A girls’ getaway at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
With the pandemic still affecting travel and wedding planning arrangements, organizing a girls' weekend or honeymoon somewhere exotic (or even just on the other side of the country) is a bit of a gamble. But by opting to stay closer to home, you don’t have to forego fun, food-indulgence or romance.
This is what we discovered during a recent work assignment-turned-girls’ getaway with the team at the Chicago Bridal Store. Partnering with The Melanin Bride, we packed our bags and made the short journey to the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa on the shores of sparkling Lake Geneva. It’s just a 1.5-hour drive from downtown Chicago or around two hours from the northwest Indiana border, making it an ideal Wisconsin destination for some special time with your girlfriends or an unforgettable wedding weekend.
A warm resort welcome
On arrival at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, we were greeted by the friendly receptionist, Bryon, who informed us (much to our joy) that our rooms were ready early and we could check in straight away. After a quick change of outfits, we made a beeline for the outdoor swimming pool (there’s also an indoor pool and spa), which was just as inviting as it appeared in their advertising material.
With views across the grassy greens of the golf course, we settled into the pool chairs for an afternoon of relaxation, accompanied by fish tacos and Miami Vice cocktails delivered by our dedicated waiter. While there were other guests staying at the hotel, the pool area never felt crowded and we quickly transitioned into “zen mode”.
The setting was so “island oasis” that we decided to make reservations for dinner on the outdoor patio of the Cool Water Pool Bar & Grill. The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa has plenty of dining options, whether you want to dine on contemporary Italian at Ristoranté Brissago, feast on burgers at the Links Bar & Grill or experience the casual cafe atmosphere of Grand Central. For us, an alfresco dinner at Cool Water was ideal, with a tempting choice of small plates, inspired salads, and hearty wraps on the menu.
An active or leisurely getaway
Over the next few days, we took full of advantage of all the activities on offer at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. All of us were surprised that we could do so much, without having to leave the property. From enjoying a round on one of the two (yes two!) golf courses to indulging with a massage treatment at the Well Spa + Salon, you can pack so much into your stay.
We opted for a horseback riding excursion with the team from Dan Patch Stables, which took us through the glorious lakeside scenery of the Grand Geneva Resort. In addition to guided tours for all ages and abilities, they also offer peaceful carriage rides for couples wanting a dose of romance with their equine adventure.
At the Grand Geneva Adventure Center, you can do everything from mountain biking and hiking in the summer months to winter sports in the snow, as well as rent a scooter for touring the rural roads of Wisconsin. We decided on an archery lesson to challenge ourselves but were also tempted by the idea of sand volleyball and disc golf. Many of the activities can be geared towards families with kids and there’s even an app so you don’t miss a minute of the fun!
Our stay at the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa wasn’t all go, go, go, however, with plenty of time to laze by the pool with our books and even do a little shopping in the gift stores. One morning, we treated ourselves to a leisurely mimosa brunch, and most evenings, we were in the hot tub feeling like queens. If you’re a night owl, there’s even an on-site club, Evolve, that stays open until the early hours of the morning.
On our last night at the resort, we had an incredible dinner at the Geneva Chophouse and counted ourselves lucky to score a reservation at this deservedly popular local institution. The food (think prime tenderloins, Alaska crabs, and tiger prawns) was amazing, as was the impeccable service. A meal here is an absolute must for couples and girls' getaways!
A dream lakeside setting
It goes without saying that we departed the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in a much more rejuvenated state than we arrived and we can’t wait to return. From food to activities, amenities and service, it delivered on every front and we couldn’t recommend it more highly for anyone looking for a quick getaway. If you’re a Chicago Bridal Store customer that’s still searching for the perfect wedding venue, you won’t be disappointed with this Wisconsin gem.