Chicago Athlete on the Road: Return to The Abbey


Chicago Athlete hit the road again to return to a fan favorite. We received so many messages about our visit to The Abbey Resort in Lake Geneva so we returned again to capture what we may have missed the first time.

This resort is located in Fontana, which is just 10 miles outside of Lake Geneva. It is entirely enclosed, and you would never have to leave the resort if you did not want to. There are three pools, two hot tubs, a movie, theater, three restaurants, a beautiful beach, and boat dock, and even an extensive running trail. That is one of the things that I love the most about this resort. You can park your car and not look back at it for the entire length of your stay.

My family and I decided to start in Lake Geneva because we love some of the local shops. Any town that offers fudge, ice cream, and screen-printed T-shirts is our kind of place. Downtown Lake Geneva is lined with shops of all kinds, including commercialized shops, such as Harley, Davidson and Starbucks.

There are many locally owned stores that sell branded items and homemade goods. This time we found a coffee store that offered flavored coffee beans in over 20 different flavors, called Lake Geneva Spice Company. I am a sucker for flavored coffee and spent more time in that shop than I should have, and certainly more than my children would have liked! It’s a tiny store, but you will not regret going in there if you are a coffee lover, like me. Plus, they give out free samples of coffee while you are there, so it seemed advantageous on my part, as I try to explain to my children, to stay as long as possible!

After supporting the local economy, and filling our car with peanut butter fudge, a multitude of coffee, a few screen-printed T-shirts, and a couple books from the local bookstore, we hopped in the car and drove the 20 minutes to our final destination.

Every time we pull up to The Abbey Resort, it is more breathtaking. The resort is professionally manicured and you feel as though you were walking into a Beach Town miles away.

Check-in is at 4 PM and the resort is pretty strict about sticking to those rules, so you want to make sure not to show up too far before that. They are extremely busy during the summer, and cannot guarantee that your room will be ready. Upon check-in, we went to our room which overlooked the lake this time. During our last stay, we overlooked the pool and were on the first level. This was really convenient and fun. I would highly recommend a first-floor room if you have younger children and the focus of your stay will be on the outdoor pool. It just makes it easier to go in and out.

However, with older children and a focus on the entire resort, the second floor was by far my preference. The ceilings were vaulted, which made the room feel spacious and the look out to the lake with all of the boat docks just can’t be beat. There’s even a shared balcony where you can sit outside to relax.

We immediately headed to the outdoor pool as the temperatures were in the mid to high 90s and we were ready to cool off. The pool structure is so conducive to families of all types. There is an outdoor pool and hot tub for children and families. Directly next to this gated pool, is an adult only pool. The family/children’s pool is loud, there is music, there are basketball, hoops, and there are even slides for the kids to go down. Conversely, the adult pool is fairly quiet, with several stretched-out chairs for people to relax in. It is so nice to have an option of either to release you and your family’s needs.

We took full advantage of the sunny afternoon hours, and swam for the rest of the afternoon. The pool was clean and, although crowded, not overly intrusive of one’s space. There are a ton of towels that are to be used at the pool and then deposited into a waste bin for cleaning. The resort also offers an indoor pool, which is beautiful, and lights up at night. It is rare to find a hotel that offers both an indoor and outdoor pool option, especially in the Midwest.

After we were all pruned up from the water and chlorine, we headed back to the room to shower, change, and get ready for dinner. We visited the hotel’s Waterfront Restaurant, which offers a healthy choice of different options. There were many salads and gluten-free options which I appreciate. There are also two fun drinks for the kids. In addition to the kid drinks, there’s also a range of adult beverage options to enjoy while watching the boats come and go.

After dinner, we went out to clock a few miles. One of my favorite aspects of the Abbey is that it sits on a 24-mile path that runs along the lake front. This path is mostly flat and paved and a joy to walk, run, or even race on. I would definitely make a return to this resort to do one of my long runs on.

Although most of our energy was gone from the day, we decided to explore the resort to get a feel for how large it was. The magnitude of all of the buildings connected together, and being able to walk through them all was astounding. We took an hour to explore the beauty of this resort. All of the buildings are connected that house the two floors of rooms in each unit. We were able to walk through each of the buildings and then back to the indoor pool area. This area also features a movie theater and arcade. There’s also a gift shop, and several restaurants and a coffee shop to explore.

There is truly no way to be inactive when you visit The Abbey resort. Not only are there incredible offerings at the resort, but there is a trail that is so conveniently placed, you can’t help but visit it. You can also walk along the boat docks and gaze at the million-dollar homes nestled into the surrounding area.

The next morning, we had breakfast at a different restaurant at the resort called 240 West. The restaurant had a buffet where patrons could sample many breakfast offerings. We chose to order off the menu, as it provided so many healthy options.

The Abbey is a fan favorite for being a family friendly resort to visit for our active Chicago families. There are so many races coming up in Milwaukee and the area surrounding Lake Geneva this fall and winter. If you plan to stay the night before or the night after, check out the Abbey!


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