Listen to Your Heart at Heartland Spa & Fitness Resort


The Heartland Spa and Fitness Resort has experienced some major changes in the past year…

We all know how sometimes change can be challenging…but ultimately, the rainbow appears. And, if we have our heart in the right place (like at Heartland Spa!), we can learn and grow from the change!

Originally founded and settled for 32 years in Gilman, Illinois, the Heartland Spa sat on over 30 acres of lush, green farmland and catered to guests such as Oprah Winfrey and others.

It was originally created as a “getaway” place to tackle struggles of weight loss, stress and to maintain/improve overall health and wellness. But changing market needs as well as changes within its corporate structure forced the Heartland to close its doors in Gilman in January this year. However, with a renewed strategy and new dedicated staff, the Heartland relaunched just three months later (April 2015) with a new location in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin..

I had the fantastic opportunity discover the new changes at Heartland and experience how it is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of its guests.

The Heartland has now made its new home in the Bella Vista Suites and has 39 rooms to accommodate its guests. The resort is about an hour’s drive northwest of Chicago and roughly just little under an hour’s drive southwest of Milwaukee. It sits across the street from the clear waters of Lake Geneva (which, by the way, is its own playground for boating and other water sports).

So what’s happening at the Heartland? Plenty! Think tranquility, relaxation, nutrition, pampering, education, fitness and beautiful nature right outside the front door. Enjoying life!

Heartland is NOT your large, grand spa/resort. It’s boutique. It’s unpretentious It’s personal service. It’s “they know you by your first name”. It’s community driven. It’s healthy food. It’s peaceful or energetic–whatever meets your in-the-moment needs.

Heartland offers 2, 3, 5 or 7-day all inclusive programs as part of their wellness initiative, which includes a myriad of daily activities, spa treatments and three pre-planned meals each day. If you simply just prefer a “taste” of their heart, you can purchase a special One Day pass.

My suite was clean and simple, but with added amenities such as a mini fridge, microwave, coffeemaker and rain shower head with a Jacuzzi tub. But the best part of my room was the lake view outside of my balcony door; I woke up early in the cool morning to sip my cup of coffee while gazing at the blue waters and sailboats already taking in the wind. In the evening, the peaceful sunset reflecting on the water culminated my day. Enjoying life!

Heartland_02Heartland prides itself on its intimate focused attention to its guests, its friendly, helpful staff and its commitment and dedication to supportive services for the wellbeing of its guests.

I recognized a great example of its personalized service as three of the guests I met recounted how they ventured out to purchase a specialty item (a hand held veggie slicer used to prepare their Heartland meal) from the nearby store, only to discover the store only had two (2) left.

Upon describing their situation in friendly conversation with the Heartland staff, one of the staff members drove to another store to purchase an additional slicer for the other guest. What a surprisingly kind gesture! Sometimes, it’s the “little” things that make all the difference.

Heartland offers an array of health based meals as part of your stay. Meals are calorically and nutritionally formulated in accordance with the Mayo Clinic guidelines. The menu is preset each week, but special requests, food allergies/sensitivities are accommodated. The food is beautifully presented and served by friendly staff members.

A full menu of activities is planned for each day of the week, including early morning group walks, yoga, meditation, acquasize at their indoor pool, aerobics/cardio/dance classes in their fitness studio and education classes.

The educational programs range from topics including heart health, acupuncture, Qi Gong, essential oils, and even TED Talk (wellness) discussions. But if you are just seeking some R&R, you can easily opt out of any of the scheduled activities or educational programs. YOU decide what works best for you each day!

The spa area of Heartland is small, however, as their guest list expands, they too plan on expanding their service area. I melted away during a 50-minute relaxing massage with my therapist, Tracy, who had studied many types of massage and was well versed in many techniques.

As a holistic wellness “passionista”, I clearly understand that the benefits of massage fall far beyond just the luxury of it. Massage is medicinal and can provide a host of body/mind/and spirit goodness including, increased circulation, relaxation, improved skin/muscle tone, reduced anxiety, improved immune function, sense of calmness and sound sleep.

Specialties unique to Heartland include NATURE at your doorstep (Lake Geneva and its walking paths), a signature Himalayan Salt Sauna room, a koi pond in the main seating area, specialized spa services including a variety of massages, Reiki and a wide range of wellness/wellbeing educational sessions.

So be sure to check out Heartland’s website and their Facebook page. Heartland has recently collaborated with Lululemon Athletica for a weekend dedicated to yoga and a trunk show. And Heartland will continue to host several special weekends for its guests, including hosting yoga gurus such as Geri Bleier and other recognized leaders in the wellness and wellbeing arenas.

Heartland is on the move…that’s what great change is all about…moving out of the past yet being able to live in the moment. Enjoying life.

True wellness begins when your heart, mind and spirit coincide and you are in the “right” place to heal, nourish yourself and grow. Open your heart, mind and soul to possibilities…Relax, rejuvenate and begin/renew your wellness journey at the Heartland Spa and Fitness Resort!

A special thanks to the entire Heartland staff, their time, kindness and dedication, particularly Brentt Bodoh (General Manager and yoga instructor!), Donita (Spa Manager), Tracy (massage therapist), Eric and Nick (food prep and servers). Keep up the fantastic work, energy and giving spirit!

Healing Lifestyles & Spas Team
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