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“A pleasant experience overall.”
Review of The Osthoff Resort

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The Osthoff Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Elkhart Lake
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 23, 2009

Every April I usually go to Palm Springs for a long spa weekend with girlfriends. That didn't work out this year, so I decided to go somewhere close to home and chose the Ostoff after much research. The shorter drive time and lower cost won me over from the American Club in nearby Kohler, Wi, and Sundara Spa in Wisconsin Dells (both of which I have been to before).

First, the Ostoff is huge!! I felt a bit like I was in the "Shining" though, as I think they were at less than 20% occupancy. My room (they are all suites) was sufficient for just myself and since I was spending most of my time at the spa, the outdated carpet, kitchen, and bath weren't really a bother. But the room was sweltering! I opened a window and it cooled off after a bit.

As for the spa. It is nicely appointed, but they really need to work on their staff. All the employees seemed to be VERY young and inexperienced. My first two services left me feeling more stressed and rushed than when I arrived. I do not recommend any of the "envelopment" series of services. Bright lights (supposedly to keep you warm, which you needed because it was freezing in there), cold water, rushed therapist, etc. I have had more enjoyment at the dentist! My second service was a Sacred Waters message. Again, I felt a very inexperienced therapist gave me a rushed and impersonal treatment. If you have this service and feel that the hot water pouches that they place on you are too hot, SAY SOMETHING!! I didn't thinking that it should be that hot, and ended up with burn marks. They were gone by morning, thank goodness! But day two of sercives was MUCH better. Emily has 9 years experience and you can tell. I highly recommend her and the Hammam treatment--maybe one of the best I have ever had! The treatment rooms are lovely, but a bit chilly. The locker room is nice with the best shower ever, and the lounge by the whirlpool is comfy though plain. I also enjoyed the meditation room, just wish it had a door to keep other noise out.

The food was very good from both restaurants and room service delivered promptly. The server at the more upscale Lola's on the Lake was very accomodating and placed my dinner order "to go" as I preferred to dine in my room and the dish I wanted wasn't on the room service menu.

All in all for the money I paid (with the exception of the first day of spa treatments), I felt I received a good value. I booked the B&B package which allowed a discounted room, 20% off spa services and $40 dining credit. I would go back, but probably not on my own to this large resort. I can see where it would be fun with a group of gals in the summer when the spa wasn't the only attraction.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled solo
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Thank whoier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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637 - 643 of 680 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2009

I am a huge fan of the Osthoff. Our extended family has been meeting at the Osthoff for Easter every year since it opened (14 years in a row now). We keep coming back because of the layout of the 2-3 bedroom suites. The open kitchen and living room allows everyone to relax and visit. The pool and whirlpool are great. The whole facility is very clean. We have never used any of the spa services so can't comment on those. The furniture in the rooms is starting to look a bit dated (mid '90s), although it's in very good, clean repair. We contacted the front desk several times during our stay and always got a response at our door in less than 10 minutes every time! There's not much to do in Elkhart Lake itself but Plymouth is a short drive away. I'm sure I'll write another good review next year!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank 2,618,010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2009

I am upset because a supposed trained aethestician burned my underarm and forearm with boiling hot wax, use of cheap wax paper instead of muslin clothes, and her obvious inexperience. I have been getting various areas on my body waxed for over 10 years, and have never had this happen. She denied that the wax was too hot set on maximum heat until she saw the boil and swelling on my underarm, but then tried to blame the fact that I had "abnormal skin reaction". A physician friend looked at my arms once I returned and stated that with my skin color, the scars would take months to over a year to heal given the degree of the skin burns.

My friend who picked this spa read reviews online about trouble with bills on checkout. We had the same problem as we signed up for the Soul Sisters Reunion Package. We had no wine in our room on check-in as promised. The front desk tried to give us only a total $20 food credit despite the advertised $40 per person food credit. We were also each charged for the yoga class that were supposed to be free. My bill did not even show the $250 spa credit. It took us almost 30 minutes of arguing with the front desk staff to make the corrections because once we showed them our documentation, they didn't know how to make the changes in their computer system.

There are so many other amazing deals out there these days, that I regret going to Aspira. I could have gotten a similar deal at Kohler Spa in Kohler, WI; the Well Spa at the Pfister Hotel; Neroli Spas in Milwaukee, etc.

Even though the spa facilities are well done, the lack of qualified service providers and poor customer service at the Osthoff resort made this trip a nightmare.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank spiceegal23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GoldenRule3, General Manager at The Osthoff Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2009

I 'm the manager of The Osthoff Resort and have always valued the guest messages posted on TripAdvisor. These posts give us a golden opportunity to do "organic" research as to what guests enjoy and where we might consider improvements. I've noticed a number of messages regarding check-out and wanted to reassure visitors that we've tracked down the problem with our new billing system; now, the spa software is "talking to" the resort software and that should alleviate the confusion. As we were resolving this, we were extra diligent in handling billing questions, and those questions typically had more to do with how the statement read rather than any mistakes with actual billing. Believe me, we continue to check and double-check all statements following this transition to the new software. I also thought it was important to let readers know that, not only is every member of our spa staff certified and licensed, every one of our aestheticians and spa therapists must complete our resort's rigorous training program as well. I'm a stickler for protocols, whether that's spa suite maintenance or use of spa service supplies (we use only the highest quality pellon strips in waxing, for example, and only 100% certified organic cotton sheets and many organic spa products) or settings of spa equipment. Those industry-standard protocols guide our staff in responding to specific guest requests, too, so they're invaluable. With every post there's a new opportunity to make minor course corrections as necessary while also building on what guests tell TripAdvisor they like best. Thanks!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2009

Just returned from a two night stay at the Ostoff booked under the Girlfriends Celebration Package. We visited the same hotel last spring and booked the same package because we had such a nice time. This year we had a few issues. First, we had to remind employees what our package included--we had to remind the waitress that breakfast was included (she said she had no clue what we were talking about--isn't that why staff meetings are held?!) the spa had no idea what we were talking about, and when we were checking out we had to stand at the desk for 20 minute while our bill was straigtened out. The spa itself, while beautiful, was definitely not clean. It was not busy at all and there was no hand soap at any of the sinks, and when we left that spa at 4PM one day to return at 10AM the following day, it was pretty apparent that no one had been in overnight to do any cleaning of the restrooms which you think would be done at a minimum. It truly is a beautiful hotel, but when I am spending nearly $1,000 for two nights stay plus spa services, I don't want to have to be the one telling someone what my package includes and wondering if the steam sauna I am sitting in has been propertly sanitized. We are already searching for a new location for our spa trip next year. I would go back to this hotel for a family vacation, but not book a package to skip the chaos and frustration.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank guess2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2009

Received a great discount online ($99/night plus $40 towards meals) and randomly chose the Osthoff for a two-night get-away for our 7th anniversary.

The room was quite nice.... although we were not in the "new" wing, so it was a tad out-dated. We were on the first floor and had a view of the parking lot. I asked if there were any other rooms available, and the receptionist said that since we received a discount they would not be able to offer us another room for that rate. Kinda a bummer, but oh well. The bed was very comfy and the bedroom was nice and dark.

The food was good, especially at the fancier restaurant (I forgot the name) and was worth splurging for our anniversary dinner.

The spa was very nice too, although my husband and I were not able to get appointments at the same time, so if you are going with a significant other, definitely make reservations well in advance.

The activities were non-existant while we were there (Dec. 28-30) since they were ending the Christmas holiday and prepping for New Year's Eve. This didn't bother us though because we just wanted a few days of relaxing with no kids around. The pool was very very busy as was the hot tub, so we just chilled in our room. Again, that was what we were looking for, so it was fine. Plus, it was INCREDIBELY COLD, so I didn't mind staying in.

Would love to return in the summer with the kids to enjoy the resort and all its outside activities.

NOTE: This is no five-star hotel in a big city... enjoy it for what it is. If you go with realistic expectations, I think you will be VERY happy.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BetsyTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2008

My family and I stayed at the Osthoff on Christmas Day - it was terrific! A group of us met for the Christmas Buffet - it was impressive and had a wonderful selection! The hotel had our room ready by the time we had completed our lunch. To our surprise they even upgraded us to a better room! - The corner Superior....it was gigantic! Had 3 bedrooms-and 2 pull out sofas-fireplace and windows with an amazing view of the lake and propoerty! We could not have been in a better room to celebrate the holidays! We were most impressed with the staff...however my only 2 complaints are- 1.) one girl at the front desk seemed crabby - think she may have been a supervisor....it was the wrong tone for Christmas Day! and 2.) the pool was closed on Chritmas night- I wish when I made the reservation they would have told me. However, the property did have a second hot tub so we were able to use that instead. (it was just as good but the pool would have been a pleasure to use). Overall- we had a great time and were surprised that such a place exsists in Wisconsin! Hope to be back in the summer!

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
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Thank luggageinhand4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2008

I went to Osthoff for Thanksgiving weekend with my family of 4. The lobby, great room and grounds were beautiful. The hotel room, restaurant and pool were not great (three stars at best). There was not much to do in the area or in the resort that time of year. The worst part of the stay was the fact that they put us in a room directly above a ballroom where a wedding was held that last night we were there. There were plenty of rooms, but they did not bother to place us in a different room or warn us of the wedding. We heard the entire thing! Our floors were shaking and our boys (5 and 2) woke up when they DJ arrived. They cried for 3 hours until the wedding wrapped up. I called to complained during the reception, the next morning and made 3 other attempts. Finally, I got an email with a weak apology and a free night's stay. I declined. There is no way we are going back to the Osthoff after that awful experience. It was not cheap either. A one bedroom cost us $250 a night. I could have stayed in a South Beach beach front for a cheaper price!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank ChicagoBigeater89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Osthoff Resort

Address: 101 Osthoff Ave, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020-1976
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Elkhart Lake
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Elkhart Lake
Price Range: $240 - $314 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Osthoff Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 145
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Osthoff Resort, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, is a premier AAA Four Diamond resort located on 500 ft of recreational lakefront. Offering a casual atmosphere within its elegant surroundings, The Osthoff Resort provides a romantic getaway for couples, while year-round indoor and outdoor activities, provide a family with many opportunities to enjoy spending time together. Our conference center offers spacious and well-appointed ballrooms and meeting rooms to assist in the productivity of retreats and conferences for our group guests. A host of seasonal getaway packages are available providing guests varying options for a holiday vacation. Whether spring, summer, fall or winter – The Osthoff Resort is your place in the lake.™ ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Osthoff Resort Elkhart Lake
Osthoff Hotel Elkhart Lake

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