Planners dream of a gleaming lake as a central backdrop for their outdoor recreation-focused conference or incentive event. Add two more picturesque lakes with abundant boating, fishing, water sports and championship golf courses. Combine those amenities with top-rated spas, polished resorts that have meetings down cold, sophisticated dining, and historic venues certain to engage your group and you have Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Here’s where to stay, play, meet and eat while visiting this Wisconsin jewel.
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
This AAA Four Diamond luxury property (355 guest rooms and 29 villas) sits on more than 1,300 acres and was once home to the historic Lake Geneva Playboy Club. Grand Geneva has 62,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, making it the region's largest conference facility. Two championship golf courses; swimming pools; horseback riding; tennis, basketball and volleyball courts; a 35-foot climbing wall; and a full-service spa and aerobic studio deliver recreational opportunities. Ristorante Brissago serves upscale northern Italian fare, and Geneva ChopHouse steaks and seafood are among the best in town. Families will enjoy the adjacent Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark.
The Ridge Hotel
Midcentury modern meets hipster elegance in this stylish 144-room property situated on the shores of Lake Como. A total of 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space accommodates groups of up to 500. The Ridge’s inviting public space encourages coworking with Bean + Vine coffee and wine bar and Bar 55 on its spacious veranda. An on-site spa, fitness center, walking trails and lake access add to this amenity-rich property. Three championship courses designed by golf legends Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Gary Player, respectively, are accessible to guests through The Ridge’s sister property, Geneva National Resort & Club, directly across the lake.
Lake Lawn Resort
Two and a half miles of Delavan Lake shoreline front this historic property known for hosting corporate groups and boards of directors from nearby Milwaukee, Chicago and beyond since the 1920s. Lake Lawn has 271 guest rooms, a 170-slip marina, tennis and basketball courts, a spa and salon, 18 holes of championship golf and four on-site dining options. With 32,000 square feet of flexible space, Lake Lawn is attractive for exhibitions and conferences.
The Abbey Resort & Avani Spa
Perched along a quiet west-end Lake Geneva bay, The Abbey, fully renovated in 2013, has 334 guest rooms and 40,000 square feet of flexible meeting space including an oversize 10,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. The dedicated teambuilding staff can design special activities for your group including on-site virtual reality experiences. Dining here is top-notch with 240° West serving classic American favorites. fully renovated in 2013, has 334 guest-rooms and 40,000 square feet of flexible meeting space including an oversized 10,000-sq.ft. ballroom. The dedicated teambuilding staff can design special activities for your group including onsite virtual reality experiences with their simulators. Dining here is top notch with 240° West serving classic American favorites.
These three special venues make for extra-special receptions, dinners or celebrations to remember. Engage your group with astrophysics, late 19th-century ornate architecture and lush, verdant landscape at Yerkes Observatory, home to the largest refracting telescope in the world. Large groups (up to 1,000) can be hosted on the grounds. Newly developed Rosewood is an event venue that combines a sophisticated tech-laden 2,400-sq.-ft. music theater, farm-to-fork cuisine and cabaret-style entertainment with a grand patio rimmed with fire pits, elegant hardscape, and plenty of room for your group to mix and mingle. Getting out on the lake is a must in Walworth County. Book a custom cruise with Lake Geneva Cruise Line, which offers demonstration tours of mail being delivered by boat to about 40 homes dotting the lakeside. Watch in awe as local high schoolers hop off the boat, run to the dockside mailboxes and then hop back on again—all while the vessel is in motion. Then have lunch, dinner or a private reception at Pier 290, a nautically themed Americana restaurant.