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“The definition of relaxation!”
Review of The Osthoff Resort

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The Osthoff Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Elkhart Lake
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 August 2011

We spent the weekend there and this could not have been a more perfect cure for the suburban Chicago blues! All we wanted to do was get away and and get some sun in a peaceful quiet setting. We felt so pampered by everyone, from the moment we checked in. There were many families with children enjoying the pools and lake, but not a waterpark mentality which was so nice. The water play opportunities are plentiful on the lake. The property is gorgeous and lake is pristine. This resort was designed for visual pleasure, pampering, and unwinding! We hated to leave!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank julo5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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598 - 604 of 681 reviews

Reviewed 31 July 2011

My husband and I stayed at the resort with our two young sons and my mother at the end of July 2011. We stayed in a groundfloor 2 BR lakeview suite deluxe with king beds in each room and a sofabed. Beds were very comfortable. The resort said the room was renovated since its 1995 opening, but the only thing that appeared renovated was the carpeting. TVs were analog and not flatscreen (not HD and no HDMI inputs). Kitchen appliances were of low quality. Fixtures and bathrooms seemed circa 1990s. Unit was very clean, though unit lacked kitchen towels, hangars, and coffee, which were supposed to be stocked. There were no paper towels of any kind so bring those if you want to clean up after yourself. The setting is beautiful, including common areas. We ate at Otto's for dinner and it was good casual dining restaurant for a family. Reservations are appreciated for that. There is room service with an extended menu, though we did not use it.

We most wanted to enjoy the lake and that was the most disappointing part. The beach is too small for the resort. When the resort says 500 feet of beach, it means a total of 500 square feet of beach, which is not large for a resort of its size. The beach is not supposed to be open to the public but the resort does not use wristbands so you cannot tell if everyone there is an overnight guest, as is required. Most of the amenities are open to the public. On our first day there, a Sat., the resort was sold out and there was no room at the beach. We used the neighboring beach, which we later learned was only supposed to be used by residents. That beach had a 6" PVC drain pipe emptying onto the beach/lake, which was unappealing. That is not the Osthoff's fault except that its beach is too small to accommodate all guests. The lake water was full of seaweed and bubbles/foam and the rope separating the swim area was covered in algae and green scum. My kids and husband did not mind, but I did. The resort's chaise lounges were not cushioned, but plain PVC-type fabric stretched over a metal frame, which I did not like when we went to the beach another day.

The watersports offered by the resort do not include tubing, water skiing, or wake boarding, which we did at the Victorian Village Resort next door. ($126 for 2 kids for an hour). That was great and makes you wonder why the Osthoff does not offer those services. We tried to do horseback riding on a Sun., but the concierge could only leave a message for a local stable, which did not return the call until Mon. (a day later).

We used the indoor pool, outdoor pool, and hot tubs and those were excellent, though all unguarded, which was fine for us. The kids could use their snorkels and inflatables in the pool, which are not allowed at guarded pools. We did not think the outdoor pool was too cold, as other reviews have indicated. The kids did the arcade, which used quarters and was dated, but the kids did not care and enjoyed it.

There is nowhere to pick up miscellaneous items except the gift shop, which closes at 5. The local market is a couple blocks away and probably about a 15 min. walk. We ate at Subway (good) and the Stop Inn Tavern and Restaurant (not good -- long wait, bad food). We wanted to have ice cream and went to Gessert's, which is marketed as a 1920's ice cream parlor. It is an older venue that would be nice, but the seating area and bathrooms are cordoned off with cheap plastic beach accessories (picture plastic intertubes placed in booths) so they may not be used (apparently because the owner wants to serve ice cream only at the counter). The older woman who serves is the owner. She told our kids how to eat their ice cream. She was the exception because in general, everyone with whom we interacted at the resort and elsewhere was very nice and showed excellent customer service.

We were considering bowling but never got around to it. There is a theater at the Victorian Resort and a nightly bonfire, but we did not get to those. Other than those activities and listening to music at a bar, there was very little to do at night, especially for a family.

There is limited parking and at night. You have to hunt for a spot and likely have to park on the street, which is not allowed part of the year, according to the waiver signed at check in and will result in a ticket. It is something to note for winter visits. Also, the fitness room across from our room was very small and was jammed with treadmills/machines with very little space to walk. It seemed functional, though.

It claims to be a 4-diamond resort. Now, it is only 3-diamond at best. We won't be returning because the amenities (mostly the tiny beach; limited water activities) don't justify for us $400 a night in a dated room.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank PMP1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2011

I was in Elkhart Lake for a wedding weekend. I was told the Osthoff was the nicest place to stay. It was NOT. The condo hotel suite (I had a 2 bedroom) was very small. The master bedroom was so narrow there wasn't even room for a dresser in front of the bed! The bathroom was far from luxurious and the furniture was worn and dirty. Not a very nice place at all. The Otto's restaurant was very nice, good food, well priced but very slow service. Overall this place needs a serious facelift and cleaning up. And was NOT inexpensive at all. We paid top dollar for a sub standard room.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank FunTravelerForSure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2011

my husband and I rcently returned from the "Osthoff Resort",in Elkhart Lake, our experience was great,we were treated well by all, the room was awesome with a view of the grounds,very clean,food is very good and not pricey at all, ate a nice dinner at "Lola's,that is on the grounds also, pools are very nice,clean and the servers around the pool are extremely polite,we would definitely go back sometime....Great Atmosphere!!

Room Tip: Our room was in the north wing,which has been remodeled and very nice!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank wondeful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2011

The Osthoff is kind of isolated in the winter but it is worth the drive and was worth braving the elements for my husband (then boyfriend), my sister, my parents and me for our friend of the family's wedding. The wedding was not at the hotel but this is the nicest place to stay that was close by.

The hotel/resort is large - almost like its own city. The rooms and pool are great; Lola's has a fun atmosphere; and the front desk (cannot remember name) and the restaurant supervisor Ivy was professional and welcoming and all the common areas and entrances were decorated so beautifully for the Christmas season (we were there just after new years).

I have not stayed there during the summer but I imagine with the beach and boat rentals and outside space it would be even more fun!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Ms_Marquez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2011

We stayed at the Osthoff Resort in June for a business trip. It is a beautiful resort with all the amenities---spa, cooking school, lake, pool, etc. Sadly, from our location it is a long trip and no direct roads lead there. For folks from Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay or the Fox Valley, or folks with access to their own aircraft, it is most ideal. I am sure they get their share of racing enthusiasts who don't care how they need to get there!

We spent a couple of days and were very impressed with their facilities and their rooms. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. It appeared they had some long time staff---a welcome change from some places we've stayed.

The cooking school was a delight! We all enjoyed the class and the chef was always on top of things---catching us just when we needed help. We made some wonderful desserts that we were served at dinner. Wonder if I can re-create them at home?!

We would highly recommend the Osthoff. A resort with great hospitality. The only thing we're lacking for a return trip is our own airplane!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled on business
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Thank noplainjayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 July 2011

My 4 lady friends and I went for a golf outing overnight. The Quit Qui Oc course right near the hotel was terrific for our level of challenge that we needed. Even a golfer whose handicap is 10 is challenged just enough on some of those greens!

The hotel suite we had was a three bedroom with kitchen, living room (sofa bed), dining area, and 2 full bathrooms. One bathroom was right off the first floor hallway and connected to the master bedroom as well. The other 2 bedrooms and a full bath were upstairs. The balcony had 4 chairs and a table which we used for cocktails and snack time. Be sure to ask for a view of the lake. We only had a view of the back trees and parking area; still nice, but the front view would be better.

We needed another set of towels for our 5th lady on the sofa bed. After calling housekeeping, the towels were immediately sent. Great service by the staff and most of the staff was very friendly and helpful. The only person who could have been friendlier was the gift shop clerk. She never even looked at us when we purchased an item.

Lola's restaurant on the lake was marvelous and everyone raved about their meals. You can eat outside as well as inside, but it was too cool the evening we were there, so we chose inside. Very attractive restaurant and a wonderfuly new addition to the place.
For breakfast we ate at Ottos and the food was wonderful with a super menu.

The pools, both indoor and outdoor, look very inviting, but we didn't have time to use them. There are 2 outdoor pool areas and the indoor pool is very big and has a nice view of the grounds.

The beach area on the lake has many lounge chairs and a bar/ snack area right there for your convenience. Boat rentals are available too. THe grounds with waterfalls and gardens was very pleasant.

If you want a fun place to spend time with the family or even a friend's overnight with the girls, be sure to consider The Osthoff Resort.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Thombtc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Osthoff Resort

Address: 101 Osthoff Ave, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020-1976
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Wisconsin > Elkhart Lake
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Elkhart Lake
Price Range: £182 - £238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Osthoff Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 145
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Osthoff Resort, in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, is a premier AAA Four Diamond resort located on 500 ft of recreational lakefront. Offering a casual atmosphere within its elegant surroundings, The Osthoff Resort provides a romantic getaway for couples, while year-round indoor and outdoor activities, provide a family with many opportunities to enjoy spending time together. Our conference center offers spacious and well-appointed ballrooms and meeting rooms to assist in the productivity of retreats and conferences for our group guests. A host of seasonal getaway packages are available providing guests varying options for a holiday vacation. Whether spring, summer, fall or winter – The Osthoff Resort is your place in the lake.™ ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Osthoff Resort Elkhart Lake
Osthoff Hotel Elkhart Lake

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