My husband and I just returned from our first stay at the Abbey. My parents stayed many times over the years and highly recommended it. I don't know why it took us so long to take their advice. We have always preferred to stay right in downtown Lake Geneva. There is no comparison to the experience of staying at the Abbey - and we didn't even partake of the spa. We originally made a reservation for one night - a Sunday - to take advantage of the "hot dates" special with reduced price rooms. We decided we would like to stay Saturday night also and were put on a waiting list. We were fortunate to get the room for Saturday night as the hotel was packed with about 1000 - very loud - women attending a retreat. Our room was a harbor view King in building 5 on the 2nd (top) floor. We had a very high King bed - almost need a step stool to get in, but very comfortable sleeping. There is also a sitting area with sleeper sofa, coffee table and desk. The room also included a small refrigerator and microwave tastefully hidden in the dresser. The coffee maker was in the bathroom. This is not the first time we have stayed in a hotel with the coffee maker and cups in the bathroom. This really does not appeal to me. The first thing I did was put the coffee maker on the desk where there was plenty of room for it and our snacks/wine. I very much appreciated the glass coffee mugs and beverage glasses. I hate drinking out of styrofoam so appreciated this nice touch. We also had a beautiful view of the harbor and enjoyed sitting out on the shared balcony. There appears to be a table and 2 chairs for every other room. Don't know how this works in the busy summer months, but we did not have to share as the people next to us never came outside. The grounds that the room overlooks are absolutely beautiful. I can't say enough about the view. Huge willow trees, with squirrels, ducks and seagulls, a small beach and gazebo where a young couple was married on Saturday afternoon. There is a sidewalk that takes you along the lake, into the restaurants and around the resort. The pools were very nice. There was a small wading pool, family pool and adult pool as well as a hot tub. There are attendants at the pool who open the gate and make certain guests leave their towels in the pool area. At one point, there was a baptism taking place in the family pool of participants of the womens' retreat. It was actually very nice and I don't think disturbed anyone.
The indoor pool is also very nice and clean. There is also a small indoor wading pool with slide for the little ones as well as a hot tub. There is a hall way of game tables with board games. No one was playing as it was so nice outside, but I'm sure they are used on rainy days and in the winter. The arcade is huge and there is also a pool table. There is an adorable movie theater that was showing kids movies. The attendant was very sweet as we questioned her about the weekend movies. There is also popcorn available in the ice cream parlor. My husband had some and said it was very good. The young man working there was also very personable. The gift shop was wonderful! My Mom always enjoyed all the shops at the Abbey. Now there is just one, but whatever you are looking for, forgot at home or feel like snacking on - is there. My favorite sandals were there. My Mom and Dad came to visit on Sunday and I was able to get her a pair. There weren't many left to choose from as I made the mistake of telling some of the retreat women how comfortable they were and watched as they snatched them up. There is clothing, swim suits, wine, ice cream, gift items, snacks and so much more. As far as hotel gift shops go, this one shines. I recommend lunch or dinner at the Waterfront and breakfast in the Fontana Grill. The margaritas at the Waterfront are also excellent. My sister had a blood mary that she said was outstanding.
There is so much to do at the Abbey, there is really no reason to leave. They have bicycles available which are free to use (included in the $12 resort fee). There is a craft/activity room for the little ones at Rainbow Point. As we left today, there was going to be outside games. Saturday night there was a bonfire with marshmallows to roast. Karaoke was in the large white tent to the right of the hotel. We enjoyed listening to the "singers." There is also frisbee golf available. As I didn't use the spa, I can't review it, but did see the private cabanas adjacent to the spa. I heard rave reviews about the spa pool. I thought $60 was steep for a pedicure, but could have had 20% off with our hotel package. I do plan to use the spa on a future visit. There is a large park and beautiful beach within walking distance from the resort. The beach is free if you stay at the resort. There is boat rental at Gordy's as well as food at both Gordy's and Chucks also within walking distance of the resort. We enjoyed the food at the Abbey and even though we checked out the menus at Gordy's as well as a diner across the street (can't recall the name) we found the ambiance as well as the food very enjoyable at the Abbey. We were supposed to get a free appetizer with entree at the Waterfront for each night we stayed, but did not receive it at check in. Molly at the front desk gave us free breakfast at the Fontana Grill instead the morning we left. We were happy with the trade!
One of the reasons we chose to stay at the Abbey is that we are looking for a place to stay with our family next summer. For years we have stayed for about a week at another resort in Lk. Geneva. We are happy to say we will be staying at the Abbey next summer. Jose graciously took us around the resort, showing us many of the villas as well as other room options for our family. He could not have been nicer or more accommodating. He is a wonderful reflection of the Abbey. We had previously arranged with the concierge to have a tour today at check out, but mentioned it to the front desk on Sunday evening and stated we preferred to see the villas on our last night. Jose offered to show us around. We learned so much about the Abbey and feel we can make an informed decision as to where we want to stay next year. Emily at the front desk was also gracious and friendly. I would also like to commend Molly who was at the front desk this morning. Just about everyone we met associated with the resort was professional as well as friendly. Our only negative was when we asked to have our room cleaned on Sunday morning as we were expecting my parents and sister and brother in law. I was excited to show my Mom our room as it has been many years since they stayed at the Abbey. When we asked the housekeeper if she would clean our room right away, she said, "No." I called the front desk to explain our needs. The person I spoke to apologized and said they were trying to get the rooms ready for the next large group which we found out were not coming in until Monday. So, we waited 2 more hours to have the room cleaned and my parents never did get to see the room. Other than that, our stay was exceptional. I can't wait to return. I think a winter visit will be wonderful. I highly recommend building 5, harbor view King.