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Eaglewood Resort: A planner’s perspective

Courtesy Eaglewood Resort and Spa

McDonald’s USA. looked at 11 Chicago-area hotels before it chose Eaglewood Resort and Spa for a 75-person meeting it holds each September. After meeting there for the past two years, attendees of the consumer business insight meeting say they don’t want to go anywhere else.

The overwhelmingly positive responses from this year’s post-conference survey are no surprise to Esther Stock, the administrative assistant in customer experience and insights who planned the four-day conference that includes staff from across the country. She gives Eaglewood high marks for food, meeting space, staff and amenities.

“I have eaten on the 16th floor of the Trump Tower and in a number of very nice places, and if the food at Eaglewood is not better than those places, it is on a par with them,” she said.

For two of its three evening meals, Stock’s group gathered in the tented pavilion, adjacent to the resort’s ballroom. The group also dined in the resort’s restaurant, known for its international-themed buffets.

Options for the limited free time were ample. On a planned free afternoon, attendees could play golf, visit the spa or attend a dessert class offered by the resort’s chef or opt for one of three off-site options.

In the evenings they could also congregate in the lobby bar or head to the resort’s fitness and activities center, where they could bowl and use the golf simulator.

Staff were quick to respond to any request, Stock said.

When she asked to reuse centerpieces, “they didn’t blink an eye about putting them in storage and bringing them out the next night. We also brought our own iPods for music, and they took over those for us and made sure the sound system was up and running.”

One thing to keep in mind about Eaglewood, said Stock, is the distance between the guest rooms and the conference center. Guest rooms, in two towers linked by two four-story units, are at the opposite end of the main building from the conference center. Planners who have lots of materials to transport from their rooms might want to do what Stock did after her first visit.

“We brought a cart,” she said. “The bell staff are happy to help you, but they might not always be available when you need them.”