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“Great Service & Decor, Not as Peaceful as Expected” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Baker House

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Baker House
327 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva, WI 53147   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Lake Geneva
Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Great Service & Decor, Not as Peaceful as Expected”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

The Baker House is a very well appointed historical property, in an amazing location. However, these high points also contribute to the negatives about this property. When we first arrived, we were struck, as many of the reviewers, by the service and decor - having a butler is a nice amenity, and the property has a special atmosphere. However, the extra service is really a necessity because its popularity makes this property a busy place where guests would easily get overlooked otherwise. There were several tours of the "private" second floor area that houses the hotel during our stay. While they didn't occur when we were in the common areas, it interfered with the private, relaxing getaway that we expected.

That being said, you can really choose your level of privacy in this hotel. I love that you always had reserved seating in the restaurant, and the main floor & outdoor areas are beautiful. Even during the busy time we stayed, we were able to find a quiet nook on the patio to sit later in the evening, but this prime location was packed during a good chunk of the night. So if you wanted to spend time outside, it would have to be with a crowd. It has a bit of a B&B feel, with indoor common areas that you share with the other guests (and an occasional tour group) on the second floor. However, the rooms are so nice, you can choose to spend your time there - with the butler to fill your needs.

The main negative was that the Champagne Room, where we stayed, is located directly above the bar, and next to the main staircase & entry. The quiet time we sought while alone in our room was often interrupted by the noise of people waiting by the main staircase for restaurant seating, or tipsy people leaving the home. Additionally, the noise from a lively group in the bar kept me up half the night - this is an old home, and the floors evidently do not have enough soundproofing. I assume you would have a similar problem in the largest suite, as it is located above the parlor that houses live music on the weekends. They do have 20s style music piped into every room (with your own volume control) throughout the home, it can alleviate this problem. Additionally, there's an I-pod dock in the room that can help with the noise issues, but I still feel this issue is worth mentioning, as it dampened our stay.

Unfortunately, our amazing service ended immediately after breakfast. The maids came early to clean our room, and even though there were still a few hours until checkout, it seemed the rest of the staff were preoccupied with recovering from the previous night's festivites. When we checked out, there was a casual "how was your stay" and nothing more. It was such a drastic difference from our welcome that it was very off-putting. Additionally, I had questions about the murder mystery dinner, and the staff again wasn't very helpful (our butler was MIA after bringing us our coffee, croissants & fruit), they gave me a pamphlet, and went back to their business.

The great service at the beginning made up for the contrasting service at the end. We still had a wonderful trip (my husband is a much harder sleeper than I, and was less bothered by the noise). We would stay again, but try to choose a less busy time to stay. With the other reviews, I expected excellence, but the disappointments we encountered would not rate this a 5 star, especially considering how much we paid for the inconsistency.

Room Tip: The Champagne Room has an amazing bathroom, but is located directly over the bar! If you stay on a w...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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62 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

I don't know where jleiseur ( reviewer before stayed ) but we thought it was absolutely fabulous. Everything. Especially Jonathon our butler. Guys great. I have a bad back and the bed wasn't the best for me. But wifey loved it. We loved everything about this place. Didn't have any towel issues......didn't get to meet the owners. But probably saw them at the evening "toast". Expensive but worth it .

Room Tip: Bad back people be leery of the expensive mattress.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

We just returned from an overnight stay in the Champagne Room at Baker House and we're already trying to plan our next visit. As a cynical Chicagoan, I really couldn't believe that any hotel was worth 5 stars from every single reviewer. Then I went to Baker House... and now I understand.

Let me just start by saying that the 5 stars are for the amazing service you get from everyone who works there. I was in shock at how well-trained, gracious, and amazing the staff truly were. We walked in and were greeted by Katrina (sp?) who immediately knew who we were (I think we were the only check-in that day... or maybe just the last to arrive?) and the reason we were staying. She took our bags up to the room, made sure everything was in order, gave us a tour of the house and then brought us to the room.

I should state that we were there for the evening of July 4th, it was over 100 degrees and humid outside, and I was 8.5 months pregnant. This was a final getaway for my husband and I prior to the baby arriving and we couldn't have picked a better place. Lake Geneva was hopping because it was the 4th, but we felt like we were in our own slice of heaven at the Baker House. It has a prime location right next to the water, a block from Main Street, so you can just walk to everything (even when it's 100 degrees!). But honestly, who needs to go anywhere when you're trying to have a romantic getaway?? I should also state that the last time we were in Lake Geneva (and the only time my husband had ever been there prior to this stay) we stayed at the Grand Geneva and it was awful. I still don't understand why it gets such rave reviews. So this time around, I knew that if I was going to get my husband to come back, we had to be on the Lake. I have always enjoyed the ambiance of Lake Geneva, but I knew this was my "last chance" to get my husband to give it another try... so the Baker House needed to deliver, and it did.

The room was great, the bathroom was amazing... the pictures online really don't do it justice at all. I now know that when I am able to re-do my bathroom at home one day, I want a shower like the one in the Champagne Room. I wish that we could have seen the other rooms because I'd love to just peek in... but we figure that one of these days we'll come back and do the Tour de France and see the rooms that way.

I should also state that my husband and I are NOT B&B'ers... but I wouldn't say this is a B&B. It's a luxury hotel where you get personalized service, but you can also have as much privacy as you want. Truly this was the most romantic getaway weekend we have ever had. We could see the lake from a window in our room, even though we were in the "back" of the house. And as a very pregnant woman, I was slightly concerned that an older home wouldn't be that cool. But there was no worry on that front! I actually got to sleep under the super soft sheets for the first time in weeks because the room was cool enough for me!

One of the highlights for me (besides all of the sprayers in the shower) was getting to see the fireworks over the lake. The second floor of the house has the rooms along with some lounge areas just for the hotel guests. In the main area upstairs is a huge picture window overlooking the lake with comfy chairs and tables. After talking to Katrina about possibly seeing the fireworks, but not wanting to sit in the heat outside to watch them, she informed us that we would have a great view from that room. Furthermore, as a hotel guest, you can have food brought up for dinner (or any meal at any time) anywhere in the hotel, including that area. So we "reserved" a chocolate fondue and decaf coffee to be upstairs in that front room during the fireworks. It was probably the best way to view fireworks that I could ever think of... sit in an air-conditioned room with a beautiful unobstructed view of the lake and fireworks, eating fondue and drinking coffee. And then when the show was done, walk down the hallway back to our room and that was that. It was great (and it pains me to write this knowing that someone will read this and now the "secret" is out and we may have to "fight" for that window space next time!!). The breakfast brought to the room the following morning was excellent and it was just a joy to lounge around eating breakfast in bed. When you live with a toddler, it truly is a "gift" to lounge in the morning and enjoy breakfast, a late wake-up, etc.

The only "low" point of the entire trip (and I hesitate to even call it a low point) was our service at dinner. The food itself was good... perhaps a bit pricey for what it was, but being from Chicago it wasn't overly surprising. But our waiter, Chaz (sp?), wasn't really that great. It seemed like after we were seated we were just forgotten. He came out a couple times to help other tables in the section, but never came to the table to introduce himself, ask for a drink order, etc. for at least 10 minutes. He did ask for the drink order of the table next to our's after they were seated at least 5 minutes after us. That was a bit annoying to see a table seated after us get served first... the hungry pregnant woman was beginning to rear her head at that point! I honestly wondered if he realized we were in his section. As I watched him serve the other tables in our section (there were only 4 tables total... unless he had more in a different section of the house) it appeared that he is not a multi-tasker. And that was likely the problem. He would go to one table, get the drink order, then go to the kitchen and put that order in. Then he'd go to the next table, ask what they needed, go back and do that, then come back in again. But I don't think he could have actually handled taking the drink order or meal order from multiple tables at once. I suppose if he knows his limitations, that's a good thing. And we weren't in any sort of rush, so it wasn't the end of the world. But after the AMAZING service we received from Katrina and Lisa earlier in the day (and our chambermaid, whose name we can't remember) there was definitely a drop in the level there. I'm glad we had had such great service prior to that, or it may have adjusted how we felt about the place.

But otherwise, the experience was great. If you are staying in the hotel you get to sit in the prime location on the air-conditioned glassed-in porch overlooking the lake for all meals in the dining room. Again, this was a wonderful thing for the always over-heating pregnant woman. When we booked in May we had been hoping to sit outside in the garden area to enjoy the weather, but that definitely wasn't happening in this heat! Next time we will come in spring or fall so that we can enjoy some time in the garden also. And we also want to be able to use the fireplace in the room (it looked so great, but not when it was 100 degrees!) and the heated floors in the bathroom.

Baker House is a place that will leave you wanting (and planning) to come back again. The owners have clearly poured their heart and soul into this hotel and the service is beyond belief. I don't think there are enough words to describe it... you just need to experience it. So don't be afraid of the fact that it's set in a time period... you can take part or not take part as much as you want. It may sound a little cheesy, but when you get there, it really isn't. Honestly, I would never stay anywhere else in Lake Geneva now that I've been here. And while I hope that all of these reviews will entice more and more people to experience the wonder that is Baker House, it also pains me to think that others will find out about this gem and make it harder to get reservations in the future. But that's a good problem to have... :)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

We were greeted by name by our 'Butler' Robert as we stepped out of the car and we realized quickly his job title was not an affectation and would be solidly embodied and earned through our stay. He offered us a tour of the Baker House before settling in and we received a true tour - not just of the rooms but also of the mission of Baker House in its current incarnation which is, essentially, the hotel is operated as a 'home' and guests should feel as if they are at home while they reside here.
I am not a fan of the Victorian style or, usually of B and B's. Baker House is a beautifully wrought restoration of a historic property that pays lavish homage to its history but is also modern and comfortable and cool. And it should not be classified as a B and B. This is a great small hotel. The only organically comparable eccentric lodgings I've stayed at in this country would be the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC and that is a high compliment.

The stars might never align quite so rightly again but, during an extremely unseasonable burst of mid-summer weather in March we were the sole guests. Robert offered to leave all 5 suites open so we could tour at our leisure and explore all the rooms (which are much more handsome and detailed than they appear in BH's website photos). So we loafed from one themed suite to the other feeling like movie stars.

The hotel has two hundred hats hanging around and guests are encouraged to wear them. Reading about this I thought it was impossibly corny. In practice it was fun and natural. I should know, I wore my captain's hat through our dinner in the guest dining room.

The bartender brought up some of his own homemade limoncello when we requested Amaro (which they didn't have but that's no knock). The small bar was a great, atmospheric room, as was the guest lounge upstairs.

And...paradise. The hotel has no TVs in their rooms and Will Not Accomodate Children or Pets. Those are three very good things for this reviewer. We stayed in the Burgundy suite, which I would site as my favorite with the Versailles a close second.

The food we ate was good, well prepared, pretty much exactly what it was presented as and priced accordingly. I'm in the food biz and couldn't help imagining a more ambitious style cooking - something like Milwaukee's 'Hinterland' or Chicago's 'Publican' - making this place even more sublime but that's not a knock either - just my 'magination.

I feel like I found a mini-Claridge's in Lake Geneva (not that I've had the pleasure of staying at the original). Think I'll go back for a week over the winter.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago illinois
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2012

My wife and I had the pleasure of staying in this beautiful house for two nights. We stayed in the Versailles Turret suite which was over-the-top amazing! We also had the pleasure of touring the other suites. The champagne suite was also very nice, it actually has a much nicer bathroom than the Versailles Suite which includes the Baker house famous "car wash" bathroom. I want one of these in my shower! The service is what really sets this place apart from other resorts/hotels. Jonathan the butler pampered us with service I've never experienced anywhere before. I've noticed a couple other reviewers have mentioned him as well-He really is that good!! The whole 1865 step back in time concept of this hotel is truly something unique and special for anyone who has the pleasure of experiencing it.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2012

My fiancé brought me here as a surprise trip for a week to escape city madness in Chicago. Little did I know he was bringing me to the greatest place on earth. We have been all over the country and world and no place and I do mean no place compares to the Baker House. The experience was phenomenal! The home is a historic landmark and the owners really do transport you to the turn of the century age of elegance. We did the tour de France (which I highly recommend) where you stay in all the hotel rooms and each room is different. Because there aren't many rooms you get an exclusivity that you don't get anywhere. Also, Bethany, the owner has decorated the room with grand elegance and impeccable attention to detail from the grand owstimer mattresses to the heated bathroom floors to the furnishings and texture on the walls. This place is beautiful inside and out and you will not find grand elegance of this caliber anywhere. Beyond this the staff is incredible from the hostesses to bartenders (especially nick and Jeremy) to the wonderful butler Jonathan. I must talk about how wonderful Jonathan is. I have never had a butler but if I did have one he would be like Jonathan. He along with the owners and home made our experience unforgettable! His professionalism, attention to needs, dependable service, care, and overall personality was the icing on the cake. He is not only fantastic at what he does he is a great person! I can't say enough good things about him or the staff. The environment was great because the owners are fantastic themselves! It was such a pleasure hanging out with Bethany and Andrew. They truly go out of their way to get you what you want and need. Their personal touch and dedication is unmatched by any hotel in this country or abroad. In addition to all of this the restaurant is great and serves great food and drinks. And let me not fail to mention that the staff wears turn of the century outfits and you can participate by wearing one of the many eclectic hats they have and enjoy the fun in one of the many rooms in this mansion or outside facing lake Geneva in their cabanas or on the patio. Best experience ever!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012 via mobile

The Baker House instantly transports you back to a time when hospitality was individual and meant something with rooms that are beyond compare, whether its the comfy bed or the one of a kind showers in each room! Oh and the view! A sunset to close your day in the front lawn garden and waking up to the calming lakefront view. Service was individual with each staff member treating you like you were a guest in there home.
I wish I had more room to write!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Baker House

Address: 327 Wrigley Drive, Lake Geneva, WI 53147
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Lake Geneva
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Lake Geneva
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Indulge Yourself at Lake Geneva's NEWEST, MOST LUXURIOUS Boutique Hotel on the lake. Designed with a hint of vintage glamour, and a dash of old world aristocracy you will be completely swept away to a world of Gilded Age living within this decadent lake-front mansion.Every room has lake views and original working gas fireplace, stretch out across the signature "Baker House Bed" with King size, hand-made mattress by OSTERMOOR and travel back in time as you melt into the softest sheets you've ever experienced. Guests are provided with room service, private bar and lake view dining room as well as private Butler and exclusive access to the English gardens during the day and reserved garden pavilion for al fresco dining & cocktails in the evening. The "Baker House Bath" is rumored to be ranked as one of the "Sexiest in America". Select between decadent steam showers built for 2 with rain head and multiple massaging sprays or submerse yourself in an over-sized soaking Jacuzzi tub with aromatic bath salts. All baths are equipped with heated marble floors, state-of-the-art Grohe fixtures and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.For your convenience and enjoyment, modern amenities of flat screen television with DirectTV, in room Wi-Fi, refrigerators, safes and hair dryers are standard in all rooms.BEST Panoramic Views, Lakefront Garden Lounge, Listed on the NATIONAL REGISTER of HISTORIC PLACES, 13 Original Fireplaces, Decadent Furnishings make the Mansion suites a truly memorable time for every guest. ... more   less 
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