Wellness retreats cover everything from spa sessions to time spent in nature to spiritual reflection. They can leave every element of you in a better place. But it’s important to be in the right setting to begin with. That’s why you should book your next wellness retreat in my own home state of Illinois.
Illinois is an excellent spot to choose whether you’re looking for a sense of calm and focus even when sitting in the center of an otherwise buzzing city. Or if you’re looking to be tucked right into the peace and quiet of the woods or the water or even out on open land, you can find it in this Midwestern state.
Many of the top wellness retreats in Illinois are in Chicago or one of its many nearby suburbs. You can also find fantastic retreats further afield throughout the more rural parts.
1. Eaglewood Resort & Spa
Eaglewood Resort & Spa is located on secluded grounds but manages to still be convenient to Chicago, sitting in the suburb of Itasca. You’ll quickly notice how quiet the place is, sitting just off the main roads with no traffic sounds that rumble through but still exceptionally convenient to access.
There is a golf course on the premises as well as a spa and a bowling alley. The rooms have a rustic vibe which fits the setting, but everything is up to date and clean.
If you’re looking for a wellness retreat for the whole family, it offers family packages that include bowling with pizza, breakfast, accommodation, and access to the pool. It’s a perfect getaway resort for those with kids.
But if you’re worried about the noise of those younger guests, don’t worry. Anyone under 18 is not allowed into the spa area. And there you can find amazing, professional therapists offering massages, body treatments, and facials, amongst a variety of other services.
2. SoderWorld Wellness Center & Academy
In the Willowbrook suburb of Chicago, at the edge of the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve is the tranquil SoderWorld Wellness Center & Academy. It’s tucked away on more than two acres of forest within the preserve.
An A-Frame log cabin, with as much fabulous artistic expression and beauty inside and out, is the centerpiece of this property. Expect to leave with some pretty amazing experiences as well as feeling completely fresh and rejuvenated.
The wellness center has offerings as diverse as aerial yoga, skin treatments, massages, dance parties, and live music. Or just take the opportunity to spend time in the zen garden, where you’ll surely find yourself wanting more time here.
The good news is that if you’re a local, many classes repeat regularly, and you can continue your development from one week to the next.
3. The Hotel at Midtown
Located in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, The Hotel at Midtown is found just steps from the banks of the Chicago River. Many of its rooms offer stunning views across the water and the city, both day and night. Besides its location, one of the hotel’s main draws is its world-class gym facilities and the offerings.
From tennis lessons — on what some consider to be the best courts in the world — to group yoga classes, as well as Olympic-sized swimming pools both indoor and out, plus a weights room, you have a huge array of activities to book and facilities to choose from. You gain access to all these amenities as soon as you check in to the hotel as a guest.
Besides the other facilities, The Hotel at Midtown also offers a great array of spa services onsite. These include a special “Shave & Tonic” service for men (where they can also get a manicure or pedicure) as well as an array of massages, hair care, facials, and more for everyone.
4. Rise Up Wildflower Women’s Retreats
As the name suggests, these wellness retreats are targeted at empowering women. Located near Lake Bloomington, Rise Up Wildflower Women’s Retreats offers space as a sanctuary to connect and share.
There are flowing waters, a depth of greenery, quiet outdoor areas, and cozy inside spaces. The goal is to make you feel wildly at ease to fall into whatever space you need to expand your goals and powers.
The retreats come in many shapes and sizes and are all listed on the website as soon as they open. Guests can join for a long weekend of writing with women or a day of journaling. You might consider a yoga class or a series of them to get you in the flow.
Whatever you plan to do, rest assured that your needs will be met. The retreat center can host vegans, vegetarians, and people with any number of restrictions.
5. The Langham
The Langham is a stunning 5-star hotel with a luxury experience, and it’s centrally located in downtown Chicago. The interior of the hotel is sleek, fresh, and modern. The rooms are grand and well-appointed, and the staff offers consistent excellence.
This hotel is home to Chuan Spa, where you can find a wonderful menu of spa treatments. Your visits start with a brief survey to understand which elements you need to focus on balancing. It’s followed by a smell test to better exact your results.
The exceptionally attentive staff then recommends a customized treatment plan to help you leave the spa feeling your best self. The perfect combination of treatments for you may include a facial or a back facial and a full body massage.
You can also get a massage focused just on the hands and feet or a combination of other items on the impressive menu of spa offerings. Stay in suites and hotel rooms with views of the lake and rainfall showers.
6. Villa Desiderata
The mansion nonprofit retreat center sits on the secluded shores of Pistakee Lake and offers fabulous views across the bay. Villa Desiderata approaches all of its retreats from a spiritual point of view, and there is a Roman Catholic mass held on site each week.
While this is not a necessary part of any retreat, it does guide the ethos of the place, which includes the presence of God in its teachings. The people behind Villa Desiderata are very supportive of recovery programs, sometimes running retreats specifically focused on these steps and those in recovery.
You can book one of their in-house retreats, which are always listed on their website, or you can book the venue privately and bring your own spiritual guide in. Those who run retreats will find it easy to use the open and positive space the villa offers.
7. The Well Spirituality Center
In La Grange Park, to the west of Chicago, The Well Spirituality Center offers both on- and off-site retreats, pilgrimages, classes, and workshops, as well as continuing opportunities to connect remotely for those out of the state.
Their calendar is always evolving and growing with new offerings, but you can be sure to find options like yoga classes, spiritual painting classes, single-day retreats, as well as pilgrimages farther afield in spiritual and religious locations abroad.
The spirituality center is a welcoming space with an eclectic group of followers and a diverse range of lecturers, leaders, and teachers who all contribute something unique.