Just under two hours away lies a charming Wisconsin town. Home to the famed Kohler Co., Kohler is truly a “destination.” The American Club, its well-known landmark constructed of red brick and Vermont slate, was built in 1918. Under the Destination Kohler umbrella exist a vast array of private lodging options as well. We visited Pond, a cozy, beautifully appointed cabin ensconced in a stand of trees, situated just above a rolling river and adjacent to a large peaceful pond. Up the gravel road is Pond’s sister cabin, the Lake house, similar in footprint but perched on a bluff above Lake Michigan. Lake cabin wrapped in a semi-circular shroud of pines sports spectacular lake views and glowing sunsets.
The two cabins add to the resort’s growing portfolio of private cabin lodging (now totaling four properties), providing private and elevated getaways. Located south of Whistling Straits golf course, Pond features two luxurious bedrooms and two bathrooms, along with a chef-inspired kitchen and a warm living area with a wood-burning cast iron fireplace. Light pours through the large picture frame windows illuminating the living room’s sturdy trunk coffee table, large green leather couch, and nature-inspired artwork. The entire experience is glamping at its finest. Cabin life proved peaceful and we were “safely distanced” as far as the eye could see. We prepared meals in the fully stocked kitchen, roasted S’mores over a blazing fire in the outdoor fire pit, swayed in rockers on the wooden wrap-around porch watching the sun set, and ended evenings fireside playing board games.
When ready for an adventure, we popped over to Whistling Straits, just a five-minute drive north along the lake. Once there, you’d swear you were on a links course in the British Isles. Arguably the greatest public championship course in the United States, this is a golfer’s dream—playing on one of the hall of fame designer Pete Dye’s courses. Host to the 2004, 2010, and 2015 PGA Championships and the 2007 U.S. Senior Open, this breathtaking course is sculpted along two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. A stunning stone and slate structure serves as the elegantly rustic clubhouse offering panoramic views of the course and lake.
With our cabin located only 10 to 15 minutes from the Village of Kohler, it is easy to travel back and forth between Pond and all the other Destination Kohler offerings. If you are feeling rather athletic, visit the Sports Core Health & Racquet Club (available to Pond guests), take an invigorating spin class at Bold Cycle, or enjoy a vinyasa class at Yoga on the Lake. Bold Cycle, a 3,000 square-foot hip indoor cycling studio, gets your heart and legs pumping. Yoga on the Lake provides the perfect place to find peace in a brightly lit studio perched above Wood Lake. We followed our morning of rigorous activity with a visit to Forbes Five-Star rated Kohler Waters Spa to enjoy a massage, steam room, sauna, pool, plunge baths, and rooftop lounge.
The next day (and an absolute must on your agenda) we lunched at River Wildlife, a private rustic log house in the middle of a beautiful wilderness preserve. Other than lunching (which was our principal activity this day), River Wildlife offers year-round outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing (the latter two in the year’s snow-covered months). We enjoyed a leisurely lunch that felt well-deserved after the prior day’s rigor. I ordered the Beef Tenderloin Gorgonzola Melt made with roasted beef tenderloin layered with Applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, wild mushrooms, and Gorgonzola cheese, served open-faced on sourdough bread. It was worth every single calorie.
My husband enjoyed the Pheasant Reuben and my daughter the “Grilled Cheese,” which was the best grilled cheese we have ever or will ever encounter. River Wildlife’s take on the classic involved layered Wisconsin Swiss and aged Cheddar cheeses with tomato, onion, and bacon on natural grain bread and grilled until crusty and hot. My daughter customized the sandwich swapping the natural grain bread for cinnamon swirl and the onion for a marmalade—the result was a sinfully delicious combination of sweet and savory. Our server explained that the chef is happy to customize any order. If you can believe it, we followed our entrées with a decadent three-layer carrot cake with thick whipped cream and a warm apple crisp à la mode. Gourmet cuisine enjoyed with family in a cozy log cabin with two corpulent red cardinals sitting on a branch just outside our window (I suspect everyone is well fed here), was an outing we will fondly recall for years to come.
With Destination Kohler’s numerous lodging offerings, guests can visit several times, each with a wildly different experience. We are deciding where to stay next. Will it be Sandhill, the secluded rustic retreat nestled on 350 acres in Mosel, Wisconsin? If we choose Sandhill, my daughter will be able to invite a friend as it sleeps four to six guests. It includes all of the amenities of Pond and Lake cabins with an added stand-alone sauna hut and the ability to work with your very own chef. Or will it be Red Fox—the three-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin tucked away on several acres of wilderness along the Sheboygan River and across from the Kohler Stables? Red Fox features three floors and accommodates up to six guests in the 2,600-square-foot cabin. Of course, if you aren’t looking for rustic privacy, there is the iconic award-winning American Club’s old-world luxury with numerous restaurant choices. There are so many lodging options all set in the quaint Wisconsin countryside just over the border … which will you choose? Book now, wonder awaits.
For more information and to book a stay, visit destinationkohler.com or call 800-344-2838.