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“Beautiful grounds and great staff, albeit very overpriced”

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Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Lake Geneva
Certificate of Excellence
Madison, Wisconsin
Level 5 Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Beautiful grounds and great staff, albeit very overpriced”
Reviewed October 31, 2011

We spent 3 nights at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa immediately following our wedding as a "mini-honeymoon", as conflicting work schedules made it difficult to take a more lengthy trip. While the property is gorgeous and the staff is very courteous, room prices are somewhat exorbitant (and the $15 daily "resort fee" is ridiculous). Note that the resort grounds and public areas have been more recently renovated and are much nicer than the actual hotel rooms. As all my reviews are somewhat lengthy, feel free to scroll to the bottom for a quick summary.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
The Grand Geneva is truly a beautiful property. The lengthy drive into the resort takes one over undulating hills and through a thicket of trees. Glances eastward offer inspiring views of one of the two golf courses -- gorgeous. The facade of the lobby has been recently renovated in flagstone and the entire resort is modeled in a contemporary iteration of Frank Lloyd Wright's "prairie style" architecture. Upon entering the lobby, the resort staff was extremely helpful, friendly and efficient. After telling the check-in clerk we had just been married, we were kindly greeted with a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries shortly after getting settled in our room.

HOTEL ROOMS:
In short, our hotel room was somewhat disappointing, especially in comparison to the lobby and other public areas of the resort. While very clean and nicely appointed, I can't say that our room was any nicer than your typical Marriott or Hilton. For $270 a night, one tends to expect eclectic furnishings, a nice view...something a little out of the ordinary. While our room did have a balcony, it overlooked...the parking lot. Also keep in mind that all $270 gets you over the summer months is their base room ("deluxe guest room").

The bathrooms have granite vanities but are otherwise fairly "standard." One cool feature is the small LCD TV "built-in" the bottom of the bathroom mirror, however I find this to be more of a novelty rather than actually useful. I also noted some moisture damage in several spots in the ceiling above the shower.

As mentioned above, the exteriors of the buildings housing the hotel rooms seem much more dated relative to the lobby.

SERVICE:
The service was IMPECCABLE. This was truly the shining star of our stay. The entire staff was extremely knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. Room service was very prompt. As mentioned above, the champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries delivered to our room shortly after check-on was a nice touch.

The service at each of the resort's restaurants was absolutely out of this world. We had a celebratory dinner at Brissago and were literally treated like royalty. We ordered the wine pairing with our dinner. After telling our server how much we had enjoyed one of the wines, he sent us back to our room with 2 glasses and the remainder of the wine bottle. Unbelievable!

FOOD:
The resort has several dining options, with the two "flagship" restaurants being Ristorante Brissago and Geneva Chophouse. As its name implies, the Chophouse is your standard variety steakhouse (albeit very upscale), while Brissago is a very finely appointed Italian restaurant.

All of the resort's food options range from very good to superb. As mentioned above, the Brissago restaurant was simply amazing -- I would HIGHLY recommend this spot. We enjoyed dessert one evening at the Chophouse restaurant and were very impressed. Food ordered through room service was also delicious, despite the fact that we ordered it at 12:30am! Lunch at the poolside cafe was also very good.

POOL:
The pool area itself is very nice and is situated overlooking the golf course -- truly a postcard-perfect view. Despite this, a MAJOR flaw of the pool area (at least when we were there) were the absurd amount of bees which circulated the area. While multiple bee traps are strategically placed throughout the pool area, the bees remained a huge issue throughout our time spent by the pool.

LOCATION:
While technically being in the city of Lake Geneva, the resort is nowhere close to the actual lake. While there is plenty to do at the resort (especially for those who like to golf and spend all day at the spa), those who wish to stroll the streets of historic downtown Lake Geneva and enjoy the lake's activities will find themselves a traffic-ridden 20-minute drive from downtown. We will therefore look into resorts situated directly on the lake next time we stay in the area, as we enjoy all that the town has to offer.

SPA:
My wife had an 80-minute massage which she said was absolutely amazing. This was not cheap, however, at $185 before gratuity -- my wallet was hurting afterwards.

Overall it was a very restful and enjoyable stay. However, several pertinent negatives will likely direct us to try a different resort next time we're looking to stay in the area.

PROS:
Fantastic staff, superb service.
Great dining options, delicious food.
Beautiful grounds and public spaces.
Wonderful spa.

CONS:
Rooms are VERY overpriced; views of parking lot are unacceptable at such a high pricepoint.
Large amount of bees at pool -- NOT enjoyable.
Drive to adjacent Lake Geneva can be significant on summer weekends.
Expensive.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, opt for a room which faces the golf course. For the pricey cost of rooms at t...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank skulboep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2011

Lots to like about the Grand Geneva, and a couple factors/issues to consider before you book:
Plusses include:
1) Very friendly staff. From the front desk, to the golf course starter, to the spa attendants, and the restaurant staff, every interaction with the Grand Geneva employees was positive. Definitely reflected well on the hotel and resort.
2) Rooms were well apportioned and comfortable. Bathrooms were nice and included built-in televisions in the mirrors.
3) Free wireless and free valet service from the front entrance were both nice offerings.
4) Ate at the on-site Steak House for our anniversary dinner. Food was very good; not exceptional, but very good. Because it was our anniversary, we each received a free glass of champagne, and there were rose petals on our table (a little goofy, but kinda romantic).
5) Golf course provided a nice walk around the grounds, and had good views, but the greens were in really poor condition (made putting almost impossible to get a true read on the breaks). It was the end of the season, but if the course is going to be open, the greens should have been in much better condition.
Other considerations:
1) Rooms do not have individually controlled heat and A/C. This may not be an issue in summer and winter when everyone would agree to have on the A/C or the heat. However, in the sping or fall, it is definitely an issue. We were there in early October and the room was very warm. We could not turn on the A/C to cool off the room since the central control had on the heat. No premier property would expect all guests to have the same needs in terms of room temperature. We had to keep the sliding glass doors open in the evening - not a big deal, but might be an issue for those concerned about safety.
2) Common areas are in a dated and worn. Not horrible condition, but definitely keeps it from being an elite property and was a factor in not earning a fourth star.
3) A bit remote. Although just a couple minute drive from the downtown Geneva shops, and access to the Lakefront, the distance does not allow for late night strolls and early morning views without driving into town. Not a big deal for most, but if you want immediate and convenient access to lake views and village shops, keep this in mind.
4) Golf course greens in very poor condition. Although late in the season, one would expect greens that are in at least moderate condition. As I am a bit of a hacker, it did not affect my score noticeably. However, if you are a serious golfer, keep this in mind.

Room Tip: Lake view rooms are nice. Cannot get a room with individually controlled heat or A/C, so keep that i...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank TravelingAllCreation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2011

Wow! When I say "wow", I mean WOW! I went for a weekend getaway with 4 other women (all professionals over the age of 30) and we had one of the best mini vacations of our lives! The Grand Geneva Resort is an amazing place to stay and from the time we checked in, until the time we checked out, the service and accommodations were exceptional! The staff were all well-informed and "find a way to say Yes", must be this company's motto, because we never were lacking for anything we needed. I, and my girlfriends have already decided that this will our yearly trip and we are already planning for 2012. I promise you - you WILL NOT be disappointed!

Room Tip: We'd stayed in the Geneva Suite (Section 1) (it was best suited for our needs), but they aren...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank LindsaysTrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Zurich, IL
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 24, 2011

My husband and I were celebrating our birthdays and could only get away for a single Sunday night. We chose the Lake Geneva area because it is a short drive and because we wanted to walk around the lake and see some fall tree color before drab winter sets in. We booked a lakeview room with a AAA discount but there was a stay one night get one free rate that I wish we could have taken advantage of since it was such a nice room. The room was spacious and the bed very comfortable. Had a little balcony overlooking the golf course and would have sat there to enjoy a bottle of wine but it was an usually windy day. Instead we went to the Lobby Lounge and enjoyed their $5 at 5 (5 o'clock) drink special which was a Washington Apple. The lounge was relaxing with comfortable seating and the view was nice, looking out towards the golf course. We ate at the Grand Cafe, next door to the Lobby Lounge. My husband had pot roast with mashed potatoes which he enjoyed. I chose a chicken pasta dish that I would not recommend. Pretty flavorless. The bathroom in our room seemed very new with plush towels and the cool t.v. that appears in the mirror. Really would have liked to stay longer but didn't have the time. The reason that I did not give 5 stars is because I think the $15 resort fee is ridiculous.

Room Tip: Lakeview was very nice, I would have hated to look out ofver the parking lot.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank DRSR21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Charles, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2011

This weekend started on a shakey note, but ended spectacularly. Our room wasn't what we were expecting, so talked to an awesome manager named Lisa. She straightened out our predicament and more than made up for the problems we initially experienced. The hotel staff were polite and extremely friendly and helpful. Never met a staff like this before. They went out of their way to be courteous.

Room Tip: Lake side view rooms are worth the extra price. Stunning views.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank momfreidel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2011

My 3 girlfriends and I just went to the Grand Geneva resort - good place to go for a quick weekend. This was the first get away we had had together for awhile - it was good to go close to home (drive not fly) and low expectations. If the weather had been better we would have enjoyed it more, but it was still good to get away.

We had connecting rooms - you need at least two rooms for 3 people. One with a cot would have been too small. You can use the shower in the fitness center if you need more bathroom time.

Saturday - an outside event was planned, but it rained so they held it inside. It was really lame inside, but the hotel tried. We never thought about making reservations for a hotel restaurant and missed out the on the Italian one we wanted to go to. But - we ended up at the cafe for steaks and had a great dinner with good wine.

Sunday - An early morning workout was good, followed by a quick breakfast from the Starbucks. The spa is nice and relaxing. We booked 11 AM and 2PM appts with lunch in between. In retrospect, we wished we were closer to our room to go back and have mimoas! The food was good (too much), the lunch room not really spa like (cold) - but still fun. Bring your bathing suit and magazines and lounge around.

Sunday night - Great reason to go to town: The Baker House restaurant. Good food, fun atmosphere. There was no sunset, but we heard it was a good place to go for the sunset.

All in all a good hotel. The structure itself is old, but they have tried to update it as much as poossible. The staff were very nice, helpful and accomodating.

Room Tip: If you want a room with a view, building 6 would be worth it. Building 7 looks at the trees, but 6...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JudyAC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2011

The Grand Geneva is an older hotel that is been well upkept. The dining was excellent as was the service. We ate at the Chop House and Ristoranté Brissago and in the high dollar range as far as pricing. There is a Starbucks in the main lobby with a nice gelato bar. So I have to point out the downfalls of the Grand Geneva. The resort is in a very remote area so if you don't have car you will be stuck at the resort. The small pool area with not enough seating and very slow and then inaccurate pool side service (food and beverage), this occured on multiple occassions. The resort grounds are immaculate and it is quiet and if you have a ground level room you have a patio with seats outside. But watch out for the mosquitos as they are in abundance. The golf course is challenging and beautiful. If you want to get away this is the place for you, however it is on the pricey side for where it is at and what you get.

Room Tip: There are some rooms that are very, very far from the lobby so if you are traveling with anyone that...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Masci_JM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
Address: 7036 Grand Geneva Way, at Hwys 50 East & 12, Lake Geneva, WI 53147-5105
Location: United States > Wisconsin > Lake Geneva
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Lake Geneva
#2 Romantic Hotel in Lake Geneva
#3 Spa Hotel in Lake Geneva
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Geneva Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 355
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Geneva® Resort is the place to meet. Whether a corporate meeting, convention or a gathering with friends and family, the endless range of meeting rooms & space and activities will keep everyone engaged. Conveniently located between Chicago and Milwaukee, there is so much to do at Lake Geneva’s only four diamond resort.Corporate travelers and families alike will find what they need to re-focus, relax or rev-up. With over 62,000 square feet of banquet space, guests have multiple options to choose from for that important business meeting, church retreat, wedding reception or family vacation. Or take time and enjoy a relaxing experience at the newly renovated WELL Spa or one of many dining options, while an indoor waterpark and kid’s program offer the excitement kids crave. Enjoy a group bonfire at the horse stables, a fast plunge down a ski hill, a serene walk through the trails or a drive down a fairway on two championship golf courses – all situated on Grand Geneva’s seemingly endless acres.No matter your reason for meeting….it’s all here in one Grand location in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Geneva Resort And Spa
Grand Geneva Hotel Lake Geneva
Grand Geneva Lake
Lake Geneva Illinois

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