Whether you’re looking for a holiday getaway, or a post-Christmas vacation, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is just a short drive away from the Chicagoland area. Although known as a hotspot for tourists in the summer, Lake Geneva has a few winter secrets you may not know about. One of their best kept secrets is The Ridge Hotel. Formerly the Geneva Ridge Resort, this newly renovated resort underwent a top-of-the line transformation in 2016, bringing the luxurious, affordable, and family-friendly Ridge Hotel to Lake Geneva.
On the outside, The Ridge still holds the rustic charm of the original Geneva Ridge Resort lodge, but as soon as you step into the lobby, you’ll be whisked away into a sleek, modern, cozy environment that caters to any guest’s needs. Welcomed by multiple fireplaces, stone furnishings, comfy lounge chairs, and festive Christmas trees, (if you’re visiting during the holiday season, of course) guests will feel right at home in this inviting atmosphere.
Any one of the 146 rooms or suites at The Ridge (many with lakeside views) are sure to make you feel right at home. With their warm, welcoming decor, paired with modern touches like stone in the bathroom, or a large, flat screen TV, you might find yourself preferring to stay in! If you travel during the chilly months, treat yourself to a day without leaving the hotel. We can assure you, you’ll find plenty to do. Plus, kids and adults alike will love being able to watch their favorite shows, with Chromecast preloaded onto the the TV.
Need to warm up, or grab a pick-me-up in the morning before heading to your next adventure? Stop at bean + vine, The Ridge’s one-stop coffee shop, wine bar, and cafe, for one of their handmade specialty Colectivo coffee beverages. Conveniently located right in the lobby, you can pick up your beverage of choice and a hot breakfast sandwich or snack, and either head out, or stick around and relax in their intimate seating area with your laptop, or with your friends. With the comfortable seating arrangement, USB ports, and flat-screen TV, you’ll feel much more like you’re in a cozy coffee shop than in a hotel lobby. For a hot breakfast to start your day, we recommend the peppermint mocha paired with the vegetarian breakfast wrap!
Stop by bean + vine in the afternoon or evening, and indulge a glass of one of their fine wines from around the world. Be sure to also check out “Wine Down Wednesdays”, where you can enjoy some live music with your wine, every Wednesday after 6pm. If you’re looking to grab a quick bite for lunch, try one of their hot or cold sandwiches. Traveling can be expensive, but at bean + vine, you can treat yourself and your family to a delicious, quality lunch, without the high price.
If you think the only time to go out on Lake Geneva is in the summer, think again. The Santa Cruise, which runs from Thanksgiving until December 30th, (every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) is great fun for kids and adults alike. This 40 minute boat tour on Lake Geneva will keep you warm inside the boat so you can relax, sip some hot chocolate or adult beverage of your choice, and marvel at the wide array of holiday decorations around the lake. For the grand finale, you’ll reach the North Pole, and even catch a glimpse of Santa himself! The kids will be thrilled to see jolly Saint Nick, and even hear him read their name on the nice list!
Make sure to arrive at the Wooden Boat Center for your Santa Cruise 20-30 minutes beforehand to walk through the indoor Twelve Charities of Christmas Tree Festival. Each beautifully decorated tree represents a different charity. You’ll be able to purchase raffle tickets and select the charities of your choice to donate to, with a chance to win some wonderful prizes! $2.00 of each ticket purchased from the Santa Cruise even goes to support the Twelve Charities of Christmas. If you’re looking to add a new holiday tradition to your Christmas, it’s great to make it something that gives back.
If you’re looking to relax and enjoy an elegant meal following the boat tour, look no further than The Ridge Hotel’s Crafted Americana. Located just off the lobby, Crafted Americana turns hotel dining into a whole new experience. Earning the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2017, it’s no surprise that Crafted Americana offers only the best selection in wining and dining.
Start your meal off with some delicious Wisconsin cheese curds. For dinner, enjoy their tender filet, or indulge in their one-of-a-kind Ridge Burger. Although it may be a challenge, you must save room for dessert. While the kids will go nuts over the fried Oreo, the flourless chocolate cake is also to-die-for, and the banana bread pudding, baked fresh as soon as your order is placed, simply cannot be missed. Keep in mind that the servings are generous and sharable, but we won’t judge you if you want one all to yourself, (and neither will your server!).
In the evening, take a stroll in the courtyard and keep warm by the fire pit, or soak up the stunning water views. With a picturesque terrace, this lakeside, outdoor lounge is also a beautiful location for weddings. In the summer, an outdoor sports bar and grill (complete with three flat-screen TVs) opens up to guests, creating a comfortable, social atmosphere, where you can visit with your friends, or simply unwind.
Speaking of unwinding, there’s hardly anything more relaxing than a spa. Treat yourself to a full day of rejuvenation at The Ridge’s Salon & Spa. From massages to facials, there are plenty of ways to pamper yourself here. After your massage, feel free to enjoy the sauna or steam room, open to any guests of the hotel. Your kids can enjoy a swim in the large, open pool, while you take a little time for yourself in the sauna and steam room, or relax your muscles in the jacuzzi.
In the morning, start your day with an energizing workout at the fitness center, or, weather-permitting, enjoy a rousing game of golf at one of the three masters-designed courses at the neighboring Geneva National Resort & Club. If you prefer to start your mornings off a little slower, grab your coffee and soak up the stunning views of the sunrise over the lake.
Breakfast may or may not be the most important meal of the day, but it’s certainly one of the most delicious. If you have a bit more time to spare than grabbing a quick bite at bean + vine, head back to Crafted Americana. Elegant eatery by night, exquisite brunch by the lake in the morning, Crafted Americana can meet almost all of your foodie needs. Although it may never have occured to you to put salsa on your omelette, we can guarantee you it’s delicious!
Remember, just because the holidays are over, doesn’t mean your vacation has to be. If you don’t make it to The Ridge before Christmas, there’s still plenty of fun to be had after. With plenty of local shopping, on-location amenities, and even an ice rink opening up right outside The Ridge after New Year’s, you’ll find that the best part of your holiday season is far from over; it’s just get started.
Helpful Tips & Facts
- There are plenty of winter and year-round activities available to guests of almost all ages, such as the Lake Geneva Canopy Tours, downhill skiing, and the incredible Dancing Horses Theater!
- Visiting in December? You can visit Santa and his reindeer in downtown Lake Geneva every weekend before Christmas! Check www.VisitLakeGeneva.com for details and events.
- Visit www.RidgeLakeGeneva.com for current specials and packages:
- The Ridge Hotel’s gift card special: https://www.ridgelakegeneva.com/holiday-gift-cards/ ($20 certificate for every $100 spent). Also, if you book direct on The Ridge website, you receive a $25 dining credit to use at bean + vine or Crafted Americana. (Offer valid on vacation dates through June 30, 2018.)
- New Year’s Eve package, party, brunch and dinner for adults: https://www.ridgelakegeneva.com/new-years-eve/
- Winter Wonderland package: https://www.ridgelakegeneva.com/winter-wonderland/ (includes ice skates, s’mores, $25 dining credit and 20% off spa service
- The Ridge Hotel was awarded the Business Innovation Award from the Walworth County Economic Development Alliance (WCEDA) in November 2017
- In 2017, three of the Paloma Resort Properties, including The Inns of Geneva National, Hunt Club Steakhouse, and The Ridge Hotel received the TripAdvisor® Certificates of Excellence.