written by
Joe Boone

With roots deeply woven into the fabric of a true American success story that began more than 100 years ago, it’s no wonder that The American Club holds the distinction as one of only 200 Forbes Five-Star hotels in the world.

Tucked away in the peaceful Village of Kohler, Wisconsin, one hour north of Milwaukee and two-and-a-half hours north of Chicago, The American Club is also AAA Five-Diamond rated and has been voted the #1 resort in the Midwest, as well as one of the top three golf resorts in North America. Few resort-hotels exemplify world-class services and amenities at this level, and even fewer share a history so inspiring.

The American Club is the flagship property of Destination Kohler, the hospitality and real estate arm of the Kohler Company, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of plumbing fixtures and power generators. Completed in 1918, The American Club was built directly across the street from the company’s headquarters to house 250 or so of their growing new immigrant workforce. The brick Tudor-style living and recreational facility included a pub, bowling alley, and barber shop. For $27.50 per month, single immigrants from as far away as Austria, Holland, Germany and Russia received a private room, laundry facilities, and three meals per day, along with lessons in American citizenship and the English language. Eventually, The American Club out lived its original purpose and fell into disrepair, until finally in 1981, it was reborn as a quaint village inn.


The historic American Club celebrates its 100th anniversary this year with themed resort celebrations and packages in 2018. Each of this posh hotel’s elegant rooms and suites has been tastefully decorated and are outfitted with the finest Kohler plumbing products. Rich tiles, dark wood and stunning tapestries offer a welcoming sanctuary after a long day on the links or out on the town. Large bathrooms delight with Kohler showering experiences and separate oversized baths — many that fill from the ceiling and are located near a window — offering a remarkable experience. All include Wi-Fi, and some have sitting areas, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs.

Destination Kohler also boasts an array of other luxury offerings on or near its resort property including: four award-winning championship golf courses, The Irish and The Straits at Whistling Straits (the latter plays host to the 2020 Ryder Cup) and The River and Meadow Valleys at Blackwolf Run. Kohler Waters Spa, a leader in hydrotherapy-based services and one of 60 Forbes Five-Star spas in the world, is joined by 12 dining establishments including the Forbes Four-Star Immigrant Restaurant, The Horse & Plow (serving traditional pub fare), and rustic country gourmet at River Wildlife. Rounding out the resort’s offerings are an evolving health and wellness program including holistic Yoga on the Lake studio, boutique shops, and complimentary shuttle service throughout the Destination Kohler properties.

For golfers, Whistling Straits offers four must-play courses of dynamic contrast and world-class prestige. Crafted by hall-of-fame designer Pete Dye and arguably the greatest championship course in the U.S., the Straits at Whistling Straits has hosted the 2004, 2010, and 2015 PGA Championships and the 2007 U.S. Senior Open. Kohler’s preeminent course returns to the world’s stage soon, as Whistling Straits is set to host the 2020 Ryder Cup.

Blackwolf Run, also designed by Pete Dye, offers an award-winning 36 holes of championship golf on two courses in the Sheboygan River Valley. Regarded as one of Dye’s crowning achievements, Blackwolf Run has hosted a number of professional championships: the Andersen Consulting World Golf Championships in 1995, 1996, and 1997, as well as the U.S. Women’s Open in 1998 and 2012.


In addition to The American Club, Destination Kohler’s other nearby accommodations include The Inn of Woodlake. Boasting 138 boutique-style guest rooms and state-of-the-art meeting space, its 10 multi-bedroom suites can accommodate up to eight guests.

Riverbend, a private and grand historic mansion, includes 31 luxurious guest rooms, two dining rooms, solarium, living room, Rathskeller, meeting rooms, spa with treatment areas, indoor-outdoor year-round swim-through pool, steam room, sauna, whirlpool, and exercise equipment. The spacious grounds feature formal and informal gardens, teahouse, croquet, outdoor massage area, and a self-piloted awning-covered electric boat for enchanting river cruises.

Located in the annex to The American Club and Home of the Kohler Waters Spa, The Carriage House is an adult-only environment. Guest rooms include on-site checkin, continental breakfast, afternoon tea, evening beverages and hors d’oeuvres, as well as complimentary access to the common areas of Kohler Waters Spa. Guests can book nourishing treatments or all-day immersion utilizing the latest in therapeutic water treatments and results-oriented facial and body treatments or enjoy the enclosed rooftop deck with whirlpool, fireplace and lounge — a relaxing coed area to be enjoyed year-round.

River Wildlife is a distinguished dining club, a private rustic cabin, and a recreational retreat on an 800-acre wilderness preserve along seven miles of meandering Sheboygan River. Its six cozy and inviting dining areas include three intimate lofts. The menu features fresh, seasonal Midwestern fare. From hunting, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding to skiing and snowshoeing, River Wildlife offers yearround outdoor activities for all ages.

Sandhill Cabin is a truly one-one-akind, perfectly secluded retreat nestled on 350-acres in the wilderness of Mosel, Wisconsin. Close enough to enjoy the amenities of The American Club, yet far enough away to consider it your very own corner of the universe, it is exquisitely appointed and also teeming with outdoor activities. Built of reclaimed timber from six Wisconsin farms, this three-level, 2,000-squarefoot “cabin” sleeps six and includes a chefinspired kitchen, cozy fireplace, a wrap-around porch, and large windows providing 360-degree panoramic views.


World-class accommodations deserve worldclass dining and Destination Kohler delivers. From their showcase restaurant, The Immigrant, to The Horse & Plow — a casual historic tavern that was once the taproom for immigrant workers at Kohler Co. — discriminating guests will not be disappointed.

The Immigrant Restaurant, The American Club’s Four-Star/Four-Diamond signature restaurant is widely noted for its gracious service and intimate dining experience. A Wine Spectator “Best of Award of Excellence” recipient, The Immigrant Restaurant was voted the #1 Hotel Restaurant by USA TODAY. Rich in character and historic elegance, it is arranged in a series of six rooms paying homage to the style of early Wisconsin settlers: French, Dutch, German, Normandy, Danish, and English.

The Winery Bar, a European-style wine cellar, is perfect for pre-dinner drinks or enjoying hand-rolled sushi, more than 40 award-winning Wisconsin cheeses, and delicious small plates. Adjacent to The Immigrant, this comfortable lounge offers nearly 500 wine selections, as well as an extensive selection of single-malt Scotches and Cognacs.

The Wisconsin Room is the original dining hall of immigrant workers for Kohler Co., and features innovative, farm-fresh cuisine in an elegant, but approachable atmosphere. The menu, which rotates seasonally, is frequently complemented by daily specials.

The Greenhouse, located in The American Club Fountain Courtyard is a charming antique solarium from Chorley, Lancashire, in the north of England. It now serves as a delightful garden café for afternoon and evening refreshments.

A casual historic tavern that was once the taproom for Kohler Co. workers who lived at The American Club, The Horse & Plow now features delicious pub fare and an extensive selection of microbrews.

Blackwolf Run Restaurant and Whistling Straits Restaurant both have been honored with the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for more than 15 years. A rustic American grill featuring hearty regional fare, Blackwolf’s guests can dine in front of a huge fieldstone fireplace or enjoy outdoor dining on the terrace, overlooking the 18th greens of the River and Meadow Valleys courses. Whistling Straits Restaurant guests can enjoy classic cuisine with British influences while enjoying a scenic view of Lake Michigan in a rustic Irish Farmhouse setting.

Cucina specializes in classic regional Italian cuisine, simply prepared, always fresh, and seasonal. Located alongside picturesque Wood Lake, this gracious restaurant’s known for its handcrafted pastas, artisan pizzas, wood-fire grilled entrees, and is the only restaurant in the area that offers a raw bar.


When it comes to health and fitness, Yoga on the Lake, is a premier yoga studio. Located in The Shops at Woodlake Kohler, it offers more than 74 classes a week. The studio includes floor-to-ceiling bay windows overlooking Wood Lake, experiential showers with Kohler Co. energy-saving plumbing fixtures, ample student storage space, and with the recent addition of the dedicated Hot Yoga Studio, both heated and unheated class environments. Sports Core Health & Racquet Club offers a wide range of activities from swimming and tennis to group fitness classes, and offers the latest state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

Destination Kohler also plays host year in and year out to a number of popular events including Kohler Food & Wine, held each October. A four-day extravaganza of food, wine and fun, this interactive culinary event features celebrity chefs, libation specialists, wine experts, and epicurean enthusiasts from around the world.

In Celebration of Chocolate is an annual winter celebration of all things chocolate including Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates and their newest creation, Kohler Original Recipe Dark Chocolate Brandy. From savory to sweet and everything in between, don’t miss this cocoa-themed celebration of the world’s favorite dessert.



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