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Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa

Galena, IL - Hotel Review

Hilly Haven in Illinois

By Jennifer Olvera

Aerial view of Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa and golf links
The Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is set amidst rolling hills and has some of the best golf courses in the country.

Eagle Ridge Resort Review

Set amidst rolling hills and punctuated by award-winning, scenic (and super-challenging) golf courses, Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa is a hidden treasure with countless leisure opportunities and luxury amenities. From hiking along the cliffs and canyons in nearby Apple River Canyon State Park to shopping in the quaint downtown studded with antique shops and historic homes, this family-friendly destination is a gem within the picturesque, eleven-square-mile Galena Territory community.

Visitors can opt to book rooms in its rustic, modern inn, where warm wood details, cozy fireplaces and whirlpool tubs dominate. Or, they can choose one of the property's distinctive, pet-friendly homes — from lofty one-, two- and three-bedroom villas with wood-burning fireplaces, Jacuzzis and full kitchens to over-the-top three- to eight- bedroom homes, some with gourmet stainless steel kitchens. Every property is different from the next; each boasts a lovely wooded, golf course or garden view.

When stomachs start to grumble, Eagle Ridge has your back. The property features three dining options. For casual, approachable fare, there's Spikes Bar & Grill. Weather permitting; the patio is the place to sit, offering views of the meandering course and grounds beyond. When dining here, munch on panko-crusted onion rings and filets doused with herbaceous butter. The Woodlands, located at the inn and set high above Lake Galena, is a romantic choice, with its wall of windows, emphasis on local cuisine and stellar wine list. Choose from mint and garlic-crusted lamb or chamomile-seared salmon. Or, check out the prime rib buffet on Saturday nights, when traditional and smoked meats — along with a sweet and baked potato bar — are not to be missed. Head here on Sunday mornings, too; the bountiful brunch — complete with pate, luxe prepared salads and entrees, omelet bar and carving stations — makes way for a memorable meal.

Guests have access to paddle boats on the lake Horse riding is extremely popular at the resort

Guests who don't want to fuss with a sit-down meal can order or carry out from Paisanos, a pizza joint and ice cream parlor. Of course, anyone who'd prefer to cook can stop by the on-premises general store, which is stocked with more than enough basics and gourmet goods.

When staying at Eagle Ridge, it's all-but-impossible to get bored. Some of the Midwest's best golf is found here. There are four courses — including the challenging and commanding The General and the nine-hole East course — spanning levels skilled and beginner. PGA-certified, professional instruction is on hand to pave the way — a particularly great perk for those looking to get kids out on the greens.

Horseback riding onsite is a blast for families, who can choose between easy and rigorous jaunts through the hilly terrain. Of course, hot air balloon rides, which take flight in-season at dawn and dusk near the inn, are a jaw-dropping experience — for those on board as well as for guests watching balloons bobble through the sky.

The General Clubhouse houses Spikes Restaurant A plethora of treatments await you at the Ston

Eagle Ridge guests have access to paddleboats and canoes or can rent pontoon boats to fish on the well-stocked but tranquil, glassy lake. Bikes are available as well. Into swimming?  There's a lap pool, steam room and sauna at the inn, and it's situated under a retractable glass roof. On Fridays this is the go-to place for "Movies-in-Tubies," where guests gather to watch flicks from a floating tube.

Those who are into total relaxation should make a beeline for the posh Stonedrift Spa, named for the stones carried by ancient winds into The Galena Territory. Before or after treatments (both holistic and traditional), chill in the low-lit relaxation lounge or steam room. Couples treatments are an option, too, as are exfoliations finished off by a Vichy shower. When staying here, we're partial to the massages, which are given with a deft hand.

Without question, this is a year-round destination, its vistas as stunning in summer as in fall. Even winter is picture-perfect, making way for cross country skiing and roaring fires. All in all it's an idyllic getaway, just three hours from Chicago.

Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa
The Galena Territory
444 Eagle Ridge Dr.
Galena, IL 61036
800-892-2269 | Reserve with Expedia for the best rate!

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