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“Unpretentious health and wellness retreat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort

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The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort
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1237 E. 1600 North Road, Gilman, IL 60938   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Gilman
Huntsville, Alabama
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Unpretentious health and wellness retreat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

The Heartland is a wonderful place to relax, kick start a healthier lifestyle, challenge yourself, learn, or all of the above. There are many exercise classes to choose from throughout the day led by knowledgeable, encouraging, and enthusiastic (but not TOO enthusiastic) staff, or you can just hang around the comfortable farmhouse and beautiful property. I found the food to be very enjoyable with good presentation, but not overly elegant. There is a huge range of spa services available, but to me the highlights were the exercise classes, the informative presentations, the reasonable and tasty meals, and the wonderfully helpful and sociable staff.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeartlandMike, Quality Assurance at The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort, responded to this review, January 13, 2012
We appreciate the kind words and are so glad you enjoyed yourself! You are absolutely right about our staff! They go above and beyond to ensure that our guests get the most out of their Heartland getaway. Thank you for choosing our resort, and we hope to see you again soon!
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76 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Gilman, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2011

I recently had an appointment for a cut & highlights with Tiffany in the salon at The Heartland Spa. Contrasting the electric vibe of most city salons, the salon at The Heartland Spa offers a beautiful, calming experience. The view from the window of my own private styling room (yes, private styling room - just the 2 of us!) was of the pond and acres of nature's beauty. The vibe here is - calming, nurturing bliss! The cut and the highlights? Very good - and just what I wanted!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HomeToTheHeartland, Quality Assurance at The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort, responded to this review, January 16, 2012
Thank you for the wonderful review of our Salon. You have described exactly the kind of experience we try to create for every guest at the Heartland. We look forward to your next visit.
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Chicago, Illinois
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2011

The term "spa" conjures images of extra-plush robes, serene surroundings, excellent pampering services, stress-reducing meditation, innovatively prepared healthy food, and activities designed to promote wellness of body, mind, and spirit. While this remote location is situated on a lovely expanse of unfettered land, the "spa" experience ends there at Heartland. Old mattresses present creaking springs to uncomfortable guests. Worn-out and over-bleached terry cloth robes are rivaled only by the supply of polyester sweat clothing that has been mongrammed with misplaced, fabric-painted H's (that is, if you are fortunate enough to get a monogrammed Haines). Dry corn muffins, rubbery luke-warm eggs, and soupy oatmeal are proudly served (and yes, we were on time for breakfast), which is just an absolute shame for those really trying to better their eating habits! Low-calorie dishes can be deliciously enticing if the chef knows how to highlight the essence of healthy foods with technique and spice; but alas, the kitchen can only produce good smoothies. There is no human connection between the staff and visitors; they talk at (not to or with) unsuspecting newcomers, seemingly impressed with their presentation and oblivious to their off-putting, militant style. Be careful in the hot-tub area: one could easily hit their head in the inadequate space or fall trying to reach the stairs situated so far from the deck. The ancient whirlpool "jets" just seem to beg for retirement with each remaining, weak breath. The pool is decorated with fake plants, which just seems to echo the artificiality of the advertised Heartland "spa" experience.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HomeToTheHeartland, Quality Assurance at The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort, responded to this review, November 29, 2011
Thank you for letting us know about your experience. Since the change in management just two years ago we've been working very hard to improve the spa experience by listening and responding to concerns like yours.

Mattresses and beedding are all evaluated on an ongoing basis and replaced as soon as deficiencies are noted. We are in the process of acquiring higher quality bathrobes for all guests and, like any good hotel, will make them available for purchase. We are also in discussions with a supplier to provide each guest with a complimentary set of new workout clothing to take home with them. We will continue to supply additional workout clothing while our housekeeping staff wash your workout gear daily.

Individual tastes and diets are a challenge for any spa, hotel, or restaurant. While many of our guests rave about the Heartland cuisine, we will never please everyone. In those cases, all we ask is that our guests let the kitchen know what they would prefer, and we'll do our best to accommodate.

We're sorry to hear that you did not feel a connection with our staff. Just as with our cuisine, we cannot guarantee a perfect match. Once again, senior staff are always on site during the day and do appreciate hearing any of your concerns.

Your final concern addresses the whirlpool and "fake plants". All these issues are being addressed. Over the past two years we have invested several hundred thousand dollars in improvements to the physical structure of the Heartland. A major exterior painting and repair project has just been completed and we're closing for a brief period in December to continue with interior cleaning and enhancements.

We hope you'll consider visiting us in the future to experience the ever improving, and ever learning, Heartland Health Spa and Fitness Resort.
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Chatsworth, IL
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2011

My husband surprised me with a Heartland Spa gift certificate! I was so excited I had heard Oprah visited the place and really loved it!! When I got there I couldn't wait to get my Manicure, Massage, and haircut! The Manicure was first on the list. The girl that did it was TERRIBLE. You could so tell she wasn't into her job! She seemed annoyed to be doing the manicure. It took her about 15 min to shape, massage, and french tip my nails. WORST manicure ever. For $40 bucks..... she didn't even put topcoat after she finished doing white tips! Before I left the place the tips were already cracking off! Next, was my massage! Amazing.. Beth did a great job!! The only thing I would ever go back for! I was relaxed and Beth seemed to enjoy her work, and if she didn't she had me fooled. Smiled, and was sweet the whole time! So now onto my haircut... I went back to the salon to find out the same girl who did my nails was going to cut my hair. I was so worried. She was so rough brushing and blow drying... when she told me I was done I practically ran out of the place. When I got home I took a good look in the mirror and was furious!! One side of my hair was 1 1/2 inches shorter than the other side. My husband measured it! I would never go back again... Seriously girls ... if you want a massage, and to enjoy the pool and sauna that sort of the thing the place is fine. But PLEASE get your hair and nails done before you come!!!

P.S. --- Even though I was so upset with my nails I gave the girl (Samantha) a tip. Feeling like I had know other choice but to be kind. Even with the haircut .. I gave a good tip.. wishing now I wouldn't have wasted any money! I'm just guessing Cosmetology isn't for this girl anymore... I felt like her heart wasn't in it :(

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HeartlandMike, Owner at The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort, responded to this review, January 2, 2012
Thank you for your comments. As the new owner of The Heartland Spa and Fitness Resort, I welcome all feedback (positive and negative) in an effort to make The Heartland experience the very best it can be. I was very happy to know how much you enjoyed your massage! I'm not surprised, as our massage therapists are among the best in the business. I was surprised, however, to learn about your manicure and haircut. Rarely do we hear negative comments about our salon services. I've talked with our salon manager, who has since reached out to you offering to re-do your hair and provide you with another manicure. We truly apologize, and we certainly want to make things right. I only wish you had told us of your unhappiness while you were at The Heartland so we could have immediately rectified the situation.
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Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011

I have been to the Heartland three times, and will likely return again. It is not luxurious - it is billed as an affordable spa. The three full time exercise staffers are great although some of the part-timers are not that good. The massage therapists range from average to excellent. I gave my facial to another guest this last time, since I have extremely sensitive skin and the previoius facials caused bothered my skin. That said, I have not tried any of the body wraps or anything like that. One problem I do have is the detoxifying footbath. That treatment has been exposed as a scam and I think that it cheapens the spa to be using it.

There were a lot of group-on guests when I was last there. I did feel that the one or two day visitors had a negative effect on the cohesiveness of the people who were there for three or five-day visits, but in this economic climate, I can see the spa wanting to expand its clientele.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HomeToTheHeartland, Quality Assurance at The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort, responded to this review, November 27, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to post your comments! Like you, most of our guests come back over and over again, so it was nice to see that you are a “three-peat!” With regard to the detoxifying foot bath, this particular spa treatment continues to be one of our most popular. We realize it may not be for everyone, but those who choose to enjoy it seem to love it, and the results!
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river forest, il
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2011

I just went for the weekend as i live in the Chicago area. There is plenty to do for 2 days, and they have nice spa services. They have a nice array of exercise classes as well. If you wnat to just sit in a lounge chair by the small and quaint lake there is ample opportunity for that as well. The lodgings however, are mediocre. It is kind of like grandmas house. The shower smells like egg water, and there is peeling wallpaper in the room with bent vertical blinds. The food is mediocre as well. I did like the fact that it was so close to home and literally no work to plan. For the price the resort is fine. If you are looking for upscale, you may want to go somewhere else.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HomeToTheHeartland, Owner at The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort, responded to this review, November 27, 2011
The Heartland Spa has enjoyed a 28-year history and we never claim to be something we aren’t. We pride ourselves on being a down-to-earth, cozy, rustic, country-style bed and breakfast spa getaway, and those who recognize that and know what to expect are quite pleased with The Heartland experience. Regarding the “egg water” smell, we use fresh well water, which does seem to have an odor (especially if you aren’t used to it). I apologize if you found it offensive. Since I became the owner two years ago, The Heartland’s guest rooms have been freshened up and are impeccably clean. Truthfully, we don’t want our guests spending the day in their rooms! We want them to take advantage of our beautiful grounds, our state-of-the-art fitness center, our award-winning spa, and Chef Barb’s healthy cuisine.
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Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2011

An excellent getaway. My fourth visit, many of the guests during my stay were multiple repeat guests. Can't say enough about the staff. They are all excellent, from the kitchen to housekeeping, fitness to salon staff. I always have a wonderful time while there, and will certainly be returning.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HomeToTheHeartland, Quality Assurance at The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort, responded to this review, November 27, 2011
Thank you for the kind words! We look forward to welcoming you back to The Heartland. Please visit our website to download a $100 gift certificate for you and a friend.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort

Address: 1237 E. 1600 North Road, Gilman, IL 60938
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Illinois > Gilman
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Gilman
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Heartland Spa, with its 32 acres of rolling pastures, woods, and spring-fed lake offers the tranquility of Midwest farm country. This destination spa with 29 years of experience in the wellness industry, is 90 miles south of Chicago. The Heartland Spa’s approach provides an unpretentious and nurturing environment and proudly accepts only 41 guests at one time. A two, three or five night package at The Heartland Spa offers Guests the opportunity to learn, experience, and utilize the most current information available regarding fitness, nutrition, and stress management. Our superb pampering treatments, tasty and nutritious menu complete the Spa’s program to make it the perfect vacation. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Heartland Spa & Fitness Hotel Gilman
The Heartland Spa And Fitness Resort
The Heartland Hotel
Heartland Hotel Gilman

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