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19. August 2021
by Varun Sharma
The American city of Chicago boasts an enviable location - sitting on the southern tip of Lake Michigan. The city enjoys delighful summers with harsh winters. Locals and visitors alike can enjoy a city, beach, or boating lifestyle. Visitors to the Windy City – it is said that its nickname is not derived from actual wind but hot-air blown by historic local politicians - will find beautiful upscale hotel properties throughout the city.
When eating out, you will be spoilt for choice with numerous Michelin-starred restaurants serving numerous international cuisines. There is also an abundance of rustic, easy food. One of Chicago's most famous creations is Lou Malnati’s deep-dish pizza. Quench your thirst for knowledge with a visit to one of many museums, notably the Museum of Contemporary Art, look up to the famous Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower). There is so much to take in whatever the season. Chicago is - as Frank Sinatra once sang – where people can enjoy “the time of their life”.
The BusinessClass.com guide to the best hotels in Chicago:
The Peninsula Chicago – 10/10
In January 2001, The Peninsula Chicago brought “The Peninsula Promise” – a commitment to provide a superlative guest experience to this bustling American city. With 339 rooms and suites spread across 20 floors – the guestrooms all feature Pratesi linens, Bernardaud China, unique commissioned wall art and sculptures, bedside charging for smartphones, minibar, and Nespresso machine. Luxurious marble bathrooms feature mood lighting, television, separate shower, bathtub, and toilet cubicle. Technology abounds with a 55-inch television screens, audio visual smartphone and iPad docking station from which to stream content. All guests receive a complimentary shoeshining service and daily newspaper. The Fitness Centre offers state-of-the-art Peloton technology, group fitness classes and breath-taking views of the Chicago skyline. An outdoor Sun Terrace - open seasonally - is located next to the 25-metre indoor swimming pool which is reserved for hotel and spa guests. Spa treatments are inspired by Ayurvedic and Asian philosophies. In Chicago’s cooler months, spa guests can relax by the fireplace in the spa lounge.
There are four restaurants and bars at The Peninsula Chicago. The Z Bar is a popular rooftop offering located high above Michigan Avenue with amazing views over the city from the rooftop terrace. The Shanghai Terrace restaurant meanwhile offers Cantonese delicacies and dim sum amidst a 1930s supper club. Pierrot Gourmet on the street level has the more casual feel of a European-style café with a farmhouse style design and a menu based on simple yet satisfying French bistro cuisine. The most glamorous option is all-day dining available in the hotel’s Lobby – a city locale to see & be seen!
Soho House– 9/10
Soho House is an inspired and eclectic property which attracts musicians, artists, and creative types. This old belt factory building houses 40 bedrooms all complete with high ceilings, handcrafted rugs and carpets, dark textured furnishings, and vintage radiators; it is not a hotel it is a “house” which offers a creative and relaxing space for club members and their friends. Choose from Tiny, Small, Medium, Medium Plus and Big room types – this simple terminology fails to convey the superb uniqueness of each room with features ranging from free-standing baths and rainforest showers, to velvet clad lounge chairs, and four-poster beds.
The Soho Active gym on the second floor of the building offers Technogym and Rogue Fitness equipment, a boxing ring and personal trainers with steam rooms and lounges available for relaxing after a work-out. The Cowshed Spa is not just a relaxing spa treatment location but also a place to enjoy light bites and snacks. The House Kitchen offers Wood-fired pizzas, grills, sandwiches, and salads as well as an oyster and raw bar. Rooftop diners not only enjoy terrific views of the Chicago skyline but can choose from a light menu of pizza, salads, and burgers; at the weekend a superb classic American brunch is served.
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The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago – 9/10
This luxury downtown property - just a short walk from the Lakefront Trail - embraces the history of the “Windy City”. Located just steps away along the Magnificent Mile - the architecture of historical industry is ever-present on the hotel’s exterior; inside guests find a peaceful and elegant retreat which epitomises modern day luxury. The property embraces history throughout the property, the art collection showcases both the historical architectural heritage of the city and contemporary design.
Guestrooms feature large picture windows from which to enjoy views of Lake Michigan and city, luxury down duvets and pillows, thick terry robes and slippers, Nespresso coffee machines and high-speed internet.
The hotel’s Fitness Centre is fully equipped with up to the minute cardiovascular equipment users benefit from amazing city views through the floor to ceiling windows. Wellness, Yoga and Pilates classes are available. There is an outdoor rooftop pool and an indoor pool. Rooftop dining and cocktails are available at Torali, a bar and restaurant on the 12th floor, diners can choose from modern Italian cuisine including hand-made pastas and steakhouse favourites. The Italian theme continues through the cocktail wine and spirits menu featuring classics like Prosecco Negroni, Bellini and zesty Limoncello Spritz. The Cafe is a greenhouse inspired space to enjoy speciality coffees, pastries, and light bites.
Viceroy – 9/10
The Viceroy is located in the historic downtown district just steps away from the iconic Magnificent Mile. The hotel is housed in a modern 18-floor glass building tucked behind a magnificent 1920’s façade. Guests can book use of the Viceroy Tuk Tuk - a 3-wheeled electric vehicle - for short journeys around a mile radius of the property. Guestrooms are furnished in a retro-chic design with gold and black décor, complimentary Wi-Fi, Nespresso coffee machine, bedside and desk charging ports and Smart television. Bathrooms are fitted with Rain showers and stocked with both Natura Bisse and ROIL amenities. Guest can relax on loungers by the Rooftop Pool (seasonal opening) and enjoy the views of Lake Michigan below.
Devereaux is the rooftop lounge where light snacks and cocktails are served. In Somerset, the main restaurant, diners choose from a wide variety of modern American and International dishes with an upscale twist such as wood-fired Ny Strip with citrus-mustard butter and carrot hummus and whole roasted chicken with squash and polenta. Whilst not an extensive space, the Fitness Centre features both cardio and resistance equipment, all that is needed for a quick workout. For those seeking watery relaxation, the hotel arranges visits to AIRE Ancient Baths which offers the traditions of Greek and Roman bathhouses – just a short distance away.
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago – 9/10
Again, located steps from both the Magnificent Mile and Lake Michigan’s waterfront, this Four Seasons property offers the highest guestrooms in the Chicago. Guests can use the complimentary House Car service offering time limited to shorter journeys from the property to reach nearby attractions. From the cool calm chic marble lobby to the taupe and oatmeal room interiors this property exudes the celebrated “Four Seasons chic”. The stylish rooms with the Signature Four Seasons Bed, offer a choice of panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the wider city. All feature Nespresso coffee machine, private bar and bedside smartphone charge points, Wi-Fi is complimentary; the marble bathrooms offer Natura Bisse amenities and plush terry bathrobes.
Fitness Centre, 50-foot indoor swimming pool, steam room and whirlpool. The Social Lounge offers all-day dining. Afternoon tea and evening cocktails is located next to Adorn Bar & Restaurant where Executive Chef Jonathon Sawyer has created a menu of inspired signature dishes such as Broccoli and Ricotta Gnocchi and Triple cooked whole eggplant. In the Spa, the signature Four Seasons massage and body treatments can be customised to individual guests needs. The 50-foot Roman-inspired swimming pool and jacuzzi are flooded with natural light from a glass-domed ceiling during the day … and is a portal to the stars by night.
Park Hyatt – 9/10
The Park Hyatt Chicago is the world’s founding Park Hyatt property. From its superb downtown location on North Michigan Avenue, the hotel has been the foundation stone for this well-known high-end international hotel brand since it opened in 2000. The building is the twelfth-tallest in Chicago at 257 metres in height – complete with 70 floors. Just a short walk from the Museum of Contemporary Art and Lake Shore, Park Hyatt luxury awaits with an impressive private art collection and fine-dining cuisine. The property has 198 rooms and suites – a minimum of 550 square feet - with king bed as standard, coffeemaker and minifridge, in-room tablet technology, individually controlled heat, and air-conditioning.
The bathrooms feature walk-in shower with dual showerhead, two sink marble vanity areas, robes, slippers and complimentary Le Labo toiletries. Guests can enjoy all-day dining in NoMI Lounge and Garden; choose from floor to ceiling views immersed in an open kitchen experience or step outside and experience arguably Chicago’s greatest rooftop dining experience. The restaurant serves a range of sharing plates and is well-known for its sushi and seafood “towers”. NoMI offers rare and unique wines by the glass to compliment this unique dining experience. On the 7th floor an Olympic length, three lane lap pool is located. The Fitness centre is open 24-hours and features the latest Peloton bike equipment.
Thompson - 9/10
Located on a leafy street in Downtown Chicago and overlooking the Gold Coast of Lake Michigan, this property is part of a fashionable and innovative boutique Thompson Hyatt portfolio. Here, the emphasis is on integration into the local neighbourhood community. With echoes of loft-conversion industrial chic, British designer Tara Bernerd has created a hotel that gives guests the comforts of modern day with a stylish industrial twist. In all 247 elegant rooms and suites, king-sized beds with 400 thread count Sferra linens is standard. They also feature flat-screen televisions, individually controlled heating and air-conditioning, and digital check-in that brings modern technology to the fore. Wi-Fi is complimentary to all guests throughout the hotel. Bathrooms feature state-of-the-art rain showers and oversized Frette robes.
Dining options include Nico Osteria - an all-day dining location - with a lunch and evening menu of Italian seafood, house pastas, bruschetta, and desserts for casual dining with rustic flair. Salone Nico is the “Downtown” wine bar and cocktail lounge with an impressive European wine list that focuses on smaller French and Italian producers and older vintages. Afternoon cocktail and aperitifs are served here in a lively but relaxed atmosphere. The Fitness centre is open 24-hours a day and features cardio, spin, and free-weight machines.
Langham – 9/10
With an emphasis on timeless British style blended with luxury, this Langham property has become an iconic Chicago landmark. Located Downtown overlooking the Chicago River this skyscraper features 316 guestrooms and suites. All rooms are furnished with warm yet neutral tones of grey and taupe to compliment the handcrafted dark wood structure of its furnishings and accentuate the light flooding through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Relax in the Signature Blissful Bed, reveal the views outside at the touch of a button with the opaque privacy glass settings. All rooms feature complimentary wi-fi and tea & coffee making facilities. Bathrooms crafted from Botticino Fiorito marble and Travertine feature dual vanity, rainforest showers, soaking tub, Chuan Spa amenities.
Dining options include Travell for all-day dining - with a menu of seasonal American cuisine or Pavillion, home to the traditional Langham Afternoon Tea a place for light snacks and drinks. For activity there is a Health club with fitness equipment, steam and sauna and an indoor swimming pool. Guests can unwind in the Chuan Spa and wellness retreat which features a range of treatments founded upon Traditional Chinese Medicine. Families will love The Kid’s Suite, a play area furnished with a variety of games and activities to keep younger guests occupied. The private Cinema Suite for up to 12 people offers luxurious leather chairs from which to watch your favourite movie.
The Talbott – 9/10
Located a short walk from the beach and within walking distance of the Water Tower Place Mall this hotel is part of Joie de Vivre by Hyatt which aims to integrate hotel properties into the local neighbourhood and offer a true reflection of local life within the property. Re-developed in a neighbourhood style as part of an original 1920’s building this is a stylish modern boutique hotel - with 178 rooms and suites. In room amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, individually controlled heat and air-conditioning, blackout curtains, Apple Mac minis, iPod docking stations and Jonathan Adler bath toiletries. Slippers, coffeemaker and minifridge are offered upon request. The property has the Green-seal certification for eco-friendly housekeeping and climate control.
The 20 East restaurant is founded on the “Four Corners” principles of creative culinary, superior service, unique design, and relaxed atmosphere. Guests will find a creative quality-driven American style menu including sandwiches, large plate, cocktails, and craft beers. In summertime the patio is open for seasonal al-fresco dining, service extends to the Lobby Bar and Lounge areas. A children’s menu, play area and babysitting service are available. Guests at the property can use the facilities of Equinox fitness centre which has an Olympic size swimming pool and gym, this spa & wellness centre is just a 5 minute walk away.
Loews – 9/10
This luxury property is located a short walk from Navy Pier and close to the Magnificent Mile in the Downtown area of the city. The location affords a range of panoramic and breath-taking views through floor to ceiling windows out across the lake and city skyline. A focus on modern and uncluttered design, Loews Chicago offers 400 guestrooms and suites with plenty of light flooding through the floor-to-ceiling windows: an uncluttered, modern, and spacious design with colours of grey and ivory. Modern bathrooms feature oversized shower and Julien Farel bath and hair care amenities. Guests can keep in touch with complimentary Wi-Fi available throughout the property.
The spa offers massage, body treatments and facials and the Fitness Centre has a broad range of bikes, treadmills, strength training machines. ETA Restaurant and bar offers rustic American cuisine. Streeterville Social serves cocktails, snacks, burgers, and salads al-fresco, it is an extremely popular rooftop terrace, the largest in the city. Flavour by Loews Chicago restaurant focuses on artisan local food and beverages sourced from some of the finest Mid-West producers.
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