12 Top-Rated Resorts in Illinois
Thanks to its location on the Great Lakes, as well as its many attractions in cities such as Chicago, the state of Illinois is an extremely popular holiday destination. To meet the demand for family vacations and romantic couples' getaways - not to mention the business travel market - the "Prairie State" offers great accommodation options for travelers.
Among the top-rated hotels and resorts in Illinois, there's something to suit every budget. Those seeking a high-end stay couldn't do better than book into the Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca or Goldmoor Inn in Galena, two popular luxury destinations. Those seeking an affordable family getaway, on the other hand, should consider the fun Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort in North Utica, a great choice for its kids' activities and splash zones, or Galena's Chestnut Mountain Resort, popular for its outdoor sports like skiing and mountain biking. No matter how you like to spend your vacation, find the perfect place to stay with our list of the top-rated resorts in Illinois.
1 Eaglewood Resort & Spa, Itasca
Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, our top-rated accommodation choice in Illinois, offers travelers who enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities the best of both worlds. Although an easy drive from Chicago and its airport, the resort is located in an attractive rural setting that's enhanced by its championship golf course and its extensive 106 acres of grounds. Other notable amenities include a full-service spa, large fitness center, an indoor swimming pool with a sun deck, as well as a bowling alley. There's also plenty of meeting and convention space, plus function rooms for events such as weddings, and a business center.
The accommodations are certainly a cut-above. They consist of quality furnishings and are brightly decorated. Standard room features include a choice of king or two queen beds with pillow-top mattresses, seating areas with work desks, HDTVs, spacious bathrooms with plush bathrobes, and furnished balconies with great views. A good upgrade option are the rooftop suites, which come with even larger balconies, plus a dining area that can seat up to six guests.
Accommodation: Eaglewood Resort & Spa
2 Goldmoor Inn, Galena
Given its location on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Goldmoor Inn is a picture-perfect backdrop for romantic getaways for couples as well as family gatherings. In addition to being close to championship golf courses, it's a great base for hikers thanks to its proximity to a number of nature reserves. On-site amenities include a restaurant offering in-room dining, a spa (go for the couple's massage), trail riding (lessons also available), as well as boating and water sports from waterskiing to fishing and kayaking.
The inn's elegant rooms include a number of deluxe suites featuring bright décor and custom furnishings. Other highlights of these upgraded units include a choice of king or two queen beds, spacious bathrooms with separate showers and jet tubs, large flat-screen TVs, and furnished balconies. The inn also boasts a selection of much larger units, including stand-alone cottages featuring spacious living rooms with fireplaces, plus full-kitchens (a number of villas are also available).
Accommodation: Goldmoor Inn
3 Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, Oak Brook
Located in the trendy community of Oak Brook and within an easy commute of downtown Chicago, the huge Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center is a popular choice for both leisure and business travelers alike. Surrounded by a championship golf course and well-manicured grounds, the hotel includes some 42,000 square feet of convention and meeting space, a business center, spa, and plenty of dining (including kids' menus). Other notable amenities include a concierge and valet services, a 24-hour store selling snack items, plus a gift shop and newsstand, a large fitness center with saunas and change rooms (plus personal trainers), basketball and tennis courts, as well as golf simulators and a putting green to perfect your game. There are two swimming pools to choose from (one indoor, one outdoor), and bikes can be rented to explore the area.
While offering a variety of accommodation options, including standard hotel suites, many travelers will choose the larger suites with their separate living areas with pullout couches. These spacious suites come with a choice of king or two queen beds, work desks, HDTVs, and Keurig coffee makers. A number of accessible units for those with mobility issues, as well as some pet-friendly rooms, are also available (be sure to notify the resort of your preferences at the time of booking).
Accommodation: Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center
4 Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
Set on a beautiful 6,800-acre site near Galena, the Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is a great spot in which to stay when looking for a vacation destination in Illinois. This large resort boasts some 200 guest rooms and suites, as well as expansive villas and cottages. A popular option for larger groups, these units come with multiple bedrooms (including a master bedroom with en suite bathroom), fully-equipped kitchens with modern appliances, separate living and dining rooms, and private furnished balconies.
There's certainly plenty to do on-site. Highlights include playing a round on the resort's golf courses (there's a pro shop and lessons are available) and hiking or biking the property's
22-miles of trails. Water sports enthusiasts are well catered to as well and can jump aboard a kayak or Jet Ski (rentals available) to explore Lake Galena, which is also known for its fishing. Other features include a full-service spa, heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a fitness center, plus restaurants.
Accommodation: Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
5 Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center, Grafton
For a truly memorable historic lodge experience, be sure to consider a stay at the Pere Marquette Lodge and Conference Center in Grafton. Built during the Great Depression in the park of the same name, Pere Marquette Lodge is certainly impressive in size; made from local timber and limestone, its great room alone boasts a huge 700-ton stone fireplace under a 50-foot-tall vaulted ceiling. Other unique features include a wonderful life-size chess set carved from wood, a large terrace with views over the Illinois River, a restaurant, games room, fitness center, hot tub, sauna, and heated indoor swimming pool.
Freshly renovated, the lodge's rooms and cabins each have a unique rustic charm. You can choose from one of the newer rooms or one of the originals dating back to the 1940s (the latter offer some of the best views over the property and the river). The stand-alone (and quite private) cabins are also a good choice, and include three bedrooms each, providing a great chance for families and groups to spread out.
Accommodation: Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center
6 WorldMark Galena
Located just a short drive from the historic downtown area after which it's named, WorldMark Galena is a great choice for those seeking a quality vacation in Illinois. While there's much to do in the surrounding area - Galena is well-known for its picturesque scenery, boutique shops, and great dining - the resort itself offers plenty of fun things to do. Highlights include lounging around the large indoor pool and hot tub, working out in the fitness center, relaxing in the sauna, dining in the restaurant, or indulging in a little pampering at the full-service spa. Youngsters will also enjoy spending time hanging out and playing video games in the games room or shooting hoops on the basketball courts.
The accommodations on offer at Worldmark Galena include a variety of options, from hotel-style units, perfect for couples, to much larger suites that can easily handle family groups. Features of these larger units include separate master bedrooms, modern kitchens with full appliances, spacious living areas with fireplaces (including a pull-out couch), a deck or balcony, plus a laundry area.
Accommodation: WorldMark Galena
7 The Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center, Zion
Located in the waterfront community of Zion, The Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center offers 92 delightful Art Deco rooms and suites within an easy stroll of the waterfront and beach area. Featuring comfortable beds and bedding (a choice of a single king or two queen beds is available), good-sized bathrooms with complimentary bath products, seating areas with comfy chairs, Keurig coffee makers, and private balconies, these rooms offer great views over the property and lake.
The Illinois Beach Resort also offers plenty to do on-site. In addition to enjoying direct access to the beach, which offers excellent swimming during the warmer months, there's a large, atrium-style, heated swimming pool plus a hot tub to relax around. Other notable on-site amenities include a fitness center, business facilities, a restaurant overlooking the beach, plus a gift shop.
Accommodation: The Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center
8 Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center, Oglesby
Situated bang-smack in the middle of Starved Rock State Park, the historic Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center was built in 1939 and continues to offer affordable getaways in one of the most attractive and scenic areas of Illinois. This rustic resort offers a mix of standard hotel rooms (your choice of a king or two queen beds) and cozy log cottages, the latter set back in the woods and offering a good deal of privacy. The largest cabins come with two bedrooms, spacious bathrooms, and living areas with real fireplaces. A number of
pet-friendly cabins are also available, so be sure to check availability when booking.
In addition to exploring the natural beauty of Starved Rock State Park (guided hikes are available), guests can enjoy a number of great on-site amenities when they're not out and about. Notable features include a large dining hall, an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, a fitness area, sauna, and meeting space with function rooms.
Accommodation: Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center
9 Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles
Another resort with a perfect Illinois setting, Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles boasts 250 acres of rolling countryside in the Fox River Valley just waiting to be explored. Adding to this idyllic picture is the resort's lakeside setting, making it a popular spot for weddings, corporate events, and other functions. On-site facilities for guests to enjoy include five restaurants, a full-service spa, championship 18-hole golf course (with pro shop and lessons), as well as heated outdoor and indoor swimming pools. The resort also boasts its own comedy club and theater, along with an interesting replica of New Orleans' famous Bourbon Street. A fitness center, tennis, volleyball, and the popular new sport of frisbee golf can also be enjoyed.
The accommodations are also a real treat at Pheasant Run. Among the largest options for groups and families are the lovely golf course suites. Dotted around the golf course, these well-appointed and nicely decorated two-story units come with multiple bedrooms, plenty of living space including a fireplace and pull-out sofa, microwaves and mini-fridges, spacious bathrooms with jet bathtubs and separate showers, plus large furnished balconies and patios. Some pet-friendly units are also available.
Accommodation: Pheasant Run Resort
10 Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, Lincolnshire
For those seeking a reputable and high-quality location in which to stay when visiting Chicago, the renovated Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort should certainly be on your list of hotels to consider. Located an easy drive from the city's downtown core, as well as its airport, this luxurious hotel is set on 175-acres and offers a diverse array of dining options (including a Starbucks café), a world-class spa, plus a huge convention area including ballrooms and meeting space. In addition to being close to numerous activities, such as hiking and biking (rentals available), the resort has a volleyball court, golf course, health club and fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a hot tub,
The rooms here are bright and nicely decorated and come with such standard features as a choice of king or two queen beds, spacious bathrooms with soaker tubs and toiletries, plus work desks and seating. If more space is needed, adjoining rooms can be added. A great upgrade are the special "M Club" rooms, which include access to a private lounge and complimentary food and beverages, including continental breakfast, snacks, hors d'oeuvres, and dessert (plus a variety of snacks to take away with you).
Accommodation: Chicago Marriott Lincolnshire Resort
11 Chestnut Mountain Resort, Galena
For those wanting an affordable outdoor adventure near Galena, Chestnut Mountain Resort delivers no end of fun. Not only is this large resort situated close to the many attractions and activities the Galena area has to offer, it includes plenty of outdoor activities of its own. In winter, it's all about the ski slopes and downhill skiing and snowboarding, while in the warmer months, the big draw is the resort's large trail network, perfect for biking and hiking adventures. Also fun is spending time on the zipline, enjoying a round of crazy-golf, taking a nature tour, or participating in a Segway experience. Other on-site amenities include an indoor heated swimming pool, a sauna, games room, and restaurant.
Chestnut Mountain offers a choice of 100 guestrooms. Standard features of these good-sized units are comfortable beds and bedding on your choice of king or two queen beds, large bathrooms with jet bathtubs and separate showers, separate living space with ample seating, HDTVs, and furnished balconies.
Accommodation: Chestnut Mountain Resort
12 Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort, North Utica
Perhaps one of the best-named resort destinations in all of Illinois, Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort has earned a great reputation for its affordable - and always fun - family getaways. Located amid the stunning scenery surrounding North Utica in the Starved Rock region of Illinois and an easy drive from Chicago, the resort offers plenty of adventure indoors and out. A big draw for kids is the water park with its many water-themed attractions, including slides, splash zones, and a lazy river. Other amenities include on-site dining and shopping, a games room with arcade-style video games, mini golf, along with pottery and craft classes.
The resort boasts a mix of 272 suites, villas, and stand-alone cabins, and there's no end of options come bedtime. Featuring rustic designs and furniture that reflect the region, all accommodations come with free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, microwaves, and pullout couches. The larger units feature master bedrooms (plus one or two additional bedrooms), fully-equipped kitchens with large appliances, separate living rooms with fireplaces, bathrooms with jet bathtubs, and furnished patios.
Accommodation: Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Resort