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The Short Version: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is a AAA Four-Diamond resort just outside Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The resort offers the best in accommodations and dining, plus top-tier spa experiences that are perfect for a romantic getaway for couples. Couples can try out golfing, mountain biking, hiking, and more throughout the resort’s 1,300-acre grounds. Have you fallen in love with Grand Geneva? The resort is an ideal central location for Midwest weddings and has multiple venues to suit diverse tastes. No matter what the season, couples can find relaxation, fun, and reconnection at Grand Geneva.
I’m the kind of person who’s always in the mood for a little getaway. When day-to-day life gets a little monotonous, a vacation is a great way to reset the mood. New places, new faces, and new experiences can be the perfect avenue for rejuvenation.
When you have a partner, these little getaways can be all the more needed, special, and romantic. It’s easy to take your partner for granted, especially when you’re wrapped up in the hustle of everyday life. Taking a romantic getaway is an opportunity for couples to reconnect and remember their appreciation for one another.
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, offers the perfect place to pursue that opportunity. The Grand Geneva is a AAA Four-Diamond resort sitting on over 1,000 acres of golf courses, mountain biking trails, ski slopes, and lakefront trails. The resort is surrounded by stunning greenery, rolling hills, and waterfront views.
Skip Harless is the Managing Director of the Grand Geneva. He told us about the hotel, resort, and all the activities and experiences the Grand Geneva has to offer for couples. Whether you’re in need of a quick weekend getaway or looking for a breathtaking location for a Midwestern wedding, Grand Geneva has the amenities, activities, and vibe to deliver.
“It’s a beautiful place, and the property is just spectacular– it’s probably one of our best features,” Skip said.
Grand Geneva is conveniently located between Milwaukee and Chicago, about 10 minutes away from the downtown area of Lake Geneva. Lake Geneva offers everything you could ask for from a small Midwest town, including delicious dining, eclectic shops, and some classic Wisconsin lakefront charm.
The resort’s history goes back to the early 1960s when the property was purchased by Playboy Enterprises to be the location of the first-ever Playboy resort. In August 1966, Hugh Hefner, surrounded by a group of ‘Bunnies,’ set off the first dynamite charge to signal the official groundbreaking.
The Playboy Club Hotel was built and became a glamorous resort with immaculately kept grounds and top-of-the-line amenities. The original hotel had 350 guest rooms and three bars and restaurants. It also became a hot spot for renowned musical performances and other kinds of entertainment.
After ownership changes in the 1980s, the property became Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. The resort attracts visitors from around the world, including families and couples, and is especially appreciated by its guests for being a retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
When couples take a trip to Grand Geneva, they’re immersing themselves in a hidden gem of Wisconsin history. But the historic nature of the resort is just the tip of the iceberg – Grand Geneva offers activities for every couple, from the foodies to the outdoor adventurers.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet and intimate retreat or an action-packed adventure, Grand Geneva has something that pleases everyone. Couples looking for a relaxing retreat can enjoy the incredible cuisine and calming spa.
Grand Geneva has several restaurants and cafes serving up all different kinds of fare. Geneva Chophouse offers an upscale dining experience with quality wines and the finest cuts of steak. Ristoranté Brissago plates the freshest Italian-grown ingredients for an elevated Italian fine dining experience.
Skip said Geneva Chophouse and Ristoranté Brissago are good picks for a romantic date night. Couples can enjoy unique dishes, an extensive wine list, and a classy atmosphere. They can end the night with a moonlit stroll around the lake and then return to their room – all within walking distance.
For something more casual, couples can enjoy happy hour and views of the golf course at Links Bar & Grill. Leinenkugel’s Mountain Top Lodge is open during the winter months to provide grub for skiers, snowboarders, and other wayward winter adventurers. These spots are great picks for a quick lunch or an afternoon break for drinks and a small bite.
Grand Geneva has a full-service salon and day spa with services ranging from hairstyling and manicures to makeup consultations and massages. Couples desiring a vacation that truly feels like a break can enjoy reflective and relaxing time together, all while comfortably in a bathrobe.
Do you and your beloved crave adventure? Grand Geneva is known for its sprawling grounds and bounty of exciting activities, indoors and out. The fitness center offers a 35-foot indoor climbing wall, plus indoor basketball, tennis, and pickleball courts.
Outside, Grand Geneva offers nearly every imaginable activity. Couples can enjoy time by the pool during the summer and take a trip to the ski slope come winter. The resort offers horseback riding and guided pony rides, plus archery classes.
The resort is perhaps best known for its golf courses. Grand Geneva is home to two challenging 18-hole courses called The Brute and The Highlands. Couples can explore the grounds by hiking and biking in the summer months and on skis once the snow has fallen.
Skip said that Grand Geneva was one of the Midwest’s most popular wedding destinations. “We do about 100 to 150 weddings a year,” Skip said. “I think couples are drawn here by the amazing views of the landscape and the beautiful ceremony spaces.”
Grand Geneva has several different wedding venues, both inside and outside. Skip said there are spaces that can fit any kind of wedding vibe, from a traditional indoor ceremony to airy and open outdoor vows.
The Chalet is Grand Geneva’s non-traditional, rustic wedding venue located by the ski hill. The chalet features floor-to-ceiling windows with scenic views, paver brick floors, a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams, and a beautiful outdoor space.
For a reception, couples can choose The Pavilion, the resort’s outdoor reception option, or one of the four ballrooms. The Evergreen Ballroom is located on the upper level of the hotel and offers great views of the resort. The space has a dance floor and can seat up to 230 people.
The Grand Ballroom is Grand Geneva’s largest venue and can accommodate up to 400 wedding guests. The ballroom features high ceilings and large chandeliers, which create an unmistakably classy vibe. The ballroom also has an attached patio area, which Skip said is great for cocktail hour.
Skip told us the resort’s Evergreen Ballroom and Grand Ballroom will be getting a new look. Renovations will begin later this year and be completed just in time for May 2024 weddings. All ballrooms and meeting spaces will be redesigned with a new and fresh contemporary look that matches the resort’s modern but warm aesthetic.
Geneva Chophouse and Ristoranté Brissago both welcome wedding rehearsal dinners and small wedding reception catering orders for under 40 guests. The team of wedding and event coordinators works with each couple to ensure their special day goes according to plan.
No matter the season, no matter what you and your partner love to do, Grand Geneva has something for you.
“You know, coming from a place like Chicago, you start driving north, and the landscape opens up,” Skip said. “It’s rolling hills and lush, green trees and this landscape with tons of lakes. It’s really a nice escape.”