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“A little gem in Wisconsin, but very expensive!”
Review of The American Club

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The American Club
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kohler
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A little gem in Wisconsin, but very expensive!”
Reviewed March 2, 2014

The American Club/Carriage and Kohler Waters Spa is the perfect getaway for anyone from Chicago. Just a few hours from Chicago, the property and surrounding neighborhood of the American Club is beautiful and well kept. In the winter time, the Christmas lights and fireplaces are beautiful and inviting. In the summer and fall, there are paths for biking and running everywhere and it is wonderful to explore.
The Carriage House is worth the extra money, so you may get the breakfast, tea time and hors d'oeuvres. I thought the newly renovated Horse and Plow was a great option for dinner, as the other dining options are just ok. I really do not like Cucina and felt the food was pretty bad; and it is a small restaurant usually filled with big parties making it impossible to hear the people at your table. The Wisconsin room is great for breakfast, the eggs benedict was amazing! However, for dinner it was way overpriced and the room is a banquet hall, making it feel less romantic and quaint for a dinner choice.
The spa facilities are wonderful, including the top floor of the spa which has a co-ed hot tub. The cool plunge is great, and the showers are what you would want and expect from Kohler. However, the treatments are a total rip-off and after the first few visits, it will be hard to justify going back and paying over $200 for a massage that is just average. I am also really against the idea that the spa makes you get 2 services to avoid a "spa usage fee" on busier days. I also find it interesting that they bump up the price of the services on Saturdays. I get it, it is a popular day, but usually this means less available times for services and no chairs in the spa area, so I recommend going during the week, when it is less busy and much more quiet.
The town (really just 1 row of shops) nearby really has a few pricey stores. The green house coffee shop in the American club is adorable and great for a quick light breakfast. Overall, unless you go for a walk/run/golf/bike, you have no reason to be off the property. You will be able to relax in the spa, read a book by the many fireplaces, or go for a few very expensive meals.
Last thing to note, the golf courses are beautiful and there is a Yoga facility on the Lake and access to their fitness center. A perfect combination of relaxing and fitness oriented if that is your thing.
I think this place is worth going to once or twice, but after that, there is really no reason to continually go back for the amount of money you will spend for a short trip. I also think the management really cares and welcomes feedback, which is nice to see.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Luv2travelNamaste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christine L, General Manager at The American Club, responded to this review, March 4, 2014
Dear Luv2travelNamaste,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. You are correct, we do welcome and value feedback. The Carriage House is worth the extra money because beside the food offerings you note, guests who stay there also have complimentary access to the Kohler Water’s Spa common areas seven days a week - without scheduling any spa services! The two service minimum on Saturdays applies to guests who stay at the main building of The American Club or the Inn on Woodlake. We offer options to our guests to plan the right stay to meet their needs.

We do hope you consider visiting us more than once or twice, it would be our pleasure to work with you to create the right getaway experience you desire. Thank you for your feedback.

Best Wishes,
ChristineL
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Wheaton, Illinois
Level Contributor
59 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

For the past five years we have been coming to The American Club for my wife"s birthday in February. In the past, we have come-up from Chicago with friends and always have had a great time. This year it was my wife's mothers 75th birthday and we wanted to do something special so we invited her and Dad to be our guests at The American Club for the weekend. To say the least they were totally overwhelmed by the five star experience.

From the time that we rolled up to the front door, to the time that we departed and the bellman, and those guys are all great, addressed them by their last name, they truly had a magnificent experience.

My in-laws received a room upgrade, champagne, three tier towel birthday cake, and another cider and mixed nuts special treat the second night. They had never experienced such a level of service as they had this weekend. They now know why Kohler is the only five star hotel in the Midwest.

As always, and as I say that I think about how difficult it must be to deliver that "as always" superior level of performance and yet not disappoint. That being said, I think that a moment of special thanks and gratitude needs to be sent out to the management and all the fantastic employees of The American Club, that as it appears, know nothing but delivering a superior level of service at all times. Having interfaced with customers, I personally know that this is a real challenge and no little task. So a special thank you to all the great people that make it happen!

OK, back to the weekend. We again drove out to Schwarz's Supper Club in the middle of no-where, St Anna and had a fantastic time as always. Thank's Sherry for the original find! On Saturday we traveled out for a little ride and had lunch up in Manitowoc at a great little place called 8th and York, in the old bank building, thanks again to Sherry. Second time there and second time great food. Again, not to skip over the food at Kohler, because it is always exceptional especially the Wisconsin Bloody Mary's at Black Wolf Run, but I feel it helps to share local spots to make your overall experience of the area more satisfying.

Only disappointment of the weekend was dinner Saturday night in down town Sheboygan. We had previously been to a restaurant down town called Margo's which is now named The Black Pig. Same chef and owners, but a different menu and wait staff. The food was disappointing, as was the service and sadly it previously had been off the wall great. Then $9 for a so-so glass of wine at the bar for Sheboygan was crazy. So, anyway I would have to give a pass to The Black Pig! First ever pass for any area restaurant!

The weekend did end with a superior brunch back at The American Club with incredible service. The smoked white fish and salmon, not to mention the oysters on the half shell were all phenomenal! Yes, I am fussy, but Kohler knows how to deliver!!

So, it was a fantastic weekend that my in-laws loved, all they could do on the way home was to talk about how much they loved it and looked forward to coming back again? Hopefully, they can find it by themselves, next time! See that's how great Kohler is, it can even make you forget who you are with! A little light humor here?

Well to wrap things up, to all the sensational/fantastic employees at Kohler, thank you so very much from our hearts, for your extra efforts to celebrate a very special 75th birthday for my mother-in-law and make it an unforgettable experience that she will always remember! You guys are really very special people!

Thank You!

Tom Hudock

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank tom h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christine L, General Manager at The American Club, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Dear tom h,

Happy birthday to your mother-in-law! We are so delighted you selected our resort to celebrate. You recognize our most valuable asset, our team. They are the ones who truly make our magic happen.

Best Wishes,
ChristineL
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Sugar Grove, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

My wife surprised me with a birthday getaway weekend to the American Club from February 15 to the 17th. The staff could not have been more friendly and attentive. The reservations manager sent a bottle of wine and cheese plate to my room, the housekeeping staff created a "birthday cake" out of towels during the turn down service, and it felt like every employee in the resort wished me a happy birthday. The food in the Immigrant Room was outstanding as were the cocktails in the wine bar beforehand. We had a delightful and cozy lunch in the hunting lodge during a snow storm, which we followed with cross country skiing at Black Wolf Run and then a late afternoon/early evening in the spa. We also skated on the lake. Everything was picture perfect and I highly recommend this terrific resort in the winter time.

Room Tip: We had the Ray Nitchke room, which was a bonus for us Packer fans. Leave time to enjoy your bath and...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christine L, General Manager at The American Club, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Dear Andrew M,

Happy Birthday! While this winter has been a chilly one, we are pleased you were able to enjoy our outdoor activities during your birthday weekend. The snow fall has made for a beautiful setting to ski or ice skate. It is a pleasure to read that our team was friendly and attentive.

Best Wishes,
ChristineL
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

We are 3 girlfriends who try to get a way for our Birthdays 3 times a year. We have been to the American Club in the past but have never stayed in the Carriage House. Upon our return I doubt we would ever go back to the Hotel. From the check-in process to check-out the entire stay was excellent. As mentioned we had a birthday, which I happened to mention when asked. With the turn down service we had birthday greetings in the room as well as a few treats left as gifts. The very efficient help left a "cake" tower made from towels. Very thoughtful. Small champagne bottles as well as puppy chow...(wish this had arrived before we headed down for our pedicures, as I will explain in a moment)
We had intended to have dinner at River Wildlife's Lodge but unfortunately it is not open during the week. We had eaten here at our last visit and I must say it was one of the best meals I have ever had. We had a late lunch instead at the Horse and Plow which was fine. Needs a little updating. The atmosphere I think could be "cozier" to go with the theme of the entire property. (of course, IMHO!)
We then rushed back to our rooms to change into our robes and slippers...(our attire for the rest of our stay!). We had a pedicure for the three of set for 5 p.m. I have to mention that Cynthia in reservations was kind enough to find an additional tech that would stay to accommodate all three of us at the same time. I had brought a bottle of champagne with us to celebrate the birthday. I brought it down to the Spa and was not allowed to open it due to the fact I did not order it from Room Service. Angela, the front desk person on staff came in and told us this as we were getting comfortable in our pedi seats....bummer. Just a thought for management...knowing that we had champagne waiting in our room (compliments of the hotel) it would have been thoughtful for someone to have brought this to us in the spa. Had I known it was coming I would have asked for it myself...)I might add she was not apologetic about it at all. Matter of fact if there was little emotion. (she was the same at Spa check out...not the usual personable staff member always found at this resort. The only disconnect we found during our stay.) So, in hand with a glass of water(;-( ) Jodi, my FABULOUS tech went to town on my toes, feet, legs....BEST Pedi I have ever had. Thank You Jodi.
We left the spa and as we were heading back to our room we noticed that cocktails and apps had started (without us!)...made a bee line for the vino and apps, sat and caught up on our lives, which had finally started to slow down...relaxed, laughed. So much fun.
We had also brought many of our own apps and vino. Headed back to the room to partake in our own goodies and finally pop the champagne to cheer the coming year.
Headed up to the roof top hot tub and fireplace not too long after we got back to our room as we saw it closed at 9???....much too early.
Awoke to a (another) beautiful, cold Wisc. morning. Again donned our robes for breakfast in the breakfast room ( all purpose room!). Coffee, teas, juice, cereal, all kinds of pastries....perfect to get us on our way.
As I mentioned, robes and slippers are the choice of wardrobe options in the Carriage House.
Afternoon tea is also served earlier in the afternoon, which we missed...vino and apps 5:30-7:00....Breakfast start time? Think it is over around 10. This is all included in the cost of the room. The use of the entire Spa is also included when staying at the Carriage House.
On our way out...(really need to make this a longer stay!) we had lunch at the Blackwolf Run Club House. Very good.
Yes, we will return....3 hours from Chicago, in snowy white out conditions. Yes, it was worth the treacherous conditions to get there!

Room Tip: Carriage House has much more to offer that the Hotel itself. (IMHO!)
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Moe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christine L, General Manager at The American Club, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Dear Moe,

Thank you for making the treacherous journey to stay with us this winter season. It is a pleasure to read how you and your friends enjoyed your experience at the Carriage House and Kohler Waters Spa. Robe and slippers are most definitely the dress code of choice! Thank you for taking time to offer suggestions for improvement as well.

We look forward to your return and hopefully mother nature will provide you with safer driving weather.

Best Wishes,
ChristineL
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chicago
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2014

My husband and I come to the American Club every year-right around Valentines Day. We stay in the Carriage House. This year we stayed on Thursday and Friday nights. As ALWAYS, we feel like we have been swept away to a wonderland!! From the moment you walk in, the staff is attentive and professional. The décor in the hotels is gorgeous! Our room this year was on the 3rd floor of The Carriage House and was just beautiful! The spa never disappoints. I had the Kohler Waters Facial (with Una) and it was amazing. My husband had a massage and then we both had a water treatment-The Lavender Rain. We enjoyed all of our services. On Thursday, we had no problem getting lounge chairs in any of the areas, however, by Friday, it was filling up and became a little trickier. We still managed, though. If was area was full, we just went to another. We had a fantastic Valentines Day dinner in the Wisconsin room. Great food and gorgeous area! We also love the "wine and cheese hour" in the Carriage house!

All said, this review is LONG overdue! We have been coming for our winter getaway for more than 10 years!! Never does the quality of this place slip at all! If anything, it gets better every year!

Room Tip: Anywhere in the Carriage House!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank terrik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christine L, General Manager at The American Club, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Dear terrik,

How lovely to read the time you and your husband carved out to connect on Valentine’s Day at the Carriage House and Kohler Water’s Spa. Time like this is so important and on behalf of our entire team we are so pleased you felt it was wonderland! It is an honor to have you as a loyal repeat guest for the past 10 years.

Best Wishes,
ChristineL
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brookfield, Wisconsin
1 review
Reviewed February 14, 2014

My new husband and I were VERY MUCH looking forward to our get away at the Carriage House but I can't say it was worth the price. First off, we were given a "deal" for our hotel room because we were coming for one night on a Sunday in February to celebrate our honeymoon. I am 5 months pregnant so we decided to have a "small splurge" before our real extended honeymoon next year. Regardless, I have to say I was disappointed.

As stated, we were told we were getting a very competitive rate of about $450 total for a Governor's Suite at the Carriage house due to the above circumstances. Well, we arrived at the room at around 4 pm after an 80-min couples massage (see review to come) and the majority of the rooms around us were not cleaned. This wouldn't have been a big deal but we were also right by an exit in which the cleaning staff kept going in and out of. Exhausted after our wedding and wanting to relax, we tried taking naps. However, the slamming of doors by the cleaning staff both on the surrounding rooms and exit door made this nearly impossible. After an hour of tossing and turning, we gave up. Of course the bathroom was great, but the rest of the room was very mediocre in my opinion. It wasn't that spacious for the price and we were also positioned next to a busy road. I am a fairly sound sleeper and had trouble sleeping in the next morning due to the traffic. Overall, the room was not worth the price.

As referred to, my husband and I received a couples 80-min. massage. My husband loved his but I was not impressed. The resort allows clients to pay for access to the spa if they aren't getting services. We arrived around 1:15 on Sunday for appointments scheduled at 2 pm. We couldn't find anywhere in the common areas to sit together because it was so crowded. In addition, there were used towels and empty glasses lying all over. When the massage therapists came to get us at 2 pm, they asked us our preferences but didn't give us a chance to elaborate nor did we get to fill out a form like you traditionally do when getting a massage. I think not only was the massage technician I had very unskilled, but unskilled particularly in the area of prenatal massage. First she had me start on my back, which is odd as you are usually told not to spend too much time lying straight on your back while pregnant. She was very timid and kept massaging my scalp and hands. As I asked her to use more pressure and work more on the problem areas I mentioned, it just got more awkward. There was no "flow" and I felt like I was getting a massage from a student. She finally had me flip over using the prenatal massage pillow but again, she was so awkward about it that it wasn't a "relaxing" experience. After 80 minutes, she didn't target any of the "problem" areas I asked for and I left feeling no more relaxed than when we started. Perhaps the spa isn't well educated on pregancy tecniques, but I can say this was FAR down on my list of good massages. For around $450, I can't justify the price. In my opinion, if a resort is going to charge such prices for the rooms and services, they should have the expertise and accomodations to match - this unfortunately was not the case.

On a positive note, I will say our dinner at the Wisconsin Room was great! We both had wonderful dinners and were impressed by the quality of food we had for the price. While this would not be enough of a motivation to come back, it was at least one area we didn't feel was grossly overpriced for what the service/accomodate was.

More disappointingly, I would have not written this review but after we returned home we were sent a survey to complete. I answered truthfully and honestly and marked that I would like to be contacted about my experience. This clearly was not a priortiy for them as I have not heard back. While I expected a lot more from the resort, this was shocking as I attempted to be fair and diplomatic about my negative experience. It's a shame negative reviews aren't taken seriously by the staff and management.

Regardless, it was a one time "mini-moon" we will not be repeating. We tried it but won't be going back...

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank kim k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christine L, General Manager at The American Club, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Dear kim k,

Please accept my humble and sincere apology for the unacceptable experiences you encountered and more embarrassingly for our failure to follow up after your departure. I truly wish there was something we could do to account for your past experience and have you return for a getaway you deserve. Our actions on your survey do not demonstrate how we truly do believe feedback is a gift and value all guest comments both favorable and not. Upon reading your review when posted, we ensured the team responded.

With Deepest Regrets,
ChristineL
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
209 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2014

We escape to The American Club each winter and immerse ourselves in the wonderful ambiance and luxury that it offers. It is expensive, but it is the one time of year that we (two teachers) pretend to be rich! This year was even better than ever. The Carriage House is our preference for lodging as the ability to enjoy the spa, evening tea, wine, and breakfast without ever getting out of your plush robe is truly decadent. We never even got into our car until our departure! From the champagne flute offered upon check in to the water bottles offered upon departure...and everthing in between, this is truly a great getaway. We will be back in 2015!

Room Tip: The Carrige House Suite includes a sunroom with a huge Kohler Riverwaters hot tub.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank timjstark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christine L, General Manager at The American Club, responded to this review, March 3, 2014
Dear timjstark,

How wonderful to read that you are able to escape to The American Club once a year for a getaway. It is a pleasure to read how you are able to take advantage of the offerings unique to the Carriage House. We look forward to your return in 2015.

Best Wishes,
ChristineL
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The American Club

Property: The American Club
Address: 419 Highland Dr, Kohler, WI 53044-1514
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Kohler
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kohler
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The American Club 5*
Number of rooms: 241
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The American Club is a Forbes Five-Star Resort Hotel and the Midwest’s only AAA Five Diamond Resort Hotel providing unique, luxurious decor that with a singular quality experience room by room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The American Club Hotel Kohler
American Hotel Kohler
The American Hotel
American Club Wisconsin
American Kohler
American Club In Kohler Wi
American Club Kohler Wi
The American Club Kohler, Wisconsin

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