Just 3 miles from the Oakbrook Center shopping mall, visitors relish the warmth of a roaring fire in the Craftsman-style lounge of the Hyatt Lodge. Outside, wind sweeps through the 88 wooded acres of McDonald’s world headquarters and firms up a thin skin of ice on two lakes punctuated by waterfalls and ringed with jogging trails. A romantic quiet blankets the landscape.
For many Chicago residents, a visit to Oak Brook is purely routine: go, shop, eat, leave. But this humming suburb has a quiet side, and the holiday season is the perfect time to mix bustle and bucolic.
Make your home base the Hyatt, which earlier this year wrapped up a multimillion-dollar renovation of the 218-room Prairie-style property. Hewn limestone staircases, dark woods and earth tones in common areas lead to guest rooms with hardwood floors, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations, and balconies or patios facing the woods or lakes. Rooms from $150. (630) 568-1234; thelodge.hyatt.com
A complimentary shuttle takes guests to the swank Oakbrook Center, decked in all its Christmas finery (oakbrookcenter.com), the Drury Lane Theatre for impressive performances, and the upscale eateries located in and around Oak Brook’s many office buildings. If you’re ready to unwind, read on to see our top picks.
5 places to unwind
1 Top-notch casts perform popular Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals, comedies and dramas at Drury Lane Theatre, a 952-seat venue in neighboring Oakbrook Terrace. Seats from $35. (630) 530-8300; drurylaneoakbrook.com
2 Everything at Ditka’s Restaurant is larger than life, just like Da Coach himself. Attentive service and linebacker-size portions of steak and seafood score. Try Da Pork Chop, grilled juicy pink with apple chutney, cherry jus and mashed sweet potatoes. (630) 572-2200; ditkasrestaurants.com
3 Delish options satisfy hearty appetites at seafood-focused Reel Club in Oakbrook Center. The large menu includes sushi rolls, fish tacos, seafood pasta and soups, as well as charbroiled burgers and roasted chicken. (630) 368-9400; reel-club.com
4 Classic rotisserie chicken and baby back ribs are lunch faves at the lodgelike Redstone American Grill in Oakbrook Terrace. (630) 268-0313; redstonegrill.com
5 For regional Italian specialties, head to Volare Restaurant in Oakbrook Terrace. We love the veggie-loaded minestrone soup, a must starter. (630) 495-0200; volarerestaurant.com
(A version of this story appeared in Midwest Living® November/December 2012.)