocolate Cake is amazing? I'm pretty sure the picture says enough, but boy, the combination of the fudge and the cake and the whipped cream and... best of all, it was far huge enough that we boxed some up and got to enjoy it for the next day or two as well.
Even though we had every intention of then checking out some of the many great activities going on at The Abbey Resort (how about s'mores and hot cider at the bonfire? Or ice skating on the outdoor rink lit by tiny twinkling lights maybe?) my husband and I opted to enjoy the kid-free silence of our room and fall asleep early while watching television. Ah, the excitement of being on vacation from being parents.
Besides, the next morning we were in for something that I wanted to be sure to be well-rested for:
The AVANI Spa is 35,000 square feet of pure tranquility and relaxation and from the moment I changed into my robe and sandals, I could feel my mind start to unwind. With a full menu of services and amenities including things such as massage, aromatherapy, facials, salon services, wraps and more, my husband and I headed in for a morning of lounging and enjoying a rest.
After being fortunate to enjoy an amazing massage by the most warm and friendly masseuse (I'm not sure how I was able to peel my body up off of the comfortable table at the end), I took a look at the whirlpool, sauna, steam room and more before finding my husband relaxing by the side of the gorgeous atrium pool.
As the AVANI Spa is only for ages 16 and older, this isn't the pool where you'll find floaty toys or shrieking and splashing. Instead, adults were leisurely swimming laps or sitting in the hot tub or having a tasty meal delivered poolside... and I could have sat there for hours people-watching or enjoying a good book.
The perfect place for a relaxing couples getaway, a weekend girls-only trip or a way to prepare for a wedding right at the resort, the AVANI was a wonderful way to finish up our weekend at The Abbey. As we checked out and drove away, I realized I haven't felt that relaxed and rested in quite some time!
With plenty to do for couples or the entire family, The Abbey Resort is a Wisconsin destination not to be missed. From the beautiful lake views to the delicious food to the exceptional spa, it is well worth the visit if you live or are visiting the area. Whether you are looking for a romantic weekend escape, a fun trip with the kids or a great way to celebrate a holiday (there are always fun package deals going on and more great info on Facebook and Twitter) make The Abbey Resort the first stop on your list - you definitely won't regret it!
(A huge thank you to The Abbey Resort for providing our stay, meal and spa trip, however, that did not affect my honest opinion of the resort and the amenities. My husband and I loved it!)