Lavish, Luxury, and Locally-Owned: Hotel Arista
Less than an hour west of Chicago sits Naperville, one of the largest cities in Illinois and home to the first LEED-certified hotel in the state: Hotel Arista. This upscale boutique resort is, as the text on the key card suggests, a bit of a maverick. Even though this award-winning, four-diamond property is located near Centennial Beach, Naperville’s downtown Riverwalk, Arrowhead Golf Club, Chicago Premium Outlets, Dupage Children’s Museum, and the lovely Morton Arboretum, you can actually stay the night without ever having to leave the CityGate Centre business and shopping complex.
SugarToad has an excellent breakfast list of options — you can expect all of your favorites to be on the menu here: skillets, omelets, frittatas, yogurt, oatmeal, waffles, and pancakes. Enjoy your breakfast on the lovely outdoor patio with an espresso in hand.
The Zorba Lounge offers much more interesting noshes than your typical bar menu: smoked salmon flatbread; taleggio and white truffle arancini with charred asparagus and balsamic glaze; and tempura fried vegetables with garlic aïoli, tamari, ginger, and honey sauce. Sit by the fire and enjoy a craft beer or barrel-aged beverage in this swanky, well-lit space.
And, just across the way via foot or shuttle sits Citygate Grille, an American restaurant with Mediterranean influences. The sleek interior and soft lighting, as well as the live jazz music, set the scene for a piquant meal. Buttermilk calamari, steak, fish, and vegetarian options like lasagna, gnocchi, and stuffed eggplant are popular choices on the nightly menu here. Family picks — “a devoted Greek son’s favorite recipes from mom,” according to the menu — are listed in the “Papou’s Corner” section: CityGate moussaka and CityGate pastitsio, for example.
And, who doesn’t love a bespoke spa treatment or skin care service? Arista Spa & Salon, which sticks with the Mediterranean theme that you see throughout Hotel Arista, offers spa-goers a personalized aromatherapy experience. Guests can choose their own signature essential oil combination for the aromatherapy massage and then bring home the extra oil. Innovative businesswoman and spa creator Mae Calamos has calculated a space utilizing Mediterranean healing practices and modern advancements in science to offer the best possible services for your hair, body and skin. Fun fact: Calamos is also the visionary behind CityGate Grille.
Finally, before checking out, visit Tap In Pub & Carvery for some casual sports-centric fun and American fried and grilled comfort fare. While taking turns playing a variety of games on the high-definition golf simulators (there are even games and clubs designed for kids), chow on fully loaded nachos and potato skins; a giant Milwaukee German pretzel; fried Ellsworth Dairy cheese curds; sliders; sandwiches; burgers; tacos; or, my favorite, fried donuts with salted caramel, strawberry, and chocolate sauces.