We, city dwellers, frequently seek to travel far and wide to get away from it all. Bucolic vistas and quiet mornings overlooking the sunrise are frequently the goal. But what if I told you that a peaceful scenic getaway lies 30 miles away in the tiny suburb of Itasca, due West of Chicago? The place is Eaglewood Resort & Spa. And it could not feel further away from the frenetic pace of the city.
This place has been around a while. The resort originally operated as Nordic Hills Resort in 1971 and it was renovated in 1986. The property was closed in 2000 to undergo a total rebuild and re-flagging. The property opened as the Doral Eaglewood in October 2002. The rebuild phase took approximately 2 years. Demolition occurred in 2000 and construction began in 2001, with a total completion date of July 4, 2003. In December 2004, the Doral Eaglewood was re-branded the Eaglewood Resort & Spa under the management of Benchmark Hospitality International.
The full-service Destination Spa, now operating as The Spa at Eaglewood opened in June 2003. On offer: massages and body treatments, facials and makeup consultations, nail services and a full line of spa skin care products. Serenity is the name of the game inside the spa, where there dimly lit relaxation room provides tea, healthy snacks and napping cots with plush blankets.
The USGA-certified Golf Course at Eaglewood was originally designed by Charles Eugene Maddox Sr. who designed and built golf courses throughout the United States for more than 70 years. Built in 1928, the 105-acre course underwent a major makeover in 2001 and the designers were able to capitalize on the maturity of the course.
The Golf Course at Eaglewood, originally named Nordic Hills Resort Golf Course was founded in the early 1920s by four businessmen of Scandinavian descent. Each invested $5K to build the course. The golf club was sold to Carson’s Corporation in the early 1960s.
The Golf Course officially opened with 18 holes in May of 2003. Prior to that date, there were only 9 holes playable. Due to its maturity, the golf course features majestic 100-year-old white and pin oak trees winding along three sparking lakes and Salt Creek, which give it a great play appeal. Rightfully nicknamed “The Little Green Menace” for its dramatic sloping greens, this short course offers a challenging, but memorable layout for all levels of golfers.
If golf doesn’t float your boat, you could try your hand at bowling at the bowling alley right on premises. In fact, with the bowling alley so close by, the resort is the perfect spot for a family getaway. Kids can bowl and munch on pizza while dad is golfing. A win-win. Adjacent to the bowling alley is an indoor swimming pool with an outdoor sun deck. A perfect place for a busy mom to relax with a good book.
Eaglewood isn’t always quiet. Come dusk the Prairie River Restaurant becomes a bustling destination for resort visitors and locals alike, offering a variety of live music events and plenty of outdoor space overlooking the golf course. It seems Itasca is not unlike a small & quaint European country, where people still dance under the stars and wine is cheaper than water. On Steak & Wine nights a crisp twenty dollar bill will buy you a grilled steak along with a baked potato bar. The new Coravin system allows the diners to sample reserve wines without committing to a full bottle price tag. Desserts are rich and decadent (try the mud pie, it isn’t what you think). And one can always retire to the room in one of the resort’s two towers and sip a glass of vino on the balcony overlooking the party below. I did.
In the morning head downstairs for a substantial breakfast. Omelettes to order, granola & yogurt bar, hot & cold cereal, Belgian waffles, fruit, mountains of bacon… Plenty of options to choose from, and accommodating for all diets and lifestyle choices. Breakfast room is peaceful in the early hours, looking out onto the greens of the golf course. What more can you ask for in a getaway?
Bottom line: Eaglewood is worth the quick trip away from the city. Go for the golf, stay for the spa, take a dip in the pool, bowl a few frames, then dance the night away while sipping on vino and indulging in the signature mud pie. You will feel far, far away from your busy city life. Trust me, I did.
Eaglewood Resort & Spa is located at 1401 Nordic Road in Itasca, Chicago’s suburb due West.
The Local Tourist accommodations for two compliments of Eaglewood Resort & Spa (including overnight stay, massages, bowling, dinner & breakfast).
Photos courtesy of Eaglewood Resort & Spa unless otherwise noted.