The Best Resorts to Book in Illinois

Refined modern decor reigns supreme at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort
Refined modern decor reigns supreme at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort | Courtesy of Lincolnshire Marriott Resort/
Sarah Warwick

Home to mountains, lakes, canyons and, of course, the Windy City, it’s no wonder Illinois is a tourist magnet. Its rugged terrain is ripe for adventure, from hiking through state parks to skiing the peaks and jet-skiing down rivers. Add to this the hundreds of golf courses that dot the landscape, and you’ve got the perfect package for the active vacationer. When city life calls, Chicago answers with world-class museums, art galleries, theaters and nightlife. Ready to dive into the Prairie State in style? Here’s our pick of the best resorts to book in Illinois with Culture Trip.

1. Lincolnshire Marriott Resort, for getting active in Lake County

Resort, Spa Hotel, Golf Hotel

Homely living area with unique furniture and large windows at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort
Courtesy of Lincolnshire Marriott Resort /

If you’re tired of city life, this sprawling resort lets you stretch your legs just an hour north of Chicago. Indoor and outdoor pools, volleyball, bike rental and 18 holes of golf make this the ideal place for getting active. Wear yourself out then enjoy access to slick dining and even an onsite theater. High rollers will want to opt for an M Club room, which comes with access to a private lounge and complimentary snacks and drinks.

2. Eaglewood Resort and Spa, for prairie-style luxury in DuPage County


Warm room with plush carpets and a balcony at Eaglewood Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Eaglewood Resort & Spa /

This four-star, prairie-style resort sits just 20-minutes drive from O’Hare Airport. Boasting a championship 18-hole golf course, large fitness center, indoor swimming pool, ten-pin bowling lane and petanque courts, its grounds will keep you occupied for your entire stay. Away from the action, the full-service spa will soothe your aches and pains with Himalayan salt massages and lavender body wraps. For ultimate luxury, opt for a spacious rooftop suite, which sleeps six and has a large balcony for admiring the green surroundings.

3. Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort and Conference Center, for chilling in the Chicago suburbs

Resort, Chain Hotel

Slick room with bespoke furniture and views at Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center
Courtesy of Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center /

Experience the chilled-out side of the Windy City at this four-star hotel, located in the suburb of Oak Brook. Despite its proximity to the bright lights, the resort brims with relaxing and outdoor activities, from swimming in the indoor-outdoor pools and sauna, to bike-riding, basketball, tennis and golf. If you can’t bear to leave Fido at home, pet-friendly rooms are also available.

4. Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, for childlike adventure on the Chicago outskirts


Family room with moose art at Great Wolf Lodge Illinois
Courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge Illinois /

On the outskirts of Chicago’s urban sprawl, this lodge is a great escape for families. It’s more like an adventure park with accommodation than a hotel resort – but then that’s the appeal, especially for tiny guests who have a water park, climbing wall, mini-golf, arcade games, bowling and immersive adventures to enjoy. A choice of eight restaurants, bars and ice cream parlors cater to the pickiest of eaters, while certain suites include cave-themed sleeping areas. Your cubs will remember this place for years to come.

5. Chestnut Mountain Resort, for climbing mountains in Galena


Neutral double with view at Chestnut Mountain Resort
Courtesy of Chestnut Mountain Resort /
Located in Galena, a small town almost bordering Iowa and Wisconsin, this three-star resort includes exhaustive opportunities for fun that’ll wear out the most irrepressible child. Making the most of the mountains, there’s an enormous network of trails that lure bikers and hikers in summer and transform into slopes in winter. Families can squeal on the zipline, get competitive at crazy golf, race on Segways, or simply sit out on their balconies and enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains.

6. Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa, for a golfing getaway in Galena

Resort, Spa Hotel

Terrace of the with Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa oversized chess board
Courtesy of Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa /
Warm service and active clientele define this traditional-style resort in Galena. The latter are almost certain to be here for golf – there’s a pro shop for lessons as well as four full courses (The General is world-famous). If that’s not your bag, you can enjoy angling and water sports galore on Lake Galena, hiking and biking across trails, horseback riding, sledding in winter, and chilling in the resort’s pools and spa year-round. Elevate your experience with a hot air balloon ride, bookable through the hotel.

7. Grand Bear Resort at Starved Rock, for family fun in Utica’s forests


Traditional room with wooden furniture at Grand Bear Resort at Starved Rock
Courtesy of Grand Bear Resort at Starved Rock /

Great name, great place: located close to the Illinois River, this fun-filled resort will have the whole family head-over-heels. When you’re not exploring the caverns and trails of Starved Rock State Park (or when it rains), make a beeline for the resort’s own water park, Grand Bear Falls, with its multiple slides, wave pool, lazy river and 15-person hot tub. More fun awaits in the games room, with its arcade-style video games; when you’ve maxed those out, there’s mini-golf and a roster of pottery and craft classes to enjoy. A mix of rooms, suites, apartments and cabins mean there’s plenty of choice when it comes to sleep time, too.

8. Holiday Inn Club Vacations Fox River Resort, an IHG Hotel, for affordable fun in LaSalle County

Resort, Chain Hotel

Classic room at Holiday Inn Club Vacations Fox River Resort with ceiling fan, plush carper and wooden furniture
Courtesy of Holiday Inn Club Vacations Fox River Resort /

This holiday park is more affordable than many of the luxury resorts in Illinois, making it another family favorite. With its pirate-themed waterpark, golf course, arcade, cinema, bike trails, and watersports, there’s never a dull moment at Fox River. Throw in horseback riding, winter ski trails and comfortable rooms, and it delivers the whole package for a fun stay in Illinois.

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