Itasca Has the Midwest’s First Biggest Loser Resort

It looks like a nice place to drop a few dozen pounds. Plus: Safaris in Zambia, a guide to the Las Vegas pool scene, and a bumpin’ polka fest in Wisconsin.

A firepit at Eaglewood Resort & Spa
Photo: Courtesy of Eaglewood Resort & Spa

Contemplate the new you by the fire pit on the grounds at the Eaglewood Resort

The Biggest Loser Resort Chicago opened yesterday at the Eaglewood Resort & Spa (1401 Nordic Rd., Itasca, 630-773-1400), a conference-focused hotel located on sprawling grounds in the western suburbs. Modelled after the hit TV show The Biggest Loser, the upscale fitness and weight loss program is the franchise’s fourth in the country (the other three are in Malibu, California, Ivins, Utah, and Niagara, New York). And, apparently, there’s a ready audience for these services: According to data collected by Fitness Ridge Worldwide, LLC (the parent company behind the Biggest Loser Resorts) before the opening of the Chicago location, people from Illinois—mostly from Chicago—made the region the fourth largest source of visitors to Biggest Loser resorts around the country.

Housed within Eaglewood, BLR Chicago uses 40 dedicated guest rooms (of the hotel’s 295) and its participants have access to 106 acres that include walking paths, three lakes, and an 18-hole golf course. There’s a new fitness center, a sky-lit indoor pool, gourmet meals, and consultation with registered dieticians and personal trainers. The quintessential seven-day experience (singles from $2,995) also includes 10 hours in the classroom.

But we wondered, why Itasca? According to Howard Cohl, chief marketing officer of Fitness Ridge, the Eaglewood resort offered the perfect mix of outdoor and indoor fitness spaces, meeting rooms for classroom activities, and a central Midwestern location—about 35 minutes from the city and 20 from O’Hare.
 

How to Decode the Pool Scene in Vegas Before You Get There

Las Vegas is revered for its wildly varied pool scene. From murky, crowded day parties and awkward topless adult pools to epic European-style gardens, shark pools, and vast man-made beaches, how do you cut through the chaos? Read first-hand reviews at VegasChatter’s 2013 Field Guide to the Vegas Pool Scene.
 

Zambia Is Still the Spot for Safaris

“Bush walks are not only about seeing wildlife firsthand, but also about the suggestion of wildlife,” says Travel+Leisure editor-at-large Peter Jon Lindberg in “Zambia up Close,” wherein he reveals the magic of such a walk over the traditional from-a-truck safari. “Rounding a blind corner, we startled an elephant on the channel bank, who began stomping alongside us, kicking up dust and blaring furious Ornette Coleman arpeggios.” Read more at Travel+Leisure.
 

Roll Out the Barrel—and Beer and Bacon—in New Glarus

Beer festivals are a dime a dozen these days. But rare is the fest that also delivers quality polka dancing. Don your lederhosen and take the two-and-a-half hour drive toward Madison this weekend for the New Glarus Polka Fest (June 14 to 16), where you can sip suds and chew on cheese—and bacon—to the tune of regional and Bavarian-style polka.
 

What to Know For Safety at the Shore This Summer

Is the water at the beach safe? From Lake Michigan beaches to ocean beaches on either coast, parents confront the question every summer. Arm yourself with these helpful tips from Condé Nast Traveler.
 

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