Make a splash at Kohler Waters Spas
Loop North News

Chicago Traveler

(Above) Kohler Waters Spa at Destination Kohler in Kohler, Wisconsin. Photos provided by Kohler Waters Spa except where noted. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

A quartet of Kohler Waters Spas in Illinois and Wisconsin promises to refresh and renew body, mind, and spirit.

6-Feb-22 – The holiday frenzies are behind us, and we made it through another year of pandemic pandemonium. Breathe deeply. Then make a date to manage the stress away at a Kohler Waters Spa.

Kohler, a name you know for luxe bathroom fixtures, infuses a quartet of Midwestern spas with expertise in hydrotherapy and a reputation for gracious living. The spas are in Lincoln Park in Chicago; Burr Ridge; and Green Bay and Kohler in Wisconsin. A fifth is at the prestigious Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Kohler Co. has been in the water business for almost 150 years. In 1873, John Michael Kohler, an Austrian immigrant who manufactured farm implements, enameled a horse trough and called it a bathtub. Over the generations, the family-owned business became known worldwide as an innovative lifestyle brand.

Nikki Miller

The expansion into spas was a natural transition, says Nikki Miller, global director of Kohler Waters Spas.

“As a global leader in plumbing, we are in a unique position to integrate our deep knowledge of the therapeutic benefits of water and high-performing product technology with gracious hospitality and service,” says Miller (left).

From one Kohler Waters Spa to another, the menus and amenities are nearly identical. The Burr Ridge and Lincoln Park locations are day spas, while Green Bay and Kohler reside within hotel properties. Travelers and sanctuary-seekers can expect to enjoy the same experiences – and signature hollyhock scent – wherever they are.

Book your appointment and relax as long as you wish in the spas’ serene amenity suites of therapeutic pools, saunas, steam rooms, and lounges.

On the menu are 50-plus massages, hydrotherapies, wraps, facials, nail treatments, and salon services. Miller reports two of the most popular choices are the Himalayan Salt Stone Massage and the Lavender Rain shower. A few treatments, like the Rain Man hydrotherapy experience, are especially designed for men. All body treatments typically include some sort of exfoliation followed by moisturization.

As you read various spa menus, whether at Kohler or elsewhere, you’ll sometimes note the term Vichy shower.

It refers to an overhead apparatus with multiple shower heads that delightfully spew water as you lie in a shallow bed similar to a massage table (right).

Kohler Waters Spa

The name is taken from Vichy, a city in central France known for more than 2,000 years for its hot mineral springs and thermal baths. (Not the French regime that collaborated with Nazis during World War II.)

If the pandemic brought about any societal benefits, Miller says, it is that people became more in tune with themselves and their desire to seek out wellness.

“Stay connected to others,” she says. “Take care of yourself, so you can be a better you for your family and friends.”

Here’s a rundown on the four Midwestern Kohler Waters Spas...

Kohler Waters Spa at Destination Kohler, Kohler, Wisconsin

The flagship of Kohler’s hospitality portfolio is The American Club Resort Hotel in the company town of Kohler just west of Sheboygan.

A five-star 241-room hotel, it was built in 1918 as a dormitory for immigrant factory workers.

Destination Kohler

The transformation into the luxury destination it is today began in 1981 and includes world-class dining, championship golf courses, boutique shopping, and the first Kohler Waters Spa.

Guest rooms are appointed with the latest in Kohler bath fixtures. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

While you’re in the neighborhood: Visit the Kohler Design Center, a combination showroom and museum, for oodles of inspiration for your next home renovation project. On display are gorgeous model baths by design stars, the latest Kohler products, and one of the original bathtubs that started it all. Consult with a Kohler designer for free, but reservations are strongly encouraged.

Alternatively, take a class at the Yoga on the Lake studio overlooking the peaceful serenity of Wood Lake.

Kohler Waters Spa at Burr Ridge, Burr Ridge, Illinois

The spa last year underwent a significant expansion that added new treatment rooms, meditation space, and a Mediterranean-style café.

A highlight of the project is the latest model of the Kohler Custom Vichy Shower (right), which was designed exclusively for the spa.

Photo by Pamela Dittmer McKuen

Photo by Pamela Dittmer McKuen

The state-of-the-art fixture is suspended from the ceiling to allow the therapist greater flexibility of movement. Its horizontal arm houses six shower heads that can be customized for water temperature, size and shape of droplets, and intensity of spray. Another new feature is the LED light therapy, which is said to improve skin health and aid with cell repair.

While you’re in the neighborhood: Meander the Burr Ridge Village Center, an upscale lifestyle mall with a plethora of boutiques, eateries, and wellness services.

Discover Fullersburg Woods Forest Preserve, a 220-acre urban wildlife haven with trails through woods and restored prairie. Also on the grounds is the picturesque Graue Mill & Museum with an operating water wheel grist mill.

Kohler Waters Spa at Lodge Kohler, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Lodge Kohler is a boutique hotel anchoring the Titletown entertainment district across the street from Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field. Each of the 141 guest rooms and suites features Kohler baths, including programmable showers and signature spa toiletries.

Kohler Waters Spa

The spa is discreetly tucked behind closed doors on the first floor and adjacent to the indoor swimming pools.

(Left) Relaxation area at the Lodge Kohler location of Kohler Waters Spa.

If you plan an overnight stay with your spa visit, check the Packers’ football schedule first. The hotel fills up long in advance of home games.

While you’re in the neighborhood: Green Bay Botanical Garden preserves and showcases the area’s outdoor beauty all four seasons. Stroll along winding pathways through 47 acres of themed display gardens, natural greenspaces, and intriguing sculptures.

Indulge your sweet tooth cravings at Seroogy’s, a legendary chocolatier serving up handmade treats since 1899. The name is pronounced ser-OO-jeez.

Kohler Waters Spa at Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois

Slip away from urban bustle and into the rejuvenating environment of the Kohler Waters Spa in the heart of Lincoln Park.

Located within the live-work-play community of Lincoln Common, it’s the newest in the Kohler spa portfolio. The two-level spa is designed with indoor and outdoor relaxation areas; validated parking is offered.

Kohler Waters Spa

While you’re in the neighborhood: Keep your Zen going at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The butterfly haven, a greenhouse with 1,000-plus exotic, free-flying lepidoptera, feels like summer year-round.

Or feel your personal power by viewing the Chicago History Museum’s permanent exhibition, Chicago Women and the Vote.

• Contact Pamela Dittmer McKuen at pmckuen@gmail.com

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