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Between its historic significance as a planned community, its pastoral Wisconsin setting and its association with bath design innovators Kohler, The American Club proves vastly different from any other Five-Star hotel in the world. Only its sister property in St. Andrews, Scotland, can contend. Here’s why:
1. It’s in Wisconsin. Luxury properties are not easy to come by in the Midwest, let alone Wisconsin. The American Club’s location, one hour north of Milwaukee and two and a half hours north of Chicago, makes it easily accessible, while still offering a tranquil pastoral getaway — complete with hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and of course, world-class golf at the resort’s Whistling Straits course.
2.The town of Kohler has botanical garden status — bet you didn’t know it was possible for a factory town to be a botanical garden. The American Club is one of the only hotels in the nation to receive botanical garden status, which the entire town of Kohler earned in 2004. Enter The American Club’s lush courtyard with its beautiful stained glass Greenhouse Café and bubbling fountains and you’ll discover plants designated with markers that correspond with a free audio tour; handsets are available at the front desk. Also note the beautiful red and rich pink hollyhock flowers blooming around the property: The Kohler daughters planted these decades ago and they’re now infused into some of Kohler Waters Spa’s signature products.
3. It has a rich history — and we mean really rich. Housed in former Kohler worker housing, The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel nods to its rich history at every turn. Immigration and industrialism are the recurring themes: While tours are available at the factory across the street, the Kohler Design Center showcases the creativity and always-impressive designs the company has developed over the years. In the guest rooms, portraits of Wisconsin immigrants with short bios adorn the walls, while the Immigrant Restaurant pays homage to early Kohler workers with six rooms designed to reflect their European homelands.
4. Kohler plumbing abounds. When it comes to plumbing, even the most impressive luxury hotels become suddenly unremarkable. Not so at The American Club, thanks to the property being a part of Kohler’s bath empire. As the room price points increase, the fixtures become increasingly high-end — and high-tech — but even many of the lower-tier rooms feature covet-worthy tile and massage-jet showerheads.
5. World-class amenities such as The American Club’s renowned Whistling Straits Golf Course, which hosted the 2010 PGA Tournament, and its Kohler Waters Spa, Wisconsin’s only Five-Star spa, also set the resort apart from other luxury properties. A destination in its own right, the Alice and Pete Dye-designed Whistling Straits Golf Course features the grass-and-dune Irish course, as well as the Straits, which hugs Lake Michigan from a bluff in the style of the historic Scottish and Irish links. Meanwhile, the Kohler Waters Spa has a reputation nationally for its innovative water treatments and therapeutic custom-built showers.
Every guest room in The American Club's main building is dedicated to a person from the history of the United States. The artwork in the guest room honors that American. The artwork in the bathroom is a reproduction of an original Kohler plumbing advertisement. Kohler plumbing was the first company to send ads directly to the consumer.