Skip to main content

Neighbors of Kane County

Geneva’s Herrington Inn & Spa celebrates 25th Anniversary

25 years ago a luxurious 40 room inn with a fine dining restaurant opened along the west bank of the Fox River where a dilapidated building once stood in downtown Geneva.  The property was named the Herrington Inn when it opened in 1993 as the spa within the 21 room addition was not added until 2003.

The site was originally the homestead of Geneva’s first settlers James and Charity Herrington who arrived from Philadelphia back in 1835. In 1874 a small creamery was built on the site utilizing the fresh water spring that runs underneath the property. 

Butter and cheese were produced there and milk was stored in barrels that were kept cold in the rushing waters of the Fox River. The once-tiny creamery grew and later became known as the Geneva Rocks Spring Creamery.  In the late 1890’s the building housed the Lancaster Caramel Company a subsidiary of the Hershey Chocolate Company.  Many of the men who worked at the iron factory across the street would walk down River Lane on their way home after work during this time as the young ladies who made the candy would toss caramels out the window to them.

In the years that followed, the creamery building went on to have various uses including the city jail. In 1982 when Geneva began to revive their riverfront district, city officials were looking to redevelop the building that had been vacant for many years. The city approved an ambitious plan for a riverfront hotel by Kent Shodeen of Sho-Deen, Inc., and in 1993 The Herrington opened its doors as the Chicago suburbs top boutique hotel.

The first significant change to the hotel was the restoration of the 3,000 square foot pump house, which now serves as the hotel’s meeting and banquet facility.  A 21 room addition including ultra- luxurious suites overlooking the river below opened in 2001 followed by the opening of the Spa at the Herrington in 2003.  The Herrington continues to stay connected to it history as a creamery.  Chocolate chip cookies and milk served in a glass milk bottle are served as part of the hotel’s turndown service and an angelic cow is incorporated into the Herrington Inn & Spa logo.

All of the hotel’s 61 rooms boast fireplaces and whirlpool baths.  Many of the rooms have four-poster beds, heated marble bathroom floors and balconies with views of the scenic river below.  The Herrington has been awarded the prestigious AAA four-diamond award for 24 consecutive years and “we will no doubt keep our streak alive for our 25th anniversary year and many more to come” stated hotel manager Jesse Mercado.

The Herrington has hosted several heads of state, many A-list celebrities and over 600,000 guests since its opening.  “I have quite a few good stories about some of our famous guests”, stated Paul Ruby, President of Shodeen Hospitality.  “Although I can’t share these stories, I encourage the public to tell us about their experiences at the hotel”.  A “favorite Herrington memory” contest will be announced soon.  Former guests, brides & grooms and dining patrons will have an opportunity to provide a story of their favorite experience at the hotel, restaurant or banquet facility.  The winner will be awarded a special 25th anniversary package valued at over $1,600, which includes 2 nights in a one-bedroom suite, champagne amenity, dinner for 2 in the intimate and private gazebo, a signature drawn bath and an in-suite couple’s massage.

The hotel will be hosting an anniversary party on August 23rd with proceeds benefiting the Geneva History Museum.