Mothers Day at The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa

May is All About Mom at The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa

With spa and dining specials and family-friendly programming throughout the month, The Abbey Resort makes it easy for families to pamper and honor Mom


FONTANA, Wis. – April 30, 2018 – With warming weather, blooming flowers, budding trees and rates starting as low as $89, it’s the perfect time to book a getaway!  The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa invites families to escape to the shores of Geneva Lake to enjoy the sunshine and vibrancy of the season, where they can show Mom just how much they love and appreciate all she does for her family.

Whether she enjoys an overnight stay or not, Mother’s Day Brunch at The Abbey Resort on Sunday, May 13 is a memory she is sure to savor. Mom will enjoy an unparalleled view of Abbey Harbor, complimentary mimosas and a gourmet menu that includes the following: Fresh farmers’ market salad station; From the sea station including oysters on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, lox, and smoked lake trout; Classic breakfast station featuring eggs benedict, strawberry shortcake blintzes and Wisconsin cheddar and broccoli quiche with sage gravy; Center of the plate station featuring garlic and herb baron of beef and smoked Virginia ham; Made-to-order omelets and Belgium waffles; Kids’ corner featuring Wisconsin mac n’ cheese, honey glazed chicken wings and Jell-O cups; Sweet station featuring chocolate fondue to melt over, and so much more. Brunch will be served from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 13; $42 for adults, $16 for children ages 4 – 12, kids under 4 dine free. Advance reservations are required. A complete menu is available on the web, as follows:

After brunch, consider treating Mom to an afternoon at Avani Spa where she will enjoy a day of pampering and some peace and quiet. The Avani Spa Mother’s Day Spa Package includes a massage, pedicure, express facial and completes access to the luxurious amenities including the sunlit indoor atrium pool, whirlpools, sauna, and steam and inhalation rooms. The Mother’s Day Spa package is available May 11 – 13 for $230, a 20% discount off the full price value. Make her reservation at Avani Spa by calling (800) 772-1000.

And because of course Mom would want her kids to enjoy the day as well, The Abbey Resort has plenty of family-friendly activities to entertain the little ones. Weekend and Mother’s Day activities available will include movies, guided walks along the lake shore path, outdoor games on Harbor Lawn, a petting zoo, crafts such as garden stone decorating, slime making, bracelet creation and more.

If getting away over Mother’s Day Weekend isn’t in the cards, Harbor Homecoming and Memorial Day are both great options to sneak away as the weather continues to warm. Plan a trip to The Abbey Resort the weekend of May 18 – 20 and help welcome back summer! Harbor Homecoming – the highly anticipated beginning of summer when boats make their way back into the newly renovated harbor – is an exciting weekend featuring live music entertainment, lakeshore walks, lawn games, harbor-side bonfires and the first Burnin’ Down the Docks of the season located at the outdoor Waterfront patio and bar area. Burnin’ Down the Docks is held every Sunday of the summer from 12 noon until 5 p.m. and would be the perfect way to honor the fun-loving mom who appreciates good BBQ, a cold drink, and live music set among the beautiful spring landscape of Geneva Lake.

In honor and memory of our Armed Forces, The Abbey Resort is celebrating Memorial Day weekend from Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28 with activities for all ages.  As the unofficial start of summer, The Abbey Resort will feature both indoor and outdoor games, activities, bonfire s’mores and more. Live music will be featured each evening of the weekend as well as on Sunday afternoon on the recently refreshed Waterfront outdoor patio and bar area as part of the weekly Burnin’ Down The Docks series.

Additional seasonal specials available during the month of May include deliciously refreshing Coconut Lime spa treatments and various dining specials such as Friday Nights Out featuring steak, lobster, salad and dessert; $5 Bloody Marys & Mimosas on Saturdays and Sundays, and; Cookies & Wine Saturdays where three favorite Girl Scout Cookies are paired with three wines for a uniquely delicious treat. Also available this spring is a Stay and Play overnight golf package where guests enjoy all of the on-site amenities of The Abbey Resort as well as 18-holes of golf at one of Wisconsin’s most beautiful courses of championship caliber, Abbey Springs, featuring views of Geneva Lake, carefully manicured greens, lush fairways, beautifully tended trees and wooded hillsides.

For complete details on available packages and rates, or to book a stay, please visit or call 1-800-709-1323.

About The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa:

As the only full-service resort located directly on the shores of Geneva Lake, The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa caters to guests ranging from families and couples to weddings and corporate groups. Continuing in its commitment to constant improvement, the resort recently completed major property renovations, including updates made to guest rooms; restaurants, bars and coffee shop; meeting and banquet facilities; Avani Spa; common and lounge areas including the entryway and lobby; the exterior and A-frame and; outdoor pool amenities. Located just 75 miles from downtown Chicago and 45 miles from Milwaukee, The Abbey Resort boasts a breathtaking setting on 90 acres of beautifully manicured grounds, award-winning dining and banquet facilities, nearby championship golf courses, a wide range of outdoor activities and the on-site 35,000 square-foot Avani Spa.


The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa is managed and operated by Benchmark Resorts & Hotels® of Woodlands, Texas. For more information or reservations, visit, join Abbey Resort and Avani Spa on Facebook follow @AbbeyResort on Twitter


Jo Koy killed my abs

I recently had the opportunity to see Jo Koy live during his sold out Break the Mold Tour. Tanya AbbeyIf you are not familiar with Jo Koy (say what?!) let me give you a brief introduction of one of the funniest comedians!


  • Jo Koy is of Filipino and European-American descent
  • He began his stand-up career in 1994
  • In 2005, he came one of a select few comics to receive a standing ovation on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.You know the expression, “I couldn’t make this up if I tried.” We all have thought, “I could make a show out of this.” Jo Koy does just that. He takes snippets of his life and makes you not only realize you can relate, but you are laughing so hard your abs will get a workout. Jo Koy has a son named Joseph. For our sake I hope he just hangs around his Dad more, because the material he gets from him alone is pure genius. Who would think laughing at their child questioning their genetic makeup could be so funny? When he talks about how he grew up, his mother is the main source of his comedic delivery. His mother is Filipino and wasn’t a soft mom to Jo. One of his stories is about how he forgot his lunch at home, called his mom and she told him SIC “too bad”. Why, am I laughing so hard about this story? If a random person told me this, I might feel bad for them. I might even question the mother on why is she so cruel? Jo Koy does the opposite with his comedic skills. He not only has you feeling so sorry for him, but also allows you to laugh at how his mom treated him. Jo Koy flips stereotypes on their head and allows us all to feel ok that we are a stereotype. He also walks you through it.img_2751

During his sold out show that I attended at the Genesee Theater in Waukegan IL. I felt as if it was just him and I. He is so good with making eye contact with the audience. He picked out a member of the audience. He got his name learned about him and all throughout the show kept speaking to him off and on. For that time they were besties. That is another quality that I appreciate about Jo Koy. He is a big time guy, but so humble and down to earth. He makes you feel comfortable for being you and he doesn’t have a big ego. At the end of his show, he yelled “I am coming to you, take out your phones”. How many acts have you seen where that is allowed? Usually you have to hide your phone and make a screen play on how to get it out and get a selfie at the same time. Jo, walked around the theater and took img_2737pictures and made sure you had a good shot! As I was walking out, there he was again where the merchandise was being sold taking more selfies. Just when you thought ok that was it, it wasn’t.

He went outside where his Marquee was and took more pictures. He thanked his fans and went onto his after show meet and greet with fans. If you’re kicking yourself because you missed an opportunity to see him live, don’t’ worry.

img_2752He has a special on Netflix where you can experience him. Start following him on Instagram. He does daily stories and his feed is filled with his daily shenanigans. Pay attention to when he comes to your town next, you will not be sorry.

*facts and Joy Koy picture from


It is so sweet to be a Chicago Cubs fan!

I get excited when two things I love meet up. Fannie May is the official chocolate for the Chicago Cubs! It makes being a fan so sweet!

Here are some sweet morsels about Fannie May:

  •  Fannie May started in 1920
  •   During WWII when other candy companies decided to change their ingredients, Fannie May did not. They closed early instead of sacrificing their quality.
  • The Pixie which is their best seller was invented in 1946
  • Fannie May makes over 100 different confections and continues to develop new and innovative flavor profiles for their customers.
  •  Fannie May’s standards of excellence include maintaining our product’s high quality by requiring special handling during storage and display.

Since I dropped those morsels for you. I wanted to let you know what your options are when ordering these wonderful confections. You can create your own mix with whatever your heart desires in them, or you can purchase ready made tins with some favorites! Want to be the talk of the party?

I suggest the Chicago Cubs tin.

You can find under the occasions tab, then select Chicago Cubs tin. It has five of the Fannie May favorites. It is3.9 lbs of chocolate bliss. Your friends will thank you and the host can keep the tin, you just made your gift a twofer(you are welcome). If you’re thinking that’s too much chocolate (ha who really says that?!) why not try a the Mint Meltaways Wrigley Tin. It has 10.75 oz of minty bliss!

Are you the host of the party and want to give an awesome thank you gift? Put a Cubbies bar in their goody bag!

Want to send a little something sweet to a Cubs fan? I’d recommend the Wrigley Field Mix! It has Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeyes, Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge Truffles, Dark Chocolate Toasted Marshmallow, and Milk Chocolate Caramel Presents.

I know I gave you a lot to choose from, but honestly you cannot go wrong with Fannie May. What a fun way to celebrate Fannie May and the Chicago Cubs.

That is definitely worth flying the “W”!

*facts pulled from

Christkindlemarket Chicago

It’s that time of year again. Grab your warm attire and get ready to celebrate Christmas in Chicago, German style!

For those of you who are not familiar with one of Chicago’s most popular traditions, Christkindlmarket is located in Daley Plaza for a few short weeks in November and December. Vendors from Germany, the United States, and other areas of the world set up shop and create a holiday wonderland.

Christkindlmarket is an old German tradition that began in Nurnberg, Germany. Vendors sell their specialty items from their stalls at these Christmas markets. Patrons walk the market admiring goods and purchasing items to add to their holiday decor and traditions.

Chicago has adopted this tradition and invites vendors from all over to participate. It’s a wonderful experience; you can shop and also speak to the friendly vendors who love sharing stories about their home town and how much they look forward to coming to Chicago to show off their goods. I love coming here and truly enjoy it. I do understand how overwhelming it can seem since it’s in the heart of Chicago during a busy time of year, so here are my tips to making your visit an enjoyable one!

1) Tanya’s Parking Tip

If you are traveling from the suburbs and you have kids under 7, I would suggest skipping public transportation and park your car in a nearby garage. A way to save money ahead of time at a nearby garage is to download the Spothero app. This will pin point areas with affordable parking, for any budget. I was able to find parking a block away for $13 and was able to stay parked for over 10 hours. Make sure you download this before parking in a garage. Sign up with SpotHero and save $5.

2) Christkindl with Kids: Kinder Speil

Kids can play a passport game. Before, you begin stop by the information stand and grab a passport for your kids. This is an awesome experience, you get to look at all the vendor’s goods and your kids are looking for the stands with the passport sign marked. It’s a win for all.

3) Staying Warm

Drink the traditional Gluehwine with or without alcohol. This always reminds me of when I was a kid growing up in Germany and going to the local Christkindle Markets. I had the Kinder Gluehwine (non alcoholic) and would walk the area trying to find an ornament for myself.

4) Eat up

I understand it is a little scary trying different food and it’s tempting to go somewhere else to eat, but I recommend eating at the market. There are lots of items to choose from; it could be a traditional Bratwurst on a bun, or something more extreme like a German favorite Mett (raw pork or beef minced with bacon on a bun). I am not a fan of Mett, but I remember my Mother eating this on occasion growing up in Germany. I decided to have curry wurst with fries. The portions are great and my four year old and I shared the dish and then went to get some dessert.

5) See where the vendors are from?

Take a moment and look outside the stall. There you will see where the vendor is from. I was so happy to find one from my birth town!

I was able to speak to them in German and get to tell them how I came to the United States and how I know the language. The vendors are so happy to be there and love talking about their hometowns. It is not often you can get the authenticity of certain country traditions, but Chicago got it correct by having Germans come here from Germany and showing a little piece of their world with local Americans.

6) Say Danke

Have a little bit of fun and say Danke (pronnounced dahn-ka) which is Thank you or say Hallo (prononnuced hollow) which means Hello in German. It makes the shopping experience more fun.

7) Shop until you drop!

Take notice of all the handmade trinkets and ornaments. My Son and I bought some wood ornaments from Munich and a glass blown ornament from Poland.

I love Christmas and how magical it is, and Christmas time in Germany was really special. I am beyond thrilled that Chicago has brought a piece of home close to me and allowed me to show my son how I grew up, and also share memories of doing the same thing with my parents. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Fröhliche Weihnachten! (Merry Christmas)

Immersion Virtual Reality Center Opens Today at The Abbey Resort

I am happy to share this press release courtesy of The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa!!

Lakeshore resort announces all-new virtual reality gaming experience, cinema and eatery open for the weekend 

FONTANA, Wis. – October 13, 2017 – The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa is thrilled to announce its all-new Immersion experience center is open to the public, featuring a cutting-edge virtual reality gaming center, big-screen cinema and eatery.

Virtual reality – a type of unique, on-trend and cutting-edge gaming technology – is quickly gaining popularity, and Immersion is the first of its kind in the Lake Geneva area. Resort guests and visitors alike are welcome to go beyond reality and experience the future of gaming in this cutting-edge virtual reality experience center known as Immersion Virtual Entertainment that is located within The Abbey Resort. They can also enjoy movies and games on the big screen in the new Immersion Cinema that comfortably accommodates 30 guests for movies, games and even corporate presentations, or relax with refreshments at the Immersion Café that will serve beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks. These three components – Immersion Virtual Entertainment, Immersion Cinema and Immersion Café – together make up The Abbey Resort’s all-new Immersion experience center.

Immersion uses high-powered gaming PCs and fully immersive VIVE head mounted displays by HTC Corporation that put users right into the gaming action with precise, 360-degree controller and headset tracking, realistic graphics, directional audio and high definition haptic feedback for realistic movement and actions.

Immersion will feature four ten-foot by ten-foot gaming stations, each with its own headset(s) and access to a user-friendly gaming library allowing users the ability to select a variety of games and experiences throughout   their session. For the grand opening, Immersion features games and experience for all ages including outer space explorations, surviving among dinosaurs, trying various professions such as being a chef, virtual 3D painting and more! Immersion will regularly update the gaming library as new games and experiences are made available.

Immersion is open to users ages eight years old and older who are also at least 48 inches in height. Gaming sessions may be purchased in 15-, 30- and 60-minute periods for $15, $25 and $45, respectively. The virtual reality center will be open within The Abbey Resort every day of the year on weekday evenings, as well as afternoons and evenings on weekends and holidays. Additionally, Immersion may be booked in advance for private parties.

For more information about the all-new Immersion Virtual Entertainment and experience center or about The Abbey Resort, please visit

About The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa

As the only full-service resort located directly on the shores of Geneva Lake, The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa caters to guests ranging from families and couples to weddings and corporate groups. Continuing in its commitment to constant improvement, the resort recently completed major property renovations upward of $50 million, including updates made to guest rooms; restaurants, bars and coffee shop; meeting and banquet facilities; Avani Spa; common and lounge areas including the entryway and lobby; the exterior and A-frame and; outdoor pool amenities. Located just 80 miles from downtown Chicago and 50 miles from Milwaukee, The Abbey Resort boasts a breathtaking setting on 90 acres of beautifully manicured grounds, award-winning dining and banquet facilities, nearby championship golf courses, a wide range of outdoor activities and the on-site 35,000 square-foot Avani Spa.   


The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa is managed and operated by Hostmark Hospitality Group of Schaumburg, Ill. For more information or reservations, visit, join Abbey Resort and Avani Spa on Facebook or follow @AbbeyResort on Twitter

Abbey’s at The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa

How should I celebrate my son starting kindergarten? I knew I wanted to go away, but not too far from home. I didn’t want us to be in a big city, and I wanted to make sure we could spend quality time together without a lot of distractions. The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa was exactly what I was looking for.

When we arrived in Fontana, Wisconsin we were immediately welcomed by the wonderful sight of The Abbey Resort. Located on Lake Geneva, the view was spectacular with boats docked and on the lake. When we pulled up to the main entrance, we were greeted by a valet. At no charge, they will park a car and take bags to the room. This allows a stress-free check in and tour of the resort.

When we arrived at the front desk, the staff was welcoming and very informative. They provided us with an itinerary of events happening during our stay. On the night we stayed, they had two movies and a bonfire for us to enjoy.

Tanyatries FYI: before you leave home download their app. I found this super helpful and it kept my hands free.

Once we opened the door to our room, my son and I couldn’t stop saying, “wow!”. The room was very spacious. It was also very quiet; we could not hear the outside or anything next door to us. Our bathroom had double sinks, and a rain shower head with a deep tub.

Our room was on the first floor and featured a patio with a sliding door. We happened to be located right by two pools: the adults only and family friendly.  Second floor rooms offer a balcony.

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Tanyatries FYI: keep your phone away from your room key. It will disrupt the magnet key preventing it from opening your door.

After we unpacked, we were hungry and wanted to explore. The Abbey offers several distinct types of dining experiences. There is a Bar West which is a sports bar, 240 an upscale restaurant and The Waterfront which is a family friendly restaurant.

I decided that Waterfront was perfect for a mother and son date night. When we arrived, we were greeted by friendly staff who sat us right away. Waterfront has a relaxing view of the lake and the boats. Their menu was full of great options for any appetite. We shared their cheese curds appetizer.  I decided to have their smoked BBQ chicken quesadillas and my son had the chicken tenders and fries. It was delicious.

Tanyatries FYI:  Waterfront has their own pit masters on site.

After dinner, we decided to make smores on the bonfire. There was a staff member there to hand us our skewers; after we were done roasting our marshmallows we went back in and assembled them. If you need assistance they are more than happy to help!
After we ate our smores, we headed back to our room to wind down. We got into our pajamas, relaxed on our comfy bed and watched TV on our big flat screen. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day spent enjoying the resort.

Tanyatries FYI: You can download an app that will allow you to use your phone as a remote.

The next morning, we woke up and enjoyed a light breakfast at Café Latte. They proudly serve Starbucks coffee which was a wonderful plus in my book! My son had a chocolate muffin and a vanilla steamer. After our breakfast, we did some more exploring. We were early risers, up and moving by 6 AM. This allowed us to walk on the pier, see some of the boats and enjoy the wonderful grounds. The grass was lush and green, and the view of Lake Geneva was outstanding.

After we were done exploring the outside, we went inside and decided to go to the activity center. There we rented a bike and my son attempted to try to ride without training wheels. We didn’t get a chance to leave the parking lot, but if you have an experienced biker you are able to take the bike out on the trails and explore. There is no charge for the bike and it is a great activity if you are into exploring.

Tanyatries FYI: they do not offer bikes with training wheels. If you do not have an experienced biker, you may want to bring their bike.


After our biking adventure, we decided it was time to walk around some more and take in all the beautiful scenery. The Abbey allows you to pick what type of stay you would like. If you want to be more action and adventure, you can do that by renting a boat or taking their complimentary shuttle to downtown Lake Geneva.  They even offer guided hikes. If you want a relaxing time, you can take it easy lounging near the pool or by heading to the Spa for some pampering. For the type of trip, we planned, going to the pool was just the thing.

The family pool has three options to choose from. If you have a non-experienced swimmer there is a shallow pool where you could go under a mushroom waterfall, or squirt from their stationary guns. They even have a baby slide. If you want to just sit and relax, there is a hot tub. If you have a more experienced swimmer there is a deep pool that offers basketball hoops, volleyball net, and slides.

Tanyatries FYI: No need to bring pool toys. They provide balls to play in the pool.

If you are looking for a quick getaway that can be relaxing and stress free I highly recommend The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa. I am so glad I had this time with my son.

Tanyatries souvenirs:

  • If you are travelling with a large group, they do offer suites where there are two rooms adjoining
  • If you have a boat you can bring it with you. Slips are available for rent during your stay.
  • If you want to have more of a home feel, rent a villa. They are all privately owned and managed by The Abbey staff. They each have different layouts and décor. They include full kitchens and washer and dryers. Villas require a minimum stay of 3 nights

VR experience at the Kalahari

My family and I recently stayed at the Kalahari Resort located in Wisconsin Dells. The Kalahari has a lot to offer, from their water park to an Indoor Theme Park. We decided that one of our nights we would experience Arena-The Ultimate Virtual Gaming Experience.  I have never experienced a virtual reality game and was excited and nervous to play.

When you walk into the Arena you are placed in a briefing room. Here you will be briefed on how to play the game, what to expect and how to maximize your fun. There will be a lot of information thrown at you so make sure you don’t get distracted by your company, or you will miss some valuable information that may affect your safety.

After the briefing is over the game master (person in charge of your whole experience) will give you your gear and walk you through how to operate it.  I will say that it is a little heavy so be prepared. Also, if you have long hair, bring a hair tie to pull it back so it won’t get caught in the gear.

Now that you are geared up you are ready to enter the warehouse which is powered by Zero Latency. When you enter the space, you notice the room is a grid and within the grid are colored circles. You will be instructed by the game master where to stand. Once everyone is settled into their spaces you will begin the experience.

When the game turned out I was automatically transformed into a colorful world with dimensions and twists and turns. I will not go into a lot of detail, I do not want to spoil this for you. I will tell you there were times when I was upside down, running on edges and even underwater.

The whole experience was a lot of fun and the 30 minutes we spent on the mission I felt went by it was a lot of fun! helps work on communication skills.  Next time you visit The Dells, make sure you add The Kalahari on your list.

Extra information(courtesy of the

  • Free-roaming, warehouse-scale, multi-player, virtual reality gaming experience
  • 2nd location in the United States
  • Multi-player adventures allow up to 6 people to explore, conquer, and challenge one another for high-scores and skill evaluations, all tracking in real-time
  • Multiple games for participants to choose from