Osthoff: Elegant, yet comfortable
By Mike Mathes

To some the Osthoff Resort may seem a world apart from Eastern Wisconsin.

While its elegance speaks to the amenities associated with a four diamond resort destination, its feel of comfort exudes the local flavor of Eastern Wisconsin at every turn.

Far from an elusive destination, the Osthoff is a resort that brings people together to enjoy relaxation and elegance on the shores of Elkhart Lake, whether they hail from near or far.

The Osthoff remains, as it always has, a part of the local community—both benefitting from the qualities of the small towns of Eastern Wisonsin and giving back many opportunities to those same communities.

A reflection of the community

Osthoff was included last year as one of the top mainland U. S. resorts by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.

While that may make it seem like an elite and aloof place, the Osthoff remains grounded in its charming roots, interwinted with the local communities. Part of the Osthoff charm stems from the genuine nature of its staff an surroundings.

“We are often complimented on the caring nature of our employees —their graciousness and friendliness, their kind

and caring attitudes.....that is a reflection

of the local culture,” Osthoff manager Lola Roeh said.

“Our whole product here is of the lake and the land. And, in a large way it’s about the people,” she said. “We harvest a lot from our surroundings.”

In turn, the Osthoff provides a means of sustaining local livelihoods by offering a source of employment and means to earn a living through its staffing opportunities. What’s more, Osthoff also provides an opportunity for locals and distant travelers alike to enjoy the finery of outstanding accommodations, dining and hospitality.

Community connections

For Osthoff, connections to Elkhart Lake and local surrounding communities have always been important, as they are today.

“In a lot of ways the resorts were depending on the community and what the community could produce,” Roeh noted.

Farmers in the area grew extensively for the resorts, and in turn they found a market for their goods.

“Our family raised food for these resorts, like so many area farms did. My grandmother raisd the geese and dressed them differently because they were being used by guests from Chicago,” Roeh said.

Wedding destination

One growing trend for the Osthoff Resort is its popularity as a destination wedding spot.

“A lot of people think of Mexico or the Caribbean when they talk about destination weddings,” Roeh noted.

Osthoff’s grand variety of offerings and great family atmosphere has endeared itself to wedding and reunion planners.

“We have just about everything anyone would want for their wedding party or family to enjoy, and it’s all in walking distance right here in Elkhart Lake,” Roeh noted.

Osthoff provides the magnificence of a great resort backdrop, yet is small enough to provide that secure, safe feeling that is so importnat to guests.

The whole concept matches The Osthoff’s theme of of elegance alongside comfort.

“For most of our guests comfortable goes a lot farther than providing a fluffy pillow. We want them to feel at ease and relaxed during their time with us,” Roeh

The Elk Room with its newly constructed bar awaits visitors and guests at the Osthoff in Elkhart Lake.


Dining opportunities

For those who wish to snack or dine, Osthoff provides several opportunities with an emphasis on relaxed and comfortable dining experiences.

Otto’s offers a full menu of American cuisine in a casual setting on a year round basis.

Lola’s on the Lake provides fresh regional cuisine, an oustanding wine list. From the table, diners can enjoy a beautful view of Elkhart Lake.

In early February, Lola’s reintroduced its small plate dining options under Lola’s Gone Global on Thursday nights. Beyond the normal menu, dining guests can take their tastebuds on a world tour, trying flavors from both near and far.

Ranging from dishes with a Mediterranean flaire to the fresh French dessert Tarte Tatinette, diners get to try smaller portions, with lots of flavor opportunities.

Restaurants at the Osthoff feature locally grown foods, many items of which are raised in Osthoff’s heritage gardens. The gardens were started as a small, organic plot about four years ago, mostly focusing on herbs.

After expanding to 2,000 square feet, this year Osthoff was fortunate to scure a piece of land that will expand the garden to nearly five acres. The focus is working with heritage varieties of plants, allowing the plants to be cultivated and kept in as pure a strain as possible—true to the ancestry of those who immigrated to this area.

New gathering place

A new gathering place in the main great room at the Osthoff is the Elk Room, where a newly constructed bar awaits patrons who may either be staying at the Osthoff or simply dropping in from the community at large.

Beginning in the late afternoon, visitors to the Elk Room can enjoy a cocktail in the expansive main room of this four diamond resort with all the amenities, including a fireplace and a great view of the grounds and Elkhart Lake.

Lake Deck popular

In the warmer months, guests are beckoned by the Osthoff Lake Deck. Traditional fun foods, refreshments and specialty drinks are provided from Memorial Day to Labor Day along the 500-foot beachfront.

“We plan to expand the lake deck this year. It’s a great space for our guests as well as people from the local community who want to come out and have a cocktail and something to eat at the beach,” Roeh said.

Newly opened this winter is the Elk Room cocktail area. The Osthoff has added a bar to its main gathering room, known as the Elk Room. The surroundings provide a great backdrop for groups that wish to gather for a relaxing cocktail and conversation. Cocktails are served beginning in the late afternoon until 10 p. m.

Aspira Spa

Aspira the Spa is a feature offered either independently of lodging or in combination with your stay at the Osthoff

Aspira offers a complete range of treatments to soothe the mind, body and soul, or just an invigorating massage at the end of the day.

Private spa suites designed to complement nature, taking in the tranquility, beauty and energy of the lake.

Aspira was created as a place to take one’s journey for mind, body and spirit -a place to move forward in nature and peace.

Inside Aspira, the space is thoughtfully designed, embracing the wisdom of feng shui and the elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

Aspira embraces the healing wisdom of indigenous peoples from around the world for a holistic, organic approach to the spa experience. There is a reverence for all that is natural and the balance created with such reverence -in the design of our space, purity of products and approach of our services.