Doral Eaglewood Resort & Spa

The newly refurbished Doral Eaglewood Resort & Spa located just 35
minutes from downtown Chicago, is a good example of the motto “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

From the outside, the spa’s sprawling white building, which leads to two towers, looks as if it could be almost anything; but the inside conveys the feeling of a luxurious country retreat. Upon entering the Eaglewood Resort, I was immediately struck by the stunning three-and-a-half-story glass atrium lobby with its unique use of style and color. Doral Eagelwood Resort & Spa is set on 106 acres of woodland, giving it an out-of–the-city feel, although it is actually located off a residential street in Itasca, Illinois.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s early 1900s Prairie Style of architecture and his underlying belief that buildings should express unity, purpose and a sense of respect for the surrounding environment have had an obvious influence on the décor and design of the resort. The inviting foyer has been lovingly decorated with Tiffany lamps, rectangular hanging fixtures in shades of green, gold and amber and crimson, warmly patterned geometric carpeting and a richly detailed tapestry that hangs over a white stone fireplace.

The Chicago skyline as seen from Lake Michigan. Photo © Rachel L. Miller
The Chicago skyline as seen from Lake Michigan. Photo © Rachel L. Miller

I stayed in a beautiful suite where I immediately felt relaxed and cozy. Like the rest of the spa resort, the furniture in my room was rich mahogany and cherry wood with plush chairs and a sofa that I could sink into and read or watch television.

The King-sized bed was topped with lots of comfortable pillows and guaranteed a good nights sleep. My only complaint was that it was quite a hike to get to the room from the main building. I was in the further of the two towers, and I would suggest that those who aren’t up to a fairly long walk to and from their room to request one that it is closer to the main lobby.

When I felt too lazy to walk to the dining room I had room service for breakfast and was very content with my delicious meal of a mushroom and sausage omelet that arrived in a picnic basket — with cleverly stacked dishes.

Executive Chef Greg Angeles is making his mark by coming up with new recipes that combine various influences, including his own Hawaiian background. Burnham’s, the main dining room, has a Harvest Table and show kitchen in the center of the restaurant, where a nice spread of food including homemade soup, unique salads and tasty entrees, is served.

The dessert table is a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. The day I left I managed to gulp down some Sunday brunch before rushing off to make my flight home. My favorites were the smoked salmon and the Belgian waffles but I must say that everything was delicious.

A not-to-be-missed part of the Doral Eaglewood experience is the newly built 10,000 square foot European spa that offers a wide variety of treatments including: massage, reiki, body wraps, scrubs and esthetica services. A full service salon includes nail services, waxing and a spa retail boutique with unique products and gift items.

For those who want to work out as well as feel pampered, there is a state-of-the-art fitness facility where various classes such as yoga, tai chi and meditation are offered. Finish off your day -– like I did — in the Olympic sized indoor swimming pool, which boasts men and women’s sauna/steam rooms and a Jacuzzi.

Being so close to Chicago is a wonderful bonus to this getaway. You can choose to stay at the resort and find plenty to do to keep busy and entertained (the excellent dining, championship golf course, pool, hot-tub, cosmic bowling, a cool bar with a pool table, fitness center, classes…the list goes on and on). Or you can go into Chicago and spend a day or two checking out an exciting city that has some of the world’s finest architecture.

A great way to take it all in is through Wendella Boat Tours which are led by architectural experts, who point out the different interesting skyscrapers and tell you the stories behind them as you glide up and down the Chicago River.

I also highly recommend an outing to the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in the Chicago Suburb of Oak Park. Before my visit I had a very vague sense of what was meant by the Prairie style of design but after the tour of Wright’s first home and studio — I was able to enjoy the décor of the hotel on an entirely different level.

On my second day at the resort, I enjoyed the Thermal Mineral Kur, one of the spa’s signature treatments. Based on the centuries old European tradition of using mud, healing waters and light massage therapy, this treatment is known for its detoxifying and relaxing effects. Three treatments in one, the Kur begins with an organic Moor Mud Body Wrap.

My first spa therapist smeared mud on my torso and then wrapped me in soothing warm towels. In my view, the friendliness of the person providing each treatment is one of the major factors that contribute to my relaxation level. I was pleased that both of the spa therapists involved in my Kur treatment were able to create a comfortable atmosphere and I was able to discuss any health concerns in advance.

The spa. Photo courtesy Doral Eaglewood Resort & Spa
The spa. Photo courtesy Doral Eaglewood Resort & Spa

After washing off the mud in the shower, I moved on to the next phase of the treatment, which was immersion in a special hydrotherapy bath, laden with crystals from the Sarvar Spring in Hungary. The bath began to flash various colours as part of chakra/energy points therapy.

After 15 minutes of immersion, I was met by a personable masseuse who provided me with a relaxing aromatherapy massage through the use of a soothing mineral cream mixed with essential oils, while we shared stories about our little boys.

One of the most appealing things about this resort is that there is so much offered here. If you come for a romantic retreat or a girlfriend’s getaway, there is enough to do that you will never feel a need to leave the resort.

On top of this, they have come up with some unique packages. One that would be fantastic for a group of girlfriends capitalizes on the success of the movie Chicago and is called the Chicago Vamp Camp Package. This package includes things like ‘All That Jazz’ dance lessons and billiards lessons.

I was impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment of the staff at Doral who were obviously proud of their resort and willing to go the extra mile to provide wonderful service. Whether you want a nice place to stay while touring Chicago or just have fun and get pampered at a great resort that is a destination itself, Doral Eaglewood offers a unique getaway experience.

If You Go:

Doral Eaglewood Resort & Spa
1401 Nordic Road
Itasca, IL
Phone: 603-773-1400

Toll free: 1-877-285-6150


Copyright 2004, 2009 by Neilia Sherman.  All Rights Reserved.

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