Midwest Living Review
When you first drive into Garmisch USA Resort, you're not quite sure what you're getting into. Grandiose stone pillars surrounded by acres of untouched woods don't seem to blend with the cluster of nondescript cabins, but then there's the gorgeous North Woods lodge overlooking Lake Namekagon. Add in what appears to be some gimmicky Bavarian-style decks and paneling, and your first impression may be that Garmisch struggles from an identity crisis. But since it opened during the 1920s, this northern Wisconsin spot 70 miles southeast of Duluth has been a destination for anglers, snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, honeymooners, families and affluent city dwellers looking for a North Woods escape--not to mention the locals who love Friday fish fries and Saturday prime rib dinners. Despite the complexities of catering multiple audiences, the volume of repeat customers indicates the Garmisch works. Guests can stay in standard hotel rooms, luxurious suites overlooking Lake Namakagon or cabins, which run from basic one bedroom to five bedrooms. Cabins built for two come with quilted comforters, extra pillows and classical music CDs, while the largest cabins have family-friendly DVDs and fully equipped kitchens. The owners clearly pay attention to details. One word of advice--this is definitely not a one-room-fits-all lodge, so pay close attention to what you are booking. Each room is drastically different. And this is a spot to get away from technology, so arrive expecting no wi-fi or cell service. Built in the 1920s as a weekend retreat for a wealthy Chicago family, much of the original lodge is still in place. The aged timbers support a vaulted ceiling, massive stone fireplaces, handcrafted woodwork and built-in bookcases stocked with books. The lodge also has a gift shop, library, lounge and a restaurant. The restaurant offers a typical North Woods-style menu of meat and potato combinations. The only surprise: A portion of the menu reflects the German heritage of the original owners. We opted for the Saturday special of prime rib and a German combination platter--bratwurst, sauerkraut, cabbage roll and veal. All was excellent, and when we considered the friendly service and the vast view of Lake Namekagon, we could see why this would be destination dining. Dinners start around $10. For those wanting a more informal experience, the Bierstube Lounge offers a comparable menu in a bar setting. Cabins start at $135 per night, while lodge rooms range from $95 for a single room to $235 for a suite.