Gas Tank Getaway: The Osthoff Resort {Elkhart Lake, WI}

If your family is in need of some major pampering, but you don’t want to fork out the cash to fly the entire clan to Cancun, consider packing up the SUV and heading to the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Located only 60 miles north of Milwaukee, The Osthoff Resort was named one of the top 500 best hotels and resorts in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine– and it’s only a gas tank away.

Check out these 10 reasons why you should make the Osthoff Resort your next vacation destination.

1. The beautiful grounds. The Osthoff Resort is nestled on the sandy shores of Elkhart Lake, and its impeccably manicured grounds, vibrant gardens and serene walking and bike trails will make you forget that you’re in… Wisconsin?

The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Photo provided by the Osthoff Resort.

2. The spacious rooms. All of the rooms at The Osthoff are suites, which is great for families with kiddos who need to nap or go to sleep before the adults. Choose from one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, with a choice of woodland or lake views. The modern suites have fully stocked kitchens, a separate dining area, living rooms with fireplaces and private balconies, many of which are fully screened.

The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Suite at the Osthoff Resort. Photo provided by the Osthoff Resort.

3. Pools! The resort features two large outdoor pools, an indoor pool and two large whirlpools, so your little fish can get plenty of swimming time in, regardless of the weather.

The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Photo provided by the Osthoff Resort.

4. The pristine lake and beach. Elkhart Lake is a 292-acre, spring fed lake with a soft, sandy bottom and clean beaches. Because of its relatively small size, the water is pleasantly warm and seaweed-free. Its crystal clear waters allow you to see to the bottom of the lake, even when the water is 8-10 feet deep. The Osthoff has its own 500-foot private beach just for resort guests, and The Osthoff Lake Deck serves food, refreshments, and specialty drinks right on the beach throughout the summer. (You can literally stay at the beach all day!)

The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
© L. Otto | Little Lake County.com | 2016

5. The lakefront activities. If you need a break from all that napping on the beach, The Osthoff rents out a variety of watercraft to resort guests, including a 21-foot pontoon boat, fishing boats, kayaks, sailboats, hydro-bikes, canoes, and more. A beachfront playground, complete with a climbing structure and swings, will help your little ones burn off energy. Wind down the evening at a complimentary beachfront bonfire, complete with gooey s’mores.

The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Photo provided by the Osthoff Resort.

6. Morning coffee cruises. Take a panoramic tour of Lake Elkhart while you’re still in your pjs. Coffee and juice is served while the guide shares fun stories about local history and geology.

The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Photo provided by the Osthoff Resort.

7. Year-round activities. Summer activities abound, but the fun doesn’t end when the weather turns. In the winter, guests can skate on the resort’s pond, rent snow shoes, sled down the Village Hill, ice fish, or even take a dog sled ride at the nearby Siberian Outpost.

The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Ice skating at the pond. Photo provided by the Osthoff Resort.

8. Planned activities for the munchkins. The Osthoff’s Summer and Holiday Pleasures programs offers a variety of entertainment and educational activities for kids ages 4-10, such as arts and crafts classes, fishing lessons, pottery painting, cupcake decorating, and more. During the holidays, kids can take classes in cookie decorating and ornament making, taught by Mrs. Claus herself.

9. You can learn how to cook. The Osthoff is home to L’ecole de la Maison, a French culinary school that offers individual and group courses to help you enhance your culinary skills or learn about French cuisine. Take a two-hour workshop in truffles and chocolates, a one-day course in Burgundy cuisine, or a two-day course in sourdough breads, to name just a few of the options. But if you’d rather leave the cooking to other people, The Osthoff is home several restaurants, which are located directly on the property, and a number of quaint restaurants within walking distance of the resort.

The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Course in French cuisine at L’ecole de la Maison Cooking School. Photo provided by the Osthoff Resort.

10. … Or you can relax at the spa. If your idea of a vacation involves a Moroccan hot oil massage or a bath in pure jasmine, you’re in luck. The Osthoff is home to the Aspira Spa, rated one of the Top 100 Spas by Spas of America. Treat yourself to some much-needed “me time” while your kids enjoy one of the resort’s planned activities. After all, this is your vacation too, right?

Aspira Spa, The Osthoff Resort, Elkhart Lake, WI
Sacred Waters Massage at Aspira Spa. Photo provided by the Osthoff Resort.

Where will your gas tank take you?

About Laura Otto 23 Articles
Laura Otto is an associate professor at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, where she teaches courses in journalism, writing for new media and creative writing. She lives in Vernon Hills with her husband, Matt, and three kids: Cole (19), Maya (7) and Shane (4). When she isn’t grading papers or scrubbing crayon off the walls, she can be found playing Downton Abbey trivia games on Facebook or doodling all over her kids’ homework.

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