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“Great family vacation as long as you are ok with mediocre service.”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of The Osthoff Resort

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The Osthoff Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Elkhart Lake
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Great family vacation as long as you are ok with mediocre service.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2014 via mobile

We stayed for 2 nights with our children and overall really loved this resort. The lake is absolutely beautiful and the beach is the perfect size for easily managing young kids. The room was updated, spacious and clean. Our biggest complaint was the staff. Everyone was polite but clueless. It seemed like everyone's first day. Water front has very reasonable rentals but often under staffed and no one really managing if people are returning their boat on time ( hence making reservations a semi joke and we waited around a lot). Service in restaurant was slow and quite possibly the worst pancakes ever ( head to adorable coffee shop in old barn a few blocks away instead). Beachside cafe was a bit better and music was lovely ( although staff slow there too and slow to clean dirty tables). Skip room service- slow, slow, slow. Kids pleasure program was well run and organized. Our kids loved fishing. Despite some service issues we had a great time and will return.

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank chanenso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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621 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (224)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
chicago, il
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2014

We stayed at the resort for 4 nights in early August. It was a race weekend so the hotel was booked solid. We were originally looking for only 3 nights but there was a 4 night minimum. The resort is overall very nice but there are definitely some issues that need to be worked out when you're paying Chicago prices in the middle of nowhere! We were in a 2 bedroom condo which was dated and dark. We had a view of the lake which was beautiful and could watch the amazing sunset each night.
The positives:
*The pools and beach were surprisingly not as crowded as I thought they would be for a sold out weekend. We never had problems getting a chair at either.
*Service at the beach side concession stand was always good.
*The water rentals were great--we enjoyed kayaking, SUP, and the pontoon boat. All fairly reasonable.
*Great location to walk to town for dinner or ice-cream.
The negatives:
*condos need to be updated and lightened up.
*The staff definitely needs more training--did seem like a lot of college kids who were just there for the summer.
*The hallways smelled so bad. Each time we opened the door to our unit we were greeted with an awful stench-not sure what it was.
*It always looked like the carpets needed to be vacuumed.
*It was hard to regulate the temperature in our unit. The master and living space would be freezing but the other bedroom very warm.
*refrigerator in our unit was dirty with old spills!
*someone left a bag of tortilla chips in our oven. I had it preheating and started to smell something bad. The bag had melted and there were chips all over the bottom of the oven.
*We had breakfast at Otto's one morning and I was shocked at the poor service. They seemed to be understaffed and it was painful waiting for our food. Once it did arrive it was not very good-pancakes were awful and my kids barely touched them.
We would consider coming back as it's a great family resort but would hope some of the issues would be addressed.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travelerwithkids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2014

We stayed at the Osthoff for four nights and I certainly wouldn't race to return. The lobby and bar on the main floor were promising, but the hallways smelled like old soup and our room - on the first floor overlooking the parking lot (for $300 a night) was very dark, depressing, and dated. Someone had urinated on the balcony carpet, so we couldn't use the balcony at all. The staff sent maintenance to clean it up as best they could, but it took us asking for a manager for them to really take any other affirmative steps. I would have expected a bit more horror from them and some action, but the young women at the front desk just sent someone to clean it and didn't follow up with us to see if it helped or fixed the problem. When we spoke to the manager, he was very helpful and gave us a small discount and, when we asked to be moved for the final night (the hotel was booked up all other nights), he did. He was very responsive and good. But otherwise, the hotel is generally staffed by very young people with zero enthusiasm or professionalism. From the person watching the pool, to the kids staffing the boat house, to the wait staff, the general attitude was that this was a boring summer job and that they would rather be somewhere else. For the cost, the Osthoff should be hiring people who are not generally catatonic.
I will say that the second room was a completely different experience. We had a room over Lola's that overlooked the lake - was more like a hotel room than a dingy condo, and was quite lovely. Bathroom was beautiful, the bed was huge and comfortable, and it was new and pleasant. The hallways didn't smell. If you are going to stay there, definitely ask for a hotel type room in the new wing. It's a massive improvement over the other area, which reminded me of my mother's assisted living facility. Also, don't bother getting the $4.00 coffee in the morning. It's undrinkable. Head to town and to the lovely cafe there instead.

Room Tip: Stay in the new wing - ask for a room overlooking the lake unless you're dying for a kitchen.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ChicagoALG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
38 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2014

Always enjoy staying at the Osthoff. The staff there is very friendly. The grounds are beautiful and relaxing, fun to just sit and watch the lake. It's perfectly located. The suites are very comfortable and clean. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Melanie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarendon Hills, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2014

We had two suites at the Osthoff: one a one-bedroom and the other a two-bedroom. We could have used more rooms, but that was all they had left at prime stay time at short notice. However, the rooms were great, the staff was wonderful, and the amenities were top notch. We enjoyed the food at Ottos, which was really a surprise, given that most resort food we've had in the past has been okay at best. The beach was great, the pools clean and well-maintained, which is true of the rest of the property as well.

Yes, there were a lot of kids, but it's a family place, so that's to be expected. We brought four of our own (my nieces and nephew). The activities were great for the kids, and the experience was relaxing for adults. We look forward to our next stay at the Osthoff.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FatherPatM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baraboo, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

Way to many kids. When I go on vacation, I don't want to be surrounded by screaming kids. Kids running up and down the halls of hotel. We checked out early so we could go home and relax. Glad we didn't take the boat. The lake is really small.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank T H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fountain Valley, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

This is my fourth time vacationing at the Osthoff Resort. We have a large extended family (about 30 people) and the resort fits all our needs. We all have different needs/wants for our vacation and the resort and town have everything we want.

The room we had (2 bed, 2 bath, lake view, 2nd floor) was nice but we really didn't spend a lot of time in there other than sleeping. We were busy having fun! The air conditioner was out dated and noisy though. That's the only complaint we had in the room. It did make sleep a bit challenging so listen up Osthoff - please update the A/C.

We went golfing at Quit Qui Golf course which is a really nice course. We rented a ski boat from the neighboring Victorian Village (super short walk). We swam in the pools and lake. Nice private beach area. They have enough seating at both places however, guests "save" seats (by putting down some trivial thing) and that really irritates me. Little kids who are swimming do not need a seat but parents think they do - go figure.

We rented SUPs (Stand Up Paddle boards), canoes, kayaks at the Osthoff. We went back to Victorian Village to rent their huge 30 person pontoon boat.

One thing I wish the resort would do is to reserve a time for the BBQ's. It's nerve-wrecking to plan a BBQ for 30 people and not really know if you can actually get the BBQ and space needed. We lucked out and were able to do it.

We ate dinner at Lola's (in the private room) and it was delicious and the wait staff was wonderful.

Every paid employee we met was super nice.

The grounds are beautiful and we did another large group photo shoot in the grassy area between the two outdoor pools.

Overall, the Osthoff is a great place to make lasting memories with your family.

Room Tip: If your with a group, make sure to get rooms in the same section of the hotel.
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Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Patricia H
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

Property: The Osthoff Resort
Address: 101 Osthoff Avenue, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020-0151
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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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