Decadence on ice
Think luxury hotel and you don’t generally think of a shanty perched on a foundation of wall-to-wall ice. But the chilly sport of ice fishing—and its attendant one-room shelters—is getting a makeover in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Welcome to the world of ice-fishing luxe, where the coldest thing in the shack is the Champagne.
At Lake Geneva’s Bella Vista Suites, guests booking the “Ice Fishing Shanty Package” (weekend rates range from $134.50 to $149.50) will get a traditionally posh indoor suite for sleeping, plus a furnished shack for fishing on the frozen lake. The latter is equipped with such upscale comforts as white-tablecloth Champagne service and comfortable chairs. Furthermore, shanty staffers can take care of the hard labor of ice fishing, namely drilling down through the ice to make the hole through which unsuspecting fish are lured. The shanties also come with heaters to keep everyone but the fish toasty for the standard six-hour fishing session.
Experienced ice fishers are also available as guides; the cost is $35 for up to six hours (additional time can be arranged). Among other duties, the guide will help with equipment (you can select from more than 80,000 ice jigs and lures), technique, and line retrieval, as well as closing up the holes when the fishing day is done. Shanty staffers will also clean fish for those who score. For those who don’t, Lake Geneva’s Simple Café offers catered meals.
Where to eat: For an upscale dinner with a view, go to the lakeside Baker House (327 Wrigley Dr., Lake Geneva,; 262-248-4700, bakerhouse1885.com). Hyper-locally sourced breakfast and lunch is available at the Simple Café (525 Broad St., Lake Geneva; 262-248-3556, simplecafelakegeneva.com).
GO Bella Vista Suites, 335 Wrigley Dr., Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; 262-248-2100, bellavistasuites.com