FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Indulge in Water-Focused Wellness While Sipping More Potent Restorative Libations

by Kelly Magyarics

Jun 3, 2024

© Kelly Magyarics

Leisure Lifestyle 2024

Though design details in hotel rooms include shower tiles that make you feel like you’re part of a human car wash and bathtub taps that flow from the ceiling like pot-filler faucets, water’s far from the only liquid worth mentioning at Kohler Resort & Spa. After a hydrotherapy treatment with Vichy showers or a long soak in a deep, jetted tub during a wellness getaway at the upscale resort and spa in Kohler, Wisconsin (yes, the Kohler of fixture fame), guests can hit the restaurants and bars to immerse in caffeinated, fermented and distilled indulgence.

The Greenhouse, an adorably quaint stained-glass solarium transported from Lancashire, England, and transformed into a café, serves coffees, teas and smoothies. Its café au lait is topped with vanilla bean-scented steamed milk, campfire mocha picks up a whiff of burning wood from a smoky syrup, and the cloud latte gets its vibrant blue-purple hue from butterfly pea flower powder. For more of a kick, try an adult milkshake with Kohler mint or dark chocolate brandy. Take one to go and head up the street to the Kohler Design Center, where you can marvel at state-of-the-art and artistic plumbing technology, learn about the iconic brand’s history and fantasize about your dream kitchen or bathroom.

The Greenhouse is one of five food and beverage concepts at the 241-room American Club hotel, a 1918 dormitory built to house single male immigrants who worked at the Kohler factory. In 1883 founder John Michael Kohler invented the bathtub by adding an enamel finish and cast-iron feet to a horse trough. Today you can sip Bathtub Brew at the pubby Horse & Plow, a former tap room for employees. A collaboration with Milwaukee’s Eagle Park Brewing Co., the hazy, golden Belgian-style witbier picks up notes of citrus, spice, coriander and banana. On Fridays, pair the suds with a classic Wisconsin fish fry featuring potato-breaded lake perch.

 © Kelly Magyarics

After a few hours at the Kohler Waters Spa, snag a table in the cozy Immigrant Winery, a wine bar with a menu of artisanal Wisconsin cheeses from 16 producers. Order wine and create your own cheese board or a themed sampling, served with cornichons, whole-grain mustard, crackers and fruit spread. (Taylor Fladgate 20-Year-Old Tawny Port is gorgeous with the “Tangled Up in Blue” flight.)

The six dining rooms of the adjacent Immigrant Restaurant pay homage to early Wisconsin settlers from France, the Netherlands, Germany, Normandy, Denmark and England. The five-course vegetarian tasting menu, with optional wine pairings, proves delightful; the beurre blanc- and yuzu-topped citrus-poached endive, arriving with a white Bordeaux, is a culinary trompe l’oeil that passes for filet of halibut. The Wisconsin Room, the original employee dining hall, boasts local, grass- fed Angus steaks. Enjoy a marbled prime rib eye with a grippy Brunello di Montalcino from Altesino.

You can always find a cozy seating area (with a roaring fireplace, in season) at the resort, including the lobby, where live music and an after-dinner Old Fashioned await. Guests are often surprised to discover the Wisconsin version eschews whiskey for brandy and is topped with a splash of lemon-lime soda. Then again, they’re equally surprised they can sojourn at a wellness oasis owned by the same company whose name adorns their bathroom sink.

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