Monday, July 8, 2013

Girls Getaway to Lake Geneva - Day 1

You may have never heard of the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. In fact, you
might know it better as the original Playboy Club, opened in 1968. However, this 1300-acre, AAA Four-Diamond resort is one of the best weekend getaways in the Midwest. Grand Geneva hasn’t played up its Playboy connection, since it hopes to be seen as family-friendly, but this summer they will unveil a new historical exhibit showcasing the resort’s history including an original Playboy Bunny costume on display.

This weekend, I enjoyed a relaxing getaway and catching up with my high school track girlfriend, Shelly. The drive up from Chicago wasn’t bad at all, about 90 minutes, and we gabbed the entire way so it went by in a blur. Our GPS was a little wonky as we get close, but luckily signs pointed us in the right direction and suddenly we found ourselves totally surrounded by lush greenery.

Upon checking in, a lovely lady promptly offered us either pink lemonade with mint or champagne. I was indecisive, so she gladly acquiesced to my request to mix the two for a sweet and bubbly welcome. Minutes after setting our bags down and checking out our balcony view of the Grand Geneva’s golf course, we heard a knock on our door and opened it to a dapper gentleman bringing us a selection of chocolate truffles. We’re both chocoholics, so we happily indulged, and were thankful he didn’t bring us more and ruin our dinner.

Our room is decorated in warm browns and mahoganies, matching the rustic stone and wooden themes of the resort. I was impressed by the mirror in the bathroom, which doubles as a TV, allowing me to tune in to the morning news while applying mascara. Previously, I’d only seen this in Vegas, and Wisconsin is a far cry from the Strip.

The Grand Geneva has two upscale restaurants located in the main building, the Italian-themed
Ristorante Brissago and Geneva Chophouse for steak and seafood. On our first night, we enjoyed a multi-course Italian meal at the former, with the highlight being the succulent and flaky branzino served with diced brandade potatoes and a creamy lobster stock sauce. As good as dinner was, the tiramisu and apricot chocolate cake on the dessert platter were my favorites of all.

Author Amber Gibson is a Food/Travel Writer, Model & Actress from Chicago. To find out more about Amber, visit 

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