Wondering where to stay in Lake Geneva Wisconsin? Since my family has been in the area since the 1930s I have rounded up all the best places to stay in Lake Geneva you should know about.
The hotel you choose can make or break a vacation and sets the tone of your entire stay. Have you ever spent hours pouring over photos and reviews of potential hotels only to be disappointed upon arrival? I know I have! Since I have been a regular visitor for over 39 years I put together a “best of” list to help potential visitors (and locals with visitors) know what they are signing up for!
My insider recommendations for the top 5 overall best hotels in the Lake Geneva area should help you confidently book the stay that fits you best so you can focus on enjoying your time around the lake!
Top 5 Best Places to Stay Lake Geneva Wisconsin
- The Abbey Resort and Spa
- The Cove Hotel
- The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
- Maxwell Mansion
- The Geneva Inn
This post is all about where to stay Lake Geneva.
The Abbey Resort and Spa
The Abbey Resort and Spa, nestled in Fontana, WI, offers an unparalleled lakeside experience, just a 15-minute drive from downtown Lake Geneva. With both indoor and outdoor pools catering to different age groups, a newly renovated spa, nightly piano lounge entertainment, an arcade, small movie theater featuring family favorites and a range of dining options, this resort embraces Wisconsin’s rustic charm while providing modern amenities. Families revel in the array of activities from ice skating to movie nights, while adults unwind with spa treatments and scenic lake views.
Feel & Atmosphere: The resort’s Wisconsin rustic chic aesthetic, featuring wood beams and an iconic A-frame design, evokes a nostalgic, simpler time while delivering expected contemporary resort luxuries.
Pros & Cons: The Abbey stands out for its lakeside location, numerous amenities including separate pools for kids and adults, a vibrant spa, two on-site restaurants, an arcade, family movie theater, large gift shop and onsite coffee bar and ability to rent a boat from their on site marina!. The only con is larger family groups might find the absence of multiple-bedroom suites challenging, and fitness center access is only available with a spa treatment or if you have a $35 dollar day pass.
Notable Activities & Dining: Location is a main draw for this resort! Guests can walk to Fontana’s best restaurants and bars like like the iconic bar Chuck’s Lakeshore Inn, Gordy’s Boathouse restaurant, Little Bar (adorable small bar that serves killer pizza and has outdoor seating and firepits), and the Coffee Mill coffee shop.
You can also walk the 2 blocks to the Fontana public beach or to the Fontana access point of the famous 21 mile lakeshore path that loops around the ENTIRE lake (and gives you an up close and personal view of all of the lakefront mansions!).
The resort’s two restaurants, 240 West and The Waterfront, offer distinct dining experiences, catering to varied preferences from upscale elegance to casual lakeside dining.
Insider Tip: Avani Spa, part of The Abbey, presents a serene escape. Opt for a spa treatment to access its luxurious offerings, an ideal start to a Lake Geneva retreat. If a spa day is out of range you can also purchase a day pass (subject to availability) for $35 dollars and gain access to their fireplace relaxation rooms, BEAUTIFUL adult only spa pool, salt, sauna and steam rooms, and fitness center. I always grab a day pass- it’s a great inexpensive way to treat yourself!
The Cove Lake Geneva
Located in downtown Lake Geneva, The Cove Hotel offers condo-style suites, perfect for families or those seeking modern comforts amidst the city buzz. Each suite comes with multiple sleeping options, (the two bed two bath is our family favorite )equipped with kitchens and fireplaces, providing a sense of home-away-from-home. While the hotel also has an awsome restaurant/bar in house, Lake City Social. We come here even when not staying at the hotel because of the diverse menu (fusion american) and family friendly atmosphere. The hotel also has both an indoor pool and hot tub and outdoor pool with cabanas and evena pirate ship kids section. Kids will also love the on site arcade and parents will like the coffee bar.
Feel & Atmosphere: The Cove blends the convenience of condo living with a vibrant downtown setting, ideal for families or anyone seeking a comfortable urban retreat and great on site amenities.
Pros & Cons: The hotel shines for its condo-style living with fully stocked kitchens and fireplaces, along with its central location. It’s a wonderful option for a girls trip, family trip, or anyone who wants the comforts of home on vacation.
Notable Activities & Dining: Guests can explore downtown Lake Geneva’s attractions, from boutiques to the public beach, within walking distance from The Cove. On-site dining at Lake City Social offers delightful dining experiences for guests and locals alike. My favorite dish is the smoked salmon charcuterie platter and their Old Fashions and fish fry are delicious.
Insider Tip: The open area across the street from The Cove provides live music and a space for family fun with a beautiful lake view, adding a charming touch to the stay. I also suggest the two bedroom two bath loft option. It has a pull out couch, queen sized bed and two twins with a sperate 2nd bathroom upstairs!
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
The Grand Geneva Resort and Spa is one of the best Lake Geneva Wi Resorts for a reason. This luxury resort is the old Playboy Club of Lake Geneva. The original Frank Loyd right inspired hotel opened in 1968 and included it’s own private airport with direct flights from Chicago and “Bunny Tram” to transport guests around the luxury property. Fast forward to today- the luxury has remained but the bunnies are long gone.
While this resort is not close to the lake, the amenities and upscale accommodations make up for the lack of lakeview. The resort is known for its two award winning 18 hole golf courses, a luxury spa, adventrue activities like horse back trail rides, scooter tours, rock climbing, indoor basketball court, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools plus ITS OWN SKI HILL!
From upscale hotel rooms to spacious villas, the Grand Geneva caters to various preferences, making it an ideal choice for families, romantic getaways, or those seeking a luxurious stay.
Feel & Atmosphere: The expansive luxury resort envelops guests in an all-encompassing experience, catering to diverse interests and preferences.
Pros & Cons: The Grand Geneva stands out for its myriad activities, luxurious accommodations, and upscale dining. Also the different types of room accommodations, from standard hotel room to multi room villas offer something for all. However, guests looking to be right on Geneva Lake would want to find another option.
Notable Activities & Dining: Horseback trail rides at Dan Patch Stables, the two award winning 18 hole golf courses, the ski hill, luxury spa, rock climbing and indoor basketball courts are just a few of the fun things to do at the resrot. Dining options like Geneva Chophouse and Ristorantè Brissago offer upscale culinary delights while their more casual Grand Cafe is very family friendly. The onsite coffee shop make mornings fast and easy too!
Insider Tip: Visiting during the holiday season to witness the Grand Geneva’s enchanting Christmas decorations and seasonal offerings can create unforgettable memories. They offer trolley tours to view the amazing light displays they set up around their entire resort and have brunch with Santa during their 6 week Christmas extravaganza. We go every year just to kick off the holiday spirit!
Steeped in history, Maxwell Mansion offers a unique stay in Lake Geneva. Set in the first mansion built in the area in 1855, the hotel spans three distinct buildings, each showcasing its charm. The hotel’s speakeasy, bar, outdoor pool, and proximity to downtown’s vibrant scene add to its allure, creating an exclusive atmosphere for adults seeking a historic yet luxurious stay.
This adult only hotel is made up of 3 buildings, the main mansion, the stables and the carriage house. While this is a historical building, all of the rooms have been renovated and are luxurious and unique with all the modern tech comforts you need. The main mansion has 28 rooms and oozes old word charm. The Carriage and Stable rooms are more modern, with the Stables being the most luxurious option.
Feel & Atmosphere: The updated historic boutique hotel boasts chic decor and offers guests a range of unique room options, blending modern comforts with historical charm.
Pros & Cons: Maxwell Mansion’s unique 1920s experience complete with basement speakeasy, unique rooms (some with whirlpools), and prime location near downtown are its highlights. However, the absence of certain amenities like a fitness center, indoor pool or in-house restaurant might be a downside for some. Plus remember this hotel is adults only..
Notable Activities & Dining: Guests have 2 bar options, the Apothecary or the must visit 1920s themed basement speakeasy (which requires a password). For dining explore downtown Lake Geneva’s array of dining options, from Oakfire for wood-fired pizza, Mag Pies Den & Pen (elevated pub fare and famous for their pepperjack cheese fried pickles), or Flat Iron tap (for awesome burgers).
Insider Tip: Maxwell Mansion’s speakeasy requires a password, adding a touch of exclusivity to the guests’ experience. Don’t miss this unique spot for craft cocktails and a glimpse into the area’s history. Most Carriage rooms have a whirlpool tub, and most Stable rooms have a steam shower. Also the outdoor pool is a heated saltwater pool!
The Geneva Inn
A smaller, yet luxurious establishment, the Geneva Inn offers a modern atmosphere with panoramic views of Lake Geneva. While not as expansive as some of the larger resorts, this intimate inn focuses on delivering personalized service and tranquility. Its upscale accommodations, particularly those with balconies and lake views, cater perfectly to couples seeking a serene getaway amid the beauty of Lake Geneva. They also have one of the best restaurants in the hotel- The Grandview Restaurant which is a wonderful upscale American focused restaurant. (I love spending birthdays here!)
Feel & Atmosphere: The inn exudes modern luxury and relaxation, with its soothing decor and emphasis on delivering exceptional service to couples.
Pros & Cons: The Geneva Inn shines for its personalized service, stunning views, and the upscale dining experience at The Grandview. However, the absence of certain amenities like an indoor pool, refrigerators, microwaves in standard rooms might not suit families with young children.
Notable Activities & Dining: Guests can explore the nearby Big Foot State Park for hiking trails and enjoy dinner with breathtaking lake views at The Grandview, the inn’s upscale American restaurant. The patio is also one of my favorite spots for happy hour- the view cannot be beat! The Inn also sits RIGHT on the famous Lake Shore Path which is a 21 mile path that loops around the entire lake.
Insider Tip: Reserving a room with a balcony offers the perfect vantage point for soaking in picturesque sunrises or sunsets over Lake Geneva, creating a memorable and tranquil experience. There is the cutest portion of the lakeshore path within walking distance. Head to the path behind the hotel When facing the lake walk left and hike for around 20 minutes. You will pass a boat house in the shape of an actual boat and then come to the Miracle Path. This small portion was created to inspire and promote peace and wellness. Sign the guest book and ring the bell!
The Baker House
The Baker House stands as a living testament to Lake Geneva’s rich history. Originally built in 1885, this exquisite Queen Anne Victorian mansion has been painstakingly restored to its former glory. The moment you set foot inside, you’re transported to a bygone era. The warm, wood-paneled walls, the ornate fireplaces, and the antique furnishings evoke the elegance of the Gilded Age. It’s like stepping into the pages of a novel. Bonus: You can grab a hat from the vintage collection hanging in the halls & travel back in time for a unique and entertaining experience.
Feel & Atmosphere: The Baker House exudes an air of classic elegance, seamlessly blending historical charm with modern comforts, creating an inviting atmosphere for guests. The property is located in an old victorian building and takes your right back in history!
Each room at the Baker House has a distinct personality and is uniquely decorated with vintage charm, exotic artifacts and period pieces. Before you book look at all of the different room options online here and pick your favorite! Some include original working fireplaces, and en-suite spa baths and expansive lake views!
Pros & Cons: The hotel’s historic significance, personalized service, and central downtown location are its highlights. However, due to its historic nature, some rooms may vary in size or layout. While this is an amazing boutique hotel, I would recommend it for couples since there is no pool for the kids and the rooms are more suited for adults!
Notable Activities & Dining: The Baker House boasts a private lakeside lawn, complete with cozy lounges and outdoor garden. It’s the perfect spot to unwind, read a book, or simply soak up the serene views of Geneva Lake. Pro tip: Grab a glass of wine from the bar and watch the sunset – it’s a sight to behold. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor a delectable lakeside meal at their restaurant, Baker House 1885. I HIGHLY recommend their afternoon tea, offered on Saturdays. The tea cakes and champagne are wonderful for a birthday, girls trip or mother’s day activity!
Insider Tip: Enjoy access to their private pier, perfect for swimming or launching a kayak. If you prefer relaxation, unwind in the hot tub or by the firepit on the lakeside lawn. They also have live jazz most Fridays and a DJ select Saturday nights. Check out their full social calendar here!
This post was all about where to stay Lake Geneva.