A Waterfront Weekend at the Cottages at Heron’s Landing

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With the new Cottages at Heron’s Landing waterfront resort project underway at Heritage Harbor Ottawa in Starved Rock Country, one particularly hard-to-please person spent the Memorial Day Weekend testing the waters to gain the customer experience first-hand — one of Heritage Harbor’s own crew.

A view of the inside of one of the Cottages at Heron's Landing at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

A view of the inside of one of the Cottages at Heron's Landing at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

It doesn’t feel like you’re staying in a hotel. You kick your shoes off on the porch and you’re at your place. All of the comforts of home are there. -Richard Bridges

With the Cottages at Heron’s Landing waterfront resort project underway at Heritage Harbor Ottawa, one particularly hard-to-please customer spent the Memorial Day Weekend testing the waters — one of Heritage Harbor’s own crew.

Richard Bridges is on the resort team at Heritage Harbor Ottawa — a full-service marina based in Ottawa, Ill. Bridges welcomed the opportunity to bring his whole family to Heritage Harbor to experience a weekend in one of the new Cottages at Heron’s Landing. He wanted to experience everything as a visitor to the harbor would, as Heritage Harbor employees are always looking for ways to improve the customer experience.

As it turns out, the cottages are ideal just the way they are. And Bridges’ family agrees.

“At first, I was concerned with how the family would experience the cottage,” Bridges said of his wife, three boys and even the family dog. “I was trying to stay out of their way — I wasn’t there to sell it. The kids, they were ‘on vacation’ within 20 seconds of arriving. They loved the cottage and thought it was so cool. They immediately went down to the Illinois River and started skipping stones; looking for fish.”

The Cottages at Heron’s Landing, which are being developed as part of a partnership between Heritage Harbor Ottawa and Homeway Homes, are located on the scenic banks of the Illinois Waterway. This enclave of cottages — 30 in total — will create a "resort within a resort” charming feel.

Bridges said, among other perks, one of the best features of the cottage is that it feels like your own place — the complete opposite of an everyday hotel room.

“It doesn’t feel like you’re staying in a hotel,” he said. “You kick your shoes off on the porch and you’re at your place. All of the comforts of home are there. Then, it’s just a short stroll to the river. The river is right outside the front door. And, there’s nothing like walking along the river in the early morning.”

The Cottages at Heron's Landing feature three unique floor plans with prices starting in the mid-$100,000s. The Energy Star™-rated home designs have been created to utilize sustainable and energy-efficient components with architecture that is reminiscent of a seaside cottage. Also, the Cottages at Heron’s Landing offer a rental policy, allowing cottage owners to rent their cottage to resort guests if the owner desires.

In addition to feeling at home and cozy in the cottage, Bridges said it was simply a relaxing vacation in a great atmosphere at the harbor. There’s plenty to do at the marina and around the harbor, as Bridges said one evening he and the family had dinner at the harbor-side restaurant, Tracy’s Boat House, with panoramic views of the marina. Another evening they made the quick trip into downtown Ottawa for supplies to create their own family dinner in the cottage’s fully-equipped kitchen.

“Tracy’s Boat House was hopping every night. There’s a great nightlife in the harbor, which is cool to see,” Bridges said. “But, it was very peaceful, cool and calm in the cottage. The units are so quiet because of the way they are built. The accommodations were great.

“Then Dennis from Quest Watersports took us out on a boating orientation, so we got to see the sun setting as we were boating one of the most beautiful stretches of water. We went all the way out to Buffalo Rock State Park. Boaters were parked along the shorelines of the islands along the way. The boys felt just like they were Huckleberry Finn, which is appropriate because our cottage is called Huck Finn’s Hideout.”

The Cottages at Heron’s Landing appeal to an array of vacationers and those looking for a second home in a great location — perhaps the vacationing empty nester, boating enthusiast or families seeking to live an adventure lifestyle in Starved Rock Country.

For Richard Bridges, the experience proved more than he hoped for — for him and his family.

“Even though Heritage Harbor is so close to the Fox Valley where I live, I felt like I was about 100 miles away from work. No, make that 1,000 miles away from work.”

For more information or to take a tour of the Cottages at Heron’s Landing, contact Tammy Barry of Heritage Harbor Ottawa at 815-433-5000.

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Tammy Barry
Heritage Harbor Ottawa
815-433-5000
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