As you’re cruising down the highway on your next trip through the Dairy State, drive right on by the deluge of chain hotels and motels and treat yourself to a more fulfilling excursion by visiting one of the following uncommon accommodations. From cabins to castles, Wisconsin has it all!
The Pfister Hotel
Milwaukee’s grand Pfister Hotel has been serving the city for well over 100 years, and today remains one of the most luxurious upscale overnight options in the Midwest. Opened in 1893, this architectural icon of the city’s historic Third Ward offers over 300 posh guest rooms, including more than 80 suites, many of which afford views of Lake Michigan as well as the downtown area. Guests whose rooms do not feature views of the lake can venture up to the 23rd floor to drink in the panoramic vistas at the Blu Bar & Lounge, the property’s signature martini bar, which also features live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Meanwhile, the Pfister Club Lounge (also located on the 23rd floor), offers a more exclusive experience with its laid back atmosphere and executive-level amenities. The Well Spa + Salon invites guests to unwind with a wide range of restorative treatments, while numerous onsite dining options afford visitors several delectable choices to tantalize their taste buds, from the Café at the Pfister to the Mason Street Grill, which was voted to have one of Milwaukee’s best steaks by OnMilwaukee.
Surrounded by 500 wooded acres, Rondele Ranch in Harshaw is the ideal rustic retreat for large gatherings. What began as a private residence has blossomed into a luxurious wilderness escape for special events, including corporate retreats and north woods weddings. The ranch consists of three separate structures; the Elk Lodge, the Lakeside Lodge, and the Farmhouse. The Elk Lodge constitutes the original residence and can accommodate up to eight guests, while the 5,000 square foot Lakeside Lodge houses the four-seasons event space, paved patio, and honeymoon suite. The fully renovated colonial-style Farmhouse features modern amenities and outdoor activities and serves as additional lodging for event guests. Weekend wedding packages are available and afford a variety of options to choose from, including group activities such as UTV excursions and trap shooting.
The Ironworks Hotel is Beloit’s ode to one of Wisconsin’s iconic industries. This mechanically-themed luxury hotel features recently-renovated rooms decorated in modern rustic décor, with amenities such as rainfall showerheads and Keurig coffee makers in each room. Suites further amp up the amenities with additional workspaces, oversized windows, and separate soaker tubs. Some rooms even offer views of the Rock River below, while the Legacy Suite boasts a two-sided fireplace, 65-inch flat-screen, and spa-like bathrooms. Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint, the hotel’s signature eatery, can be found just off the lobby and serves up a wide variety of high-end cuts as well as an extensive selection of seafood.
The Brewhouse Inn & Suites
Housed in what was once the Pabst Brewery, The Brewhouse Inn & Suites celebrates the history of Milwaukee’s finest adult beverages in what has become one of the city’s most popular high-end hotels. Opened in 2013, the property boasts 90 luxury suites, each styled in steampunk-inspired and Victorian-revisionist accouterments that preserve and highlight the building’s industrial beginnings. Many rooms, such as the 330-square foot studio, even include full kitchens while its collection of suites feature high ceilings, large windows, and views of the historic downtown area. Jackson’s Blue Ribbon Pub boasts some of the best local brews on tap, the perfect accompaniment to the restaurant’s all-American offerings that include chicken wings, customized burgers, and famed Wisconsin cheese curds.
American Resort & Treehouses
Located in the heart of the Wisconsin Dells, this resort features some of the most unique overnight options in the entire dairy state. While standard hotel rooms are also available, the real draw for this property are the treehouse units and a tiny home. Perched several feet above the ground, each treehouse can accommodate up to four people and include amenities such as heating and air conditioning, refrigerator and microwave, and a 37-inch LCD TV, though restrooms and showers are located in a separate building. The tiny home adds on a kitchen, as well as a bathroom that includes a shower and tub.
Sundara Inn & Spa
Also located in the Wisconsin Dells area, this adults-only luxury spa offers an entirely different form of escape than can traditionally be found in the “Waterpark Capital of the World”. This secluded spot, surrounded by 80 acres of peaceful, undisturbed forest, is home to a lavish retreat with amenities cultivated to help calm and relax the soul. Here, guests are encouraged to disconnect from the outside world and re-center themselves with activities that include purifying baths, tranquil spaces, and electronics-free common areas. The property features indoor and outdoor hot soak spas, as well as a heated indoor/outdoor pool with swim-up bar that is only closed during the most extreme cold spells. Daily wellness activities are also offered, and include guided hikes, meditation, and pontoon cruises on Lake Delton.
On the shores of Cranberry Lake near Eagle River stands an 8,500-square foot cabin aptly referred to as Cranberry Castle. Featuring six bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a host of creature comforts, the vast “home” can comfortably accommodate groups of up to 20. Prepare home-cooked meals in the gourmet kitchen before enjoying a movie in the dedicated theatre room or adjourning outside to kick up your feet in front of the outdoor fireplace while enjoying panoramic views of the lakeshore. Featuring north woods décor, the stunning interior includes enough activities to weather even the dreariest of days, from foosball and billiards to air hockey and a host of flat screens featuring DirectTV service. This peaceful retreat rests on one of the least traveled lakes in the area, inviting visitors to take a leisurely dip during the warm summer months or fish for muskie from the dock.