Chicago Parent Magazine

Chicago Parent MagazineSybaris Saved Our Marriage
By Cortney Fries

At the check-in of the Sybaris romantic pool suites, I stood in my long black coat. Underneath were yoga pants with fresh baby spit-up.

“My husband will be meeting me here,” I said, trying to sound cool and confident, although this was never something in our 15-year relationship I had imagined doing.

We had courted over long walks, Sunday morning snuggles and quarterly travel plans. But in the “Diaper Dark Ages,” with a toddler and a baby, our exchanges had become a carnival of the Blame Game and the Guilt-o-Whirl.

Key in hand, I texted my husband the address of the surprise date. Would he think it was sleazy and ridiculous? Would he insist we leave immediately? All I knew is something needed to change, not only for us, but for the sake of our children. I used to be the sought-after prize. Now the D word (divorce) had been thrown out over tears and tantrums.

As I opened the door to our proposed romantic retreat, I was hit with a warm waft of pool-water air, low lights and romance radio. The bidet and under-the-bed lights were a bit much. In the wall-to-wall mirrors, I felt totally imperfect. But the pool, hot tub and steam shower would be like a mini vacation for us.

There was a knock at the door. Although it was the man I’d known almost half my life, I was nervous.

“I can NOT believe this!” he laughed, swooping me up. He was giddy, grinning ear-to-ear. Despite the grey hairs, wrinkles and spit-up, I was his prize again.

We swam without children climbing on us. We drank in the daytime. We giggle like school children at the swing hanging over the bed. So excited to just be alone together laughing, those four hours went by like lightning. We were sad to trade the fluffy Sybaris robes back for our Mommy and Daddy clothes.

Admittedly it did feel funny to walk into our home with damp hair and dodge questions about our date. But it was our dirty little secret. Wink, wink. And it was awesome.

In the last few years, we’ve been there four times. The funniest was the two-story villa with a waterslide from top to bottom. My 200-pound husband whipped down it so fast, he kaboomed into the water, releasing a tidal wave onto the mirrored wall below. I laughed so hard I cried.

When we go, he is always excited and happy, no matter how little sleep he’s had. The novelty hasn’t worn off because it’s not about the waterfalls and racy movies. It’s a chance for us to reconnect and have fun. Having those days has helped us even when we are back in our hectic, exhausting lives with little ones, work and responsibilities.

Now we give each other knowing winks over the dinner table. And instead of just “please pick up milk,” we send more fun and flirty text messages.

We haven’t mentioned our Sybaris adventures to many people because we were worried about what they would think.

But then I realized that it was game-changing for us. And, as I try to teach our chidren, it’s best to share. The few people I’ve told so far usually give me that look. But then it turns into a sparkle in their eyes, a laugh and eventually booking a room.

I hope you will, too. It saved our marriage.

What Our Guests are Saying

our commitment to the excellence and quality of our guests' experiences is second to none

"It was so relaxing and awesome love it A+++++++"

-the Woosleys

"We love Sybaris! It's so great to get away from the world for a night. The suite is always clean and the chocolate covered strawberries are to die for!"

-Mr. Polomski

"Our stay was amazing!! I walked into the room and on the bed there were rose petals spelled out saying "will you marry me"... best night of my life!! I will never forget that night!! Thanks for making it beautiful."

-Ms. Sellers

"Great Experience. We were going to Champagne Lodge in the past for our getaways. But once we found Sybaris and had a wonderful experience, it is now our go to spot."

-Mr. Rodriguez

"My wife and I had an amazing time. It's definitely the perfect place for a quick getaway and well needed recharge."

-Mr. Fadeyeva

"I loved my stay. My husband surprised me with this little getaway and it was exactly what we needed. We've never felt so comfortable and relaxed in a long, long time and Sybaris did the perfect job of making that happen."

-Mrs. Alkalidy

"My husband and I were pleasantly surprised at how nice the suite was. I was worried that it wasn't going to live up to 'the hype' but it definitely did! We will be returning, no doubt about that!"

-Mrs. Morris

"My wife and I were extremely impressed with the quality and the cleanliness of the suite. All of the features of the room made for an exciting, relaxing evening that was much needed."

-Mr. Illes

OMG!!! Beyond fantastic!!!

-Ms. Holland

"This was the perfect place to celebrate my one year wedding anniversary. Next time I will have to book two nights instead of one. My husband and I didn't want to leave. We will definitely be back."

-Mrs. Leasure

"Sybaris is the perfect place to spend one-on-one time with your spouse. It provides an intimate, uninterrupted venue to getaway from the hustle and bustle and simply enjoy one another."

-Mr. & Mrs. Holmes

"The time we spent together at the Sybaris was priceless. Definitely worth every penny. With all of the luxurious amenities at our disposal we felt like a King and Queen for a night."

-Mr. & Mrs. Maney

"We gave a Sybaris Gift Certificate to a friend for his 30th birthday. It was the hit of the party. And after their getaway they called us to rave about how much they enjoyed the gift."

-Mr. & Mrs. Leon

"Our suite was impeccable. The cleanliness is like no other. Better than any 5-star Resort."

-Mr. & Mrs. Brooks

"Whenever we have a chance to getaway, Sybaris is the only choice for us. You can tell they go to great lengths to provide the ultimate romantic atmosphere. No other hotel offers your very own private swimming pool in your suite."

-Mr. & Mrs. Kimmel

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