There is plenty to appreciate upon arriving at Canoe Bay, a high-end resort near Chetek, Wis.: the cozy reception lodge with its soothing waterfall outside the front door; the cheery staff member who led us to our Treetop Cottage via golf cart; and the stunningly appointed two-story cabin that would be our home for the weekend. But what took me back the most was the night sky with its display of bright stars undisturbed by city lights. My giddiness made it clear that it had been too long since I’d been outside a major metropolitan area, and the peaceful atmosphere on our cabin’s patio made it clear that if I wanted to unplug from city life, I had come to the right place.
If Canoe Bay, which is situated off a winding road about 40 miles north of Eau Claire, seems uniquely equipped to cater to fast-paced Chicagoans, that’s because it is: Founders Dan and Lisa Dobrowolski are former Windy City residents who eschewed city life to create this woodsy haven in a beloved location (Dan grew up fishing with his family on Lake Wahdoon, Canoe Bay’s lake). The property has been converted from a former summer camp to a premium adults-only oasis, affiliated with French luxury hospitality brand Relais & Châteaux. It encourages guests to completely unwind and check out from life outside the 300-acre country estate. With Wi-Fi access mostly confined to the resort’s public areas, The Lodge and The Inn, and limited cellphone reception, an unplugged state is easy to achieve and one you will appreciate once you settle in (I promise).