by Amanda Norcross
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and the neighboring towns of Williams Bay and Fontana-on-Geneva Lake offer everything from motels to vacation rentals. But nothing compares to The Abbey Resort, a classic Midwest retreat that beckons families to relax — and do little else. Its idyllic location makes it particularly popular for weddings and family reunions.
The lakefront resort offers ample opportunities to get out on Geneva Lake, including its own marina and water sports equipment rentals. Other family fun includes a multitude of swimming pools (including one just for young kids), organized activities, a kids’ club and even a virtual reality experience!
If you’re looking for a laidback vacation with the kids, we highly recommend a stay at The Abbey Resort on Geneva Lake.
Our Editor Loves
- Lakefront resort
- Swimming pools
- Virtual reality attraction
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The resort offers 334 rooms spread across seven buildings. Family-friendly guestrooms feature one king bed and a sofa bed or two queen beds, as well a mini-fridge and coffeemaker. Connecting units, cribs and rollaway beds are available.
Families also have the option to rent villas, each one equipped with a full kitchen. For a complete list of villa options, visit The Abbey Resort - Vacation Villas.
We stayed at the Abbey Resort for a wedding and long weekend, the place was beautiful, the facilities and restaurants nice and the staff friendly and accommodating. We had a room with a nice layout and was relatively clean upon first inspection but the room had a musty, stale smell that permeated into our clothing and belongings. I think certain areas of the Abbey need a makeover, good cleaning, painting and repairs. I'd return to the area and to the Abbey if I felt their rates were parallel to their pride in keeping this place up to date and fresh.
We are staying at The Abbey Resort in Fontana at Lake Geneva for a convention. This place is T-I-R-E-D. I don’t know when this place was updated but it sure need it. The carpets are old and dirty, the black fingerprints on the white doors make me want to open the doors with my feet. The maid service is quite deplorable as we are always asking to have the room made up, need toilet paper, can we have a towel or two.......
Now, in addition, the food is is gross. Everything overcooked, mostly tasteless and overpriced. We just had some nachos and the cheese wasn’t even real, it tasted like it came out of a can and this is Wisconsin!
I think the owners simply rely on the great location and don’t have too much of an interest to maintain the place. Poor value for the money.
Kids and families can visit Rainbow Point for organized activities including arts and crafts, games, movies and more -- perfect when youngsters need some downtime.
Immersion Virtual Entertainment
This attraction, added in 2017, includes a virtual reality experience with headsets, a separate virtual reality movie theater and a cafe. Reservations are recommended; additional fees apply.
The resort offers indoor and outdoor pools -- including a separate kids' pool and an activity pool with waterslides. The indoor pool is open year-round; the outdoor pools are typically open Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The resort offers complimentary bicycles on a first-come, first-served basis. Child-size bikes are available!
The Abbey Resort also offers organized activities, live entertainment and fireside S'mores on select days. Ask for a schedule of events at the front desk.
The resort has its own marina, should you want to bring your boat! In 2018, the marina will be revamped with new piers, lighting, sidewalks and more.
This restaurant serves breakfast and dinner, and is especially popular for its breakfast buffet and Sunday Harborside Brunch. Visit on Saturdays for the Prime Rib Buffet. Kids' options and pricing are available for all meals.
The Waterfront is a fantastic place for families to gather for a meal, with casual favorites (burgers, salads, pizzas and the like), live entertainment and of course, waterfront views of Geneva Lake. A separate children's menu is available. The Waterfront restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Cafe Latte is exactly what it sounds like -- an adorable coffee shop with Starbucks coffee and all of your favorite coffee drinks. It also offers an assortment of pastries, sandwiches, salads and other light bites. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday to Saturday.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The daily resort fee ($13, plus tax) covers many of the resort's amenities and activities, including Wi-Fi, complimentary issues of USA Today (Monday to Friday), complimentary scheduled transportation to downtown Lake Geneva, bicycle rentals, board games, access to Avani Spa's Fitness Center and fitness classes, and valet parking.
The resort's fitness center offers a nice selection of cardio and weight training equipment. Fitness classes are also offered. The gym is open 24 hours.
Visit the onsite gift shop for keepsakes to take home or any toiletries you may have forgotten to pack. You can also purchase snacks, beer and wine here.
Babysitting services are available for kids ages 12 and under, 7 a.m. to midnight daily, year-round. Parents often opt for these services when attending weddings at the resort.
The Art of Smart Timing
The Abbey Resort is obviously busy Memorial Day through Labor Day, when families descend upon the area for summer vacations. Christmastime is also a popular time to visit the resort and general area, with the town of Lake Geneva hosting a series of holiday events.
The Abbey Resort is located just under an hour from General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. You'll want to rent a car to get here.
The resort provides complimentary shuttle service to Williams Bay and Lake Geneva.
For Mom and Dad
Be sure to make a reservation for the Avani Spa at The Abbey Resort. The spa offers a fantastic selection of massages (including a 50-minute maternity massage), facials, wraps and scrubs. Teen-specific services are also available.
Another option for adults-only time is Bar West, which serves cocktails and light bites on Fridays and Saturdays. Ask about Wine Down specials.