Showing posts with label WIsconsin Dells. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WIsconsin Dells. Show all posts

Saturday, September 30, 2023

A Special Spa and More Wine & Food in the Wisconsin Dells

Laurie and I woke up at The Vue in Wisconsin Dells excited for our spa day. First, we went to a local favorite, Stuff’s Restaurant, for a breakfast of eggs, corned beef hash, pancakes, and French Toast. It was obvious why there were so many people in there.


I had heard many good things about the award winning Sundara Inn & Spa, but it exceeded my expectations. This was the ultimate grown up escape in Wisconsin Dells. I have been to a lot of spas, but nothing like this.

What I love most about Sundara is the ability to have a full day (or even days) with plenty of relaxation and wellness to do – without getting charged for every little thing.  


There is, of course, a large menu of treatments who can purchase, but it’s all the other amenities that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. They can be added on for one extra fee.Included in the fee are unlimited wellness classes, indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpools, tranquil spaces, and the Purifying Bath Ritual. With the one charge, you get to spend an entire day enjoying it all.

We arranged our day at the cave-like indoor pool and whirlpools, where we had a healthy lunch from their Nava Restaurant and mocktails at the swim-up bar. We then spent some time refreshing our breath in the Salt Room, and then did a meditation session.


Laurie and I also did the bath ritual:  

Exfoliation with their provided scrub in the rainfall shower;

A squirt of their special mist before heading into the steam room;

And a rinse before hitting the hot tub filled with essential oils.

We decided to skip the cold plunge pool.

Before we left, I had a chance to tour some of the accommodations. I loved the large suites in the main building, where you can take the elevator in your comfy robe right down to the spa. For those who want even more space there are villas and Woodland retreats. 

After spending most of the day at the spa, we headed to Fawn Creek Winery. This place has unusually mixed fruit wines, such as Just Peachy, peach and chardonnay, and Black Ber-y, blackberry and Merlot. There were more combinations and they change seasonally. I thought they were all pretty tasty. It was like having a variety of sangrias in bottles.


Dinner was at Lake City Social. I had a veggie burger and Mule, while Laurie had a Rueben and beer. We really liked the food and drink there.


We were exhausted from a long day, even though it had been filled with relaxation. We went back to The Vue hotel for one more night.


In the morning, we went to Paul Bunyan, a well-known restaurant I had been to on my previous trips to Wisconsin Dells. The warm donuts were as good as ever and their breakfast was filling. It is unlimited, but we couldn’t eat any more than they brought us the first time.


Before we left the Wisconsin Dells, we took a ride through the downtown. It was a fun trip and interesting to get to experience some of the adult things the region has outside of the.


 Note: Sundara Spa does not allow photography. Photos are courtesy of the spa. 

Friday, September 15, 2023

A Different Look of The Wisconsin Dells

I have been to the Wisconsin Dells three times. The first two were family trips to resorts, Chula Vista and Kalahari. The third trip, the most recent, was totally different.

This was a girls’ getaway with my friend Laurie. We were enticed by Wisconsin Dells tourism to check out the adult side of the area. This included a spa that was receiving national attention and the emergence of The Dells as a wine region.

It started at Wollersheim, the most impressive winery I’ve seen in the Midwest. This is not a place where you walk in, try a few wines, and go home. Wollersheim is 70 manicured acres to enjoy - before, after, or during the wine.

Their wine selection is huge, and we tasted quite a few, settling on the Prairie Pink, Eagle White Dry Riesling, and Domaine du Sac, a red wine, as favorites. We also had a tasty lunch, the highlight of which was the Gobbler Sandwich.

Bistro offerings come prepared boxed to take outside and enjoy the grounds with a picnic. They also have the wine ready to bring. If you don’t want a full bottle, you can purchase canned wine or small bottles for portability.

Wollersheim also has a distillery. They produce whiskey, bourbon, and brandies. You can try the spirits straight or taste them in a selection of handcrafted cocktails.

We then drove to the other side of The Dells to Balanced Rock Winery in Baraboo. This spot was very different from the previous, with an open, modern building and a large piece of land. There’s a big patio and plenty of space for outdoor concerts and a driving range.

We tried a lot of wines and liked the Seyval, with a touch of apple sweetness, and the Frontenac Fris, an orange wine that is a little sweeter, were the ones we liked best.

We were a little hungry and thought we’d order a snack to have with our wine. The hummus plate was the best I ever had. It was too much to finish and we hated to leave it. It also matched well with the Rock Rose.

While at Balanced Rock, we found out we were just a mile from Wisconsin’s most popular state park. Devil’s Lake has beautiful scenery that reminds me a bit of the Upper Penisula in Michigan with the large bluffs. It’s filled with year-round activity, including rock climbing, boating, fishing, hiking, and cross-country skiing.

After the park, we drove to our hotel for the trip. The Vue is far from the huge resorts I was used to in the Wisconsin Dells. It is a boutique hotel in downtown. That makes it a lot more appropriate for two grown women not interested in water parks or roller coasters. The Vue is also on the waterfront and loaded with views of the Wisconsin River.

The Boathouse restaurant at The Vue offers indoor and outdoor dining. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offer plenty of comfort food and an interesting cocktail menu. I had the fettucine alfredo and Laurie did the fried chicken. We followed with a S’more Hot Chocolate Cake. We loved watching the sunset during dinner.

We were done for the night and happy to just be able to walk back to our room. We were excited to be spending most of the next day at Sundara Spa.

I was hosted on this trip, but opinions are my own.                                                                                        

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chula Vista Fun in Wisconsin Dells

It was day two of my first trip to the Wisconsin Dells. I had brought along my friend Paul and his kids to stay at Chula Vista with me and enjoy their facilities – mainly the indoor waterpark.

I had a meeting with Bianca from the Wisconsin Dells tourism board and they had gone ahead and hit the waterpark without me.

It didn’t take me long when I returned to get my bathing suit on and go down there myself. They were having fun with all the winding slides and I was more than content with a few rounds of the lazy river and some time in the giant hot tub.

Time seemed to pass quickly while we all had fun. The next thing we knew it was late afternoon.

We stopped after we left the waterpark at Fresh to Go, where they have a variety of snacks and baked goods. We each picked out a treat (I had a delicious chocolate chip cookie) before heading back to the room to relax.

It was so great that Chula Vista had everything connected through tunnels so we didn't have to walk outside in the cold. 

Our two bedroom suite was spacious enough that I could relax and read while the kids were in the living room Jacuzzi.

The one thing that did disappoint me at Chula Vista was that we felt there weren’t enough food options. Despite the fact that the resort was pretty full, some of the restaurants are only open in the summer.

Dinner was at Kilbourn City Grill. They had a family-friendly menu with lots of kids’ meals, burgers, sandwiches, and burgers.

We were in the arcade after dinner, playing the various games, before retiring to the room. I was exhausted and, even though they didn’t want to admit it, the kids were too.

We woke up refreshed and decided to make the most of our last day in Wisconsin Dells.

Kilbourn Grill has a breakfast buffet in the morning so we headed there first.  It was quite complete, with waffles, pancakes, and lots of pastries and fruit. They also had a station for made to order omelets.

After breakfast, we enjoyed a light hike around the property and down by the lake before heading to the waterpark one more time. We left in the afternoon with one of the Chula Vista pizzas.

The pizza was included in our family package and was actually quite good. In fact, there were a few things we never got a chance to use, such as the tickets to the 4D movie and the Cactus Kids Corral, where they have activities for kids only.

On the way out of town, we stopped at Paul Bunyan as Paul had a request from a friend to bring home donuts. He bought a few extras and we agreed they were delicious. The restaurant also looked quite interesting and gave me yet another reason to come back to the Wisconsin Dells

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My First Wisconsin Dells Waterpark

I had heard a lot about the Wisconsin Dells since moving to the Midwest. It was known as the “The Waterpark Capital of the World.” In fact, it’s more the “indoor” waterpark capital with more than a dozen resorts with large indoor waterparks.

Not only had I not been to Wisconsin Dells, but I had never stayed at a place with an indoor waterpark. I knew with my position as Midwest Travel Guide for I’d have to eventually hit all the waterparks in the Midwest, so I figured it was a great place to start.

I contacted Bianca Johnson, Marketing & Communications Manager for Wisconsin Dells tourism to help me narrow down the list of where to stay. She felt Chula Vista had just put in millions to expanding their indoor waterpark so it was the perfect place to start.

My daughter and her fiancĂ© are busy planning a wedding in the East and I needed to recruit a “family” to help me test out Chula Vista. My friend Paul and his kids, 9 and 12, were happy to come along.

It took us a few hours to get up there on Friday night and I was immediately surprised by just how enormous the place was. I was glad we were in the main building so we had access to all the restaurants and the waterpark without ever having to step foot outside.

We were given one of the two bedroom condominiums and it was more than spacious. The kids immediately gravitated to the Jacuzzi in the living room before we could even say, “close the door.”

While they were lounging in the hot tub, I made myself comfortable in the master bedroom, complete with a king bed, a fire place, and its own bathroom.

Paul and the kids were comfortable in the second bedroom with two queen sized beds and a bathroom next door. I also pointed out that the couch was a pull-out if they wanted more space.

The 1,500 square foot condo also had a fully equipped kitchen and a dining room. We also had a nice view from our windows of the Wisconsin River. I could easily see spending a week there, but we only had two days.

We all retired to our bedrooms for a good night’s sleep. In the morning, I left to go meet Bianca in downtown Wisconsin Dells.

I had no idea what to expect of this town, but I soon realized that it was without a doubt a vacation area. It was filled with attractions and though most seemed aimed at summer, it had enough indoor activity to keep people – mostly families – busy.

Bianca had suggested that we meet at Cheesecake Heaven and I’m never one to turn down a visit to a place that has the name of my favorite dessert in the title.

After a lengthy examination of the cheesecakes – they also have sandwiches and flatbreads – I settled on the Blueberry Shortcake and a latte. I was not disappointed.

The yearly population of this town is only just over 5,000 and it seemed like there were more people than that in the one tremendous resort I was staying in. I learned it was far from the only amazing family accommodation in this area. This area had a small town feel combined with a year-round vacation spot.

The more Bianca and I talked about Wisconsin Dells then more I knew I would need many more visits to explore and stay here, but I had to start somewhere. I bid her farewell and headed back to Chula Vista, for my first indoor waterpark experience.