Valentines day is approaching, and you have a little over 2 weeks to get your preparations in order. If you live in the Midwest and you really want to surprise someone, then check out these four romantic destinations which are guaranteed to be more original than roses and chocolates.
Sundara Inn and Spa – Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Anyone who has lived in the Midwest for any length of time has probably spent at least one weekend in the Wisconsin Dells. The Dells are a bit of a mix between kitschy 70’s entertainment and oversized waterparks.
But don’t let that scare you away, because hidden away far from all the hustle and bussel is the Sundara Inn and Spa. This spa is voted one of the top 10 in the country, but its location means it isn’t the easiest place to visit.
Getting to the spa involves taking a small road through the hills, and once you arrive you’ll notice that you hear absolutely nothing. No traffic, no planes, no busy water parks. In fact, with several miles of forest around the facility, chances are you may even find things a little too quiet.
The facility itself is quite simply stunning. With just 26 suites, the whole place has a very private atmosphere, and since no children are allowed on premises, you can enjoy a really romantic getaway.
If you need even more privacy, you can rent one of the 4 private villa suites, situated across from the main building in the forest.
Rooms are available in 3 different levels of luxury, from a “basic” room with a Kohler 8 jet waterspa, to a split level suite with a 75″ Riverbath spa and Watertower shower. All rooms come with a Bose wave radio and a selection of music CD’s.
Rates start at $139, plus any spa services you order. A 30 minute massage will cost you $65.
Romantic packages with one night in a suite, 2 couples massages and an in-room picnic costs just over $500, so plan wisely. Men may prefer to spend some time in the pool while their significant other gets pampered in the spa.
At night, complimentary towncar service will take you anywhere you want to go within the Dells, but I highly suggest a meal at Fields at the Wilderness – this Frank Lloyd Wright inspired restaurant is one of the best steak restaurants in Wisconsin, and a fantastic place to have a romantic dinner.
The Sundara Inn and Spa is located at 920 Canyon Road in the Dells. The drive will take about 3 hours from Chicago (195 miles), and about 2 hours from Milwaukee (123 miles).
Web site: Sundara Inn and Spa
The American Club, Kohler, Wisconsin
Chances are that you recently showered or used the bathroom with a Kohler product. The brand does have a bit more to offer than just bathroom accessories, and The Kohler American Club is another of those great Midwest gems.
The American Club is a AAA five diamond rated hotel, and all rooms feature Kohler products, including rooms with their whirlpools and showers. Next to the hotel is the Kohler Waters Spa, where guests can be pampered with such treats as a white chocolate Macadamia nut sugar scrub.
Rooms for Valentines day start at $238 a night, and a romantic getaway package with Champagne, roses and a “bath butler” costs $398, which includes a $100 dining credit for one of their 5 award winning restaurants.
The American Club is located on 419 Highland Drive, Kohler, Wisconsin. The drive from Chicago will take about 2 and a half hours (145 miles), but folks living in Milwaukee can get there in a little over an hour.
Web site: The American Club
The Champagne Lodge, Willowbrook, Illinois
If you prefer something with a shorter drive from Chicago, then the Champagne Lodge may be just what you need. A standard room at the lodge costs $169/night, and comes with a queen bed, whirlpool tub, steam room, Plasma TV and wet bar. For about $40 more, you can upgrade to an executive suite, which comes with a larger room and tub.
The Champagne Lodge also has an on site spa, and services start at just $45 for a 30 minute massage. Of course, as the name implies, Champagne is available for any room, and starts at just $15 per bottle. The rooms look a little cheesy, with large mirrors and wood panels, but the secluded location will probably be much better for a romantic weekend than your run of the mill Westin or Hilton downtown.
The Champagne Lodge is located on 16W621 S. Frontage Road, Willowbrook, IL. The drive from Chicago is just under half an hour.
Web site: The CL
The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Acme, Michigan
Condé Nast Traveler named this resort one of the top 50 in the world, so it is obvious that this is not your ordinary resort. The Grand Traverse resort and spa is located in Michigan’s lower peninsula, which obviously means it’ll be a little harder to get to for many people.
The resort has it all – a spa, health club, tennis, golf, a waterpark and 5 restaurants (including one on the 16th floor of the tower).
Rooms start around $120 for a low level accomodation, and about $140 for a tower room. A one night couples package costs about $250, which includes the room, dinner and breakfast. The hotel reservation system allows you to add Champagne and roses to your room for a reasonable charge.
The Grand Traverse resort is a 328 mile drive from Chicago (just under 6 hours), and about 250 miles from Detroit. The resort is located just several miles away from Traverse airport, which is a one hour flight from Chicago.
The Grand Traverse resort is located at 100 Grand Traverse Village Boulevard, Acme, Michigan.
Web site: The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa