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Archive for July 10th, 2011

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

Over the 4th of July weekend, I went “on vacation”..only 30 miles from home! I went to the Itasca Westin off the 290 and Thorndale and had a very relaxing time with my family. (Note: for business travelers that like to stay fit on the road, the Itasca Westin is a wonderful “home-away-from-home,” too.)

Itasca Westin-All lit up and ready to book your visit!

First off, the Westin is located in a large industrial park with multiple ponds, water fountains and hiking/walking trails.

Looks like Florida! But it's Itasca, Illinois

The Westin is adjacent to a super nice health club that sports a large swimming pool, ample sized hot tub, raquetball courts, tennis and basketball (indoor and outdoor) courts, cardio equipment and strength training gear. Oh and boxing equipment!

Pool inside Northwest Athletic Club adjacent to Westin in Itasca, IL

The Westin rooms are all lovely and spacious with super comfy Heavenly beds.

A whole lot of relaxing goes on in these Heavenly beds!

This hotel turned out to be a great place for our mini-family reunion. And late at night, walking along the trees, ponds and water fountains, we felt safe and secure, much safer than walking along the Chicago Lakefront!

No it's not Close Encounters! It's a view of the fountain behind the Westin at night!

Sure, Itasca is no Lake Geneva, there are  no speed boats, no long motorcycle runs and no ice cream parlous. But for a quiet romantic get away or just a place to relax and “get away from it all” for just a few days, Itasca is worth visiting.

Walking paths abound around the Westin with bridges over waterways and swans and ducks

Several weddings took place at the Westin while we were there but somehow we managed to get rest and enjoy the beautiful flowers left over from the night before!

The Banquet for an Indian Wedding took place in the main hall so we got to see the lovely decorations!

The hotel staff let me father take some of the flowers from the weddings for our family party. Recycling versus throwing them out!

"Recycled" flowers in our suite!

And if you just want to walk the grounds without staying at the hotel, that’s fine! As far as we could tell, walking around at about 11pm at night, there is no curfew for night walks. During the day, you can see the ducks and other birds swimming and enjoying the ponds and waterfalls. And there is ample parking-no city of Chicago meters to feed. Check it out the next time you want to go for a walk in the  (industrial) “park.”

Note: Neither Working Well Massage nor myself, Sue Shekut, has any affiliation with the Westin. The latest AMTA-IL Annual Conference was held there and I’ve done a few chair massage events there in the past. As a guest of the hotel,  I found that some of the font desk staff were really not nice. Others were very helpful . That’s the case in many hotels–staff responsiveness varies.  I found the policy of charging $9.99 per day for Wifi access excessive (what hotel charges for Wifi these days?!). Rooms do not come with microwaves or mini-fridges standard–you have to order them and there is a limited supply. But location wise the hotel is a nice place to go for a short get-a-way. Just pack a cooler with ice and enjoy the health club pool and hotel grounds.

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