The 10 Best Resorts in Illinois

Sandra Thomas
Sandra Thomas 24 Min Read

Illinois is right in the heart of America. It’s got everything from big city buzz in Chicago to peaceful countryside views. Think of places like Starved Rock State Park and Springfield, where President Lincoln used to live. I’ve travelled all over Illinois and stayed at its top resorts.

Each resort I visited in Illinois was unique. Some were luxurious spas in the hilly Galena area. Others were great for families near Lake Michigan’s shores. These resorts didn’t just give me a place to sleep. They were my starting points for exploring Illinois’ different sides.

So, let me take you through Illinois’ best resorts.

Best Resorts in Illinois

I’ve explored several resorts across Illinois, each with its unique charm. In this guide, I’m sharing my thoughts on these places. I’ve looked at a few key things: where they are, what they feel like, the food, what facilities they offer, how good the service is, and what other guests think. Of course, I’ve added my own experiences, too.

Hilton Chicago

Source: Hilton Chicago

The Hilton Chicago’s location is top-notch. Right on Michigan Avenue, it’s super close to big attractions like Grant Park and the Art Institute. And the view of Lake Michigan was simply stunning. This resort feels like a step back in time but with a modern twist. The lobby is grand and classy, with a real old Chicago feel. But the furniture and decor are modern.

My room at the Hilton was a real comfort zone. Stylish yet cosy, it had everything I needed. The best part was the view. Looking out at the city skyline, especially at sunrise or when the lights come on at night, was incredible.

The food here is excellent. At ‘720 South Bar & Grill’, the American-style breakfast was a hit with me. For something fancier, ‘Kitty O’Sheas Irish Pub’ was spot on. They do a mean Shepard’s Pie and their pints are just right.

The Hilton’s facilities tick all the boxes. The gym has all the gear you’d want. But the indoor pool is the real star. The hotel also has large ballrooms and fully-equipped meeting rooms.

The staff at the resort is friendly and professional. The concierge knows the city inside out, and the restaurant staff are always on point. I’m not the only one who loves this place. I’ve read many reviews, and people always mention the historic charm and modern comforts. The city’s top-notch service and prime spot are big pluses for everyone.

While staying at the Hilton Chicago,  I ran into a bit of a surprise with their fees. I had some Amazon packages delivered there. When I went to pick them up, just 5 minutes after delivery, the hotel tried to charge me $75. I thought that was quite high for just handling my packages.

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

Source: Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

The Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in Galena is set among beautiful hills and close to Lake Galena. This spot feels like a secret retreat, away from busy city life. The feel of this resort is unique. It’s a mix of old-style charm and modern comfort. Inside, there are cosy fireplaces and big windows with great views.

My room was comfortable and stylish. It was spacious and felt like a second home. The best part was the balcony with views of the golf course. Sitting there, enjoying the quiet, was my favourite thing to do.

The food at Eagle Ridge was fantastic. The ‘Woodlands Restaurant and Lounge’ had terrific meals with local ingredients. However, I had to wait almost an hour for my meal. This was a bit of a letdown. For a more laid-back meal, ‘Highlands Restaurant’ was just right. The food was always enjoyable, and the settings were just lovely.

This resort has some great features. The golf course is impressive and fun to play. The spa, offering relaxing treatments, was a highlight for me. There are hiking trails and a marina for outdoor lovers, offering many things to do.

The staff at Eagle Ridge were fantastic. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful. They gave great tips for things to do and places to eat. It seems like a lot of people share my feelings about Eagle Ridge. Other reviews often talk about the peaceful location, the great amenities, and the friendly service.

Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown

Source: Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown

I stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown in the city centre. It’s in River North, a lively area. I could easily walk to the Magnificent Mile for shopping and to the Navy Pier. The lobby at the hotel was bright and modern. It had a nice mix of style and comfort.

My room was like a cosy hideaway. It was spacious, clean, and had everything I needed. The bed was super comfortable, which was great after a busy day. There was a good workspace, too, and the city views from my window were a nice touch.

At the Hampton Inn & Suites, I enjoyed their handy complimentary breakfast every morning. It had lots of choices, which was great for starting the day. The hotel also has its restaurant, ‘Rosebud’. Eating there was a real treat, with tasty dishes on the menu. Being in River North meant I was close to many other great places to eat.

The amenities here were handy. Their indoor pool was great for a swim. The gym was small but had what I needed for a workout. Also, the free Wi-Fi was fast and reliable everywhere in the hotel.

The staff at the hotel were quite friendly and helpful. Everyone, from the front desk to the cleaning team, ensured I was comfortable. From what I’ve read, other guests also like this hotel a lot. They often mention the great location and friendly staff, which I also find true.

The only inconvenience I faced while staying here was the elevators. They were under major repair, which did affect the ease of moving around the resort.

Chestnut Mountain Resort

Source: Chestnut Mountain Resort

I found Chestnut Mountain Resort, just a short drive from Galena, Illinois. It’s perched beautifully on a cliff, offering stunning views of the Mississippi River. It felt like a peaceful escape, far from any city noise. The ambience here has a rustic, cosy feel. The main lodge feels like a traditional mountain lodge, with lots of wood and big windows. There’s even a fireplace where everyone likes to hang out.

My room at the resort was simple and comfortable. It focused on what’s important – a comfortable place to sleep and relax. The big windows let in lots of light and offered stunning views, making every morning memorable.

For meals, Chestnut Mountain Resort was fantastic. The ‘Summit Food and Spirits’ had beautiful river views, making meals there really scenic. For a quick snack, the Mountain Top Cafe was perfect. The food was always hearty, filling, and just what I needed after a day outside.

This resort is great for those who love being outdoors. They’ve got skiing and snowboarding in winter and an Alpine slide for warmer weather. For relaxation, I often headed to the indoor pool and sauna. They were the perfect places to unwind.

The staff here were so friendly and helpful. They knew a lot about the area and were always ready to help. Reading other reviews, I saw people agree with me. They loved the location and all the activities. Like me, they also appreciated the friendly service and cosy atmosphere.

However, during my visit to the resort, I found a policy requiring a minimum stay of two nights. This policy wasn’t mentioned clearly on their website. It was a bit limiting for my travel plans.

The Drake Oak Brook, Autograph Collection

Source: The Drake Oak Brook, Autograph Collection

My stay at The Drake Oak Brook, Illinois, started with its great location. It’s in a peaceful part of Oak Brook, away from the busy city. I loved the green surroundings and its proximity to local shops and restaurants. The lobby was a mix of classic and modern, luxurious and inviting. It had a historic charm but felt up-to-date.

My room at the resort was a real treat. It was spacious, beautifully decorated, and had everything modern you’d need. The bed was super comfy, and the view outside was peaceful, perfect for relaxing after a day out.

However, the water pressure in my room’s shower was disappointingly low. This was a slight drawback in an otherwise comfortable room.

Eating at The Drake Oak Brook was fantastic. The ‘Colonial Room’ had a fancy feel. The menu there was impressive, offering a range of beautifully prepared dishes. For something more laid-back, the ‘Polo Lounge’ was fantastic. I spent a few evenings there, enjoying a light meal and drink. The lounge menu had a good selection of casual bites and drinks.

The amenities here added a lot to my stay. There were lovely outdoor areas for walks. The fitness centre was small but had all the essentials. There’s no spa at the hotel, but you can arrange for a massage in your room. Just book a session with Windy City Massage, and they’ll come to your room.

The service at The Drake Oak Brook was top-notch. Everyone from the staff was polite and helpful. They paid attention to every little detail and were always ready to help. After reading the reviews, it’s clear that everyone enjoys The Drake Oak Brook. Many frequently mention the luxurious ambience, exceptional service, and serene location.

Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

Source: Lincolnshire Marriott Resort

I found the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort in a peaceful Chicago suburb. It’s nestled in Lincolnshire, Illinois, surrounded by beautiful greenery. It is close enough to local attractions, making it easy to explore around. The resort’s ambience is both elegant and relaxing. There’s a feeling of peace throughout, perfect for a stress-free stay.

My room at the resort was just right. It had soothing colours and a comfortable bed. The view from my window was a treat. I could see the resort’s beautiful greenery. Waking up to that view, with the morning sun shining, was lovely. There was a nice work area in the room, too.

The food at the resort was great. ‘Wright’s Brew & Bistro’ is the casual spot. It offers tasty local dishes in a relaxed setting. For something more fancy, there’s ‘Three Embers Restaurant’. They serve creative dishes in a stylish space. Both places were great for different dining experiences.

There’s a lot to do at the resort. I loved the indoor and outdoor pools. They were great for both relaxing and getting some exercise. However, I did notice that the bottom of the outdoor pool was covered with debris. The fitness centre had everything I needed for a workout. And the golf course was a fun way to spend time outdoors.

The staff at the resort were helpful and friendly. Their good service made my visit more comfortable and enjoyable. Looking at my experience and other reviews, we all seem to agree. The resort is praised for its excellent service, lovely location, and good facilities.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Source: Waldorf Astoria Chicago

My stay at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago took me to the upscale Gold Coast neighbourhood. It’s in the city’s heart, surrounded by high-end shops and cultural spots. When I entered, the chic, peaceful lobby caught my eye. The décor was stylish, with a touch of Parisian charm. Everywhere I looked, there was a sense of refined calm and style.

My room at the Waldorf Astoria was a dream. It was spacious, modern, and had everything you could need. The bathroom made of marble, with its large tub, was particularly impressive. The room’s design made my stay very comfortable.

The dining at the hotel was unforgettable. The ‘Peacock Lounge’, its on-site restaurant, served gourmet meals in a fancy setting. The food was beautifully prepared and delicious. ‘Bernard’s Bar’ was cosy and inviting for a relaxed drink, perfect for a casual evening.

The Waldorf Astoria’s amenities were top-notch. The spa was a treat, offering relaxing treatments in a calming environment. The fitness centre was fully equipped, and the indoor pool was a peaceful spot for a swim or relaxation.

The service at the hotel was outstanding. Their dedication to service was evident in everything they did. Looking back on my stay and reading others’ reviews, it’s clear the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is well-loved. It’s known for its luxury, great location, and excellent service.

One slight downside was the extra parking charge. It’s expected in downtown locations, but it did add to the overall cost of my visit. Despite this, the convenience and luxury of the hotel made it a worthwhile expense.

Great Wolf Lodge

Source: Great Wolf Lodge

I visited the Great Wolf Lodge in Illinois, located in Gurnee. It’s close to Six Flags Great America, which is excellent for families. Right away, the lodge felt welcoming and fun. It had a cool, forest-like theme with animals and rustic elements. The place was full of happy families, making it lively.

Our room at the lodge was perfect for a family stay. It had bunk beds and fun decorations that my nephews loved. The room was clean and comfortable and had everything we needed for a relaxing stay.

There were plenty of places to eat at Great Wolf Lodge. I liked the ‘Barnwood’ for its variety. Right by the waterpark, the ‘Watering Hole’ was great for quick snacks. The food was tasty and suited both kids and adults.

The water park was the best part of my stay. It had slides, pools, and lots of fun spots for kids. Besides the waterpark, the resort also had a mini-golf, an arcade, and a cool interactive game called MagiQuest.

The staff at the lodge were amiable. They were great with kids and always ready to help. Their efforts to make the place fun and safe were apparent, which made our stay enjoyable. Based on what I’ve read and seen, the Great Wolf Lodge is famous among families due to its family-friendly setup. Like me, they find it a great place for a family trip.

A concern I had was about safety at the waterpark. Some of the slides didn’t seem to have attentive lifeguards. This was worrying, especially with so many kids around. It’s something that needs to be improved for safety.

Swissotel Chicago

Source: Swissotel Chicago

My visit to Swissotel Chicago put me right in the heart of the city. The hotel is at the junction of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. The building’s unique shape gave me stunning views of the city and the water. The lobby was large and decorated in a contemporary style. Throughout the hotel, there was a sense of upscale comfort.

The room I stayed in was really impressive. It had elegant furniture and all the modern comforts. The best part was the view of Chicago’s skyline and the lake. It was beautiful and made my stay extra special.

Eating at the hotel was a great experience. ‘The Palm’, their on-site restaurant, served American dishes and had a lively feel. ‘Amuse’ was a good choice in the hotel for a more relaxed meal or a drink.

The amenities at Swissotel Chicago were excellent. The fitness centre had everything I needed for a workout. The indoor pool was a relaxing spot, especially with its incredible views. The spa, though minor, offered various treatments for relaxation.

The service at the hotel was top-notch. The staff were always helpful and professional. Looking at my stay and what others have said, Swissotel Chicago is well-liked. People often talk about its great location, good service, and nice facilities. I agree – it was a comfortable and enjoyable place to stay.

One thing to note is the resort fee of $25 per night, plus tax. This fee wasn’t included in the hotel’s initial price. It’s a common practice at many hotels, but it was an extra cost I hadn’t expected. It’s something to remember when planning your budget for a stay here.

Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center

Source: Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center

My trip to Illinois took me to the Starved Rock Lodge. The lodge is in the middle of beautiful forests and impressive sandstone canyons. Being so close to hiking trails and waterfalls made it a perfect spot for someone like me who loves nature.

It has a rustic and natural feel. The building, made of logs and stone, fits perfectly in the wilderness. Inside, there’s a big stone fireplace and lots of wood décor.

I stayed in one of the lodge rooms. It was simple but very cosy, with wooden furniture and a warm feel. The room had large windows that looked out onto the woods, adding to the rustic vibe.

For meals, the ‘Lodge restaurant’ was a good choice. It had a nice view of the woods and served American-style comfort food. The ‘Back Door Lounge’ was great for a more laid-back meal or drink, especially after spending the day hiking.

The lodge’s amenities were nice. There was an indoor pool where I could relax. The gift shop had lots of souvenirs and local crafts. But the best part was the easy access to the hiking trails in the park.

The staff at the lodge were cordial and helpful. They knew a lot about the area and gave great tips for trails. Many visitors, myself included, enjoyed being so close to nature and all the outdoor activities available.

One thing that could be better is the inside of the lodge. It looked a bit worn and could use some new updates. While it didn’t ruin my stay, fixing it would make the lodge even nicer.


Travelling through Illinois and visiting its top resorts, I’ve experienced a wide range of what this state has to offer. From the urban luxury of the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago to the natural beauty of Starved Rock Lodge, each place had its unique charm. The sophisticated Swissotel Chicago and the fun-filled Great Wolf Lodge also stood out in their ways.

All these resorts shared something special: they were welcoming and made my stay memorable. Illinois has a perfect spot for every kind of traveller, each offering a different and wonderful experience.

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Sandra Thomas is a passionate and seasoned travel blogger with over a decade of experience in the industry. Hailing from the beautiful city of Seattle, she has ventured to more than 70 countries and six continents, capturing the hearts and minds of her readers with her vivid storytelling and engaging content.
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