Midwest Adventure Starts in Chicagoland

I wanted a trip that would give me lots of stories for my Midwest Travel section on About.com. I managed to piece together and amazing adventure that spanned over six days, with my friend Lynn along for the ride the first four.

I picked Lynn up at O’Hare Airport and we headed to our first stop, the Kohler Water Spa in Burr Ridge, Illinois.

I had wanted to check out this spa ever since my trip to the Kohler Spa at the American Club in Wisconsin. I didn’t get a chance to spend as much time as I’d like at that spa, but I scheduled the whole afternoon here for us to enjoy.

Lynn went in for the Bamboo Bliss, which used a warm bamboo to give the ultimate Swedish massage. It was said to improve circulation and help with muscle aches. Lynn fully agreed she felt great and the description of “bliss” was accurate.

In the meantime, I went in for a Neat Feet Pedicure, a signature treatment at the Kohler Spa. My feet needed attention after all the travel and walking and this was a perfect remedy. It included a salt scrub to get rid of the dead skin and soften my feet, a warm stone massage, and a pedicure.

Before and after our treatments we enjoyed the water spa amenities that Kohler does so well, from hot tubs, to cold plunges, three different types of showers, sauna, and steam room.

After we had sufficiently relaxed and lounged, Lynn and I bid the spa farewell and headed off to dinner in nearby La Grange, another suburb of Chicago.

We were the guests of Vikram and Agnes Singh at their contemporary Indian restaurant Kama Bistro.

Kama Bistro was opened in 2009 using family recipes -- Vikram’s father is a chef in India – with a bit of a twist, such as freshly ground spices. It had earned the restaurant a Bib gourmand in 2014.

One of the other things Kama is known for is their creative cocktails. I had to agree they got it right with the Cucumber Chili Martini, made with Belvedere Vodka, cucumber, and a house-made chili syrup, which I was happy was more flavorful than spicy.

We had a hard time narrowing the menu choices and got some help from the wait staff. Although we ended up with too much food, I’m glad we were able to taste so many of their delicious options.

The Malai Kofta, dumplings made from paneer cheese and potatoes and served in a tomato sauce with raisins and cashews, was just amazing, as was the pork belly -- a hit at Chicago’s BaconFest – Beef Tikka, and Lamb Shank in a yogurt sauce.

We scooped up sauces onto warm garlic naan bread before tasting some of the Indian desserts along with Kama’s special ginger tea , which was just what our full stomachs needed.

After dinner, we drove to Oakbrook and checked into Le Meridien, which had recently opened. This modern hotel is a chic addition to the area.

Lynn decided to rest in the room, but I had been told to check El Tapeo Restaurant on the roof. It was indeed quite unique and contemporary, with Spanish Tapas, handcrafted cocktails, and sangrias.
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I definitely couldn’t eat any more, but I did try and enjoy their fruit-filled White Sangria before heading back to the room for a good night’s sleep.  In the morning, we were going to be checking out of Le Meridien and driving to the shores of Michigan. 

Note: Click on the banner to purchase Spafinder gift cards with a bonus. Cards can be used at Kohler Spas. 


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