Cliffside Resort started out as a vacation home for the Tylka family. Parents Walter and Angeline, originally from Poland, then Chicago, had a cottage built in the style of their homeland, employing Polish craftsmen to replicate the peaked gables, scalloped edging and interior wood carvings common to the mountain cabins of their southern Poland. In 1981, the Tylkas decided to share their little slice of paradise with visitors, building a resort into the sandstone cliff adjacent to their home. The resort opened on July 4th.
Today, the original cottage still serves as the family home, with son Mark joining his parents in running the resort. Words like warm, welcoming, hard-working and meticulous show up often in guest reviews of the Tylkas. It’s becoming so rare these days for a resort to be owned and still operated by the original family, and that emotional connection to the property makes all the difference in the world. Visitors from as close by as Chicago and as far away as Europe feel like extended family when they’re here.
The main level of the family home has been converted to the office lobby which is where you’ll check in, and the lower level with large commercial-style kitchen is a popular gathering place for family reunions and groups of friends. And, yes, the Tylkas still live upstairs. After all, they love this vacation setting as much now as they did when they first vacationed in the Dells over 45 years ago.
By the way, if you wonder what the word “Witomy” means on the entrance sign to the resort, it is “Welcome” in Polish. Ask Mark how to pronounce it! The hand-painted flower designs on the building and gracing the resort logo feature the szarotka, a protected species of Polish mountain flower. Again, Mark can help with the pronunciation.