My friend Lynn and I had a wonderful time in Southwest Michigan, but it was coming to an end. We packed up our things at the Inn at Harbor Shores, said goodbye to the beach, and hit the road.
Before we left St. Joseph, we stopped at Café Tosi. The breakfast was so good and fresh the day before that we wanted one more for the road.
We had started our Midwest adventure in Chicagoland and we were heading back to check out some more. This time or stop was in Naperville.
It was mostly a scenic ride around Lake Michigan to get back to the Chicago area. Naperville is outside of the city and a town I had not yet visited.
I was invited by the Hotel Arista, a four-diamond boutique hotel with one of my favorite things – a full service spa.
We were immediately impressed with the contemporary design of the hotel, which was the first to be LEED certified in Illinois.
The managers at the hotel had gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. Lynn and I each had our own suites and they were stocked with surprises, from local beer to snacks and even a Hotel Arista phone charger.
My suite was especially comfortable, with a large bathroom that had a modern soaking tub in the middle. (I always give bonus points to hotels that have bathtubs.)
We dropped our things and headed down to the Arista Spa and Salon. We were given robes to change into and then champagne to enjoy while we waited for our treatments.
After our very relaxing massages, we continued the mood up to our separate rooms for naps.
It was nice to have the chance to take a break before dinner.
Hotel Arista had invited us to dine in their Sugar Toad restaurant. Like the hotel, the restaurant was about contemporary and fresh, with a big variety of flavors.
Even the bread was warm and inviting.
The Butternut Squash soup was fantastic, but I resisted the urge to finish it as I knew a lot more was coming.
We shared an order of the Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad and while I loved the concept, the sherry vinaigrette was not the right choice to grab onto the Brussel sprouts.
For our main courses, Lynn had the Beef Tri Tip, which was served with sunchokes and a tasty sauce. I went for the parpadelle special.
It was wonderful, with mushrooms and butternut squash, in a lightly creamy cheese sauce.
We were pretty full, but we shared the brownie with fruit and ice cream for dessert.
After dinner, we headed to my suite for a bit to and shared a drink. I had a glass of the Southwest Michigan wine we had brought with us from our last stop and Lynn enjoyed one of the Two Brothers Beer.
It was the last night of our girls’ getaway, but before we said goodbye, we had another full day ahead of us.