Book your next stay at one of these hotels—they're the best in Chicago.
Travel + Leisure Staff
October 18, 2013
1 of 10Courtesy of The Elysian
No. 1 Waldorf-Astoria Chicago
Architect Lucien Lagrange created this 60-story skyscraper (formerly the Elysian) in the style of a 1920s Parisian grand hotel, complete with a brick porte-cochere for elegant arrivals and departures. The lobby, with dark swirls running through the white marble floor, is gleaming and elegant, as are the 188 guest rooms. Occupying the first 27 floors, they’re done up with platinum and champagne color schemes and luxe furnishings, including tufted headboards and fireplaces—not to mention the Rivolta Carmignani Italian bed linens. From the pin-tucked curtains to the jewelry design–influenced lighting fixtures, it’s all très Chanel and Dior (you’ll find coffee-table books on these designers in some of the rooms). The 14,000-square-foot spa and health club is situated above the hotel’s courtyard and offers Gyrotonic and Pilates as well as Lava Shell massages.
2 of 10Courtesy of The Peninsula Chicago
No. 2 The Peninsula Chicago
As you walk into the Peninsula, the concierge and receptionist greet you by name; classical music plays when you enter one of the 339 rooms; and your bedside table has a control panel to manage the lighting, deactivate the doorbell for privacy, and alert housekeeping when you want service. The luxury extends to the hotel’s spa by ESPA: it includes an outdoor sundeck, spa cuisine, eight treatment rooms, a steam room, and a lap pool. And be sure to dine at Shanghai Terrace—Food & Wine voted it one of the top 100 Asian restaurants in the U.S.
3 of 10William Huber
No. 3 Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
Perched in the heart of downtown Chicago along the Chicago River, Trump International Hotel offers stunning views throughout all aspects of its 92-story frame. The 339 guest rooms, 23,000-square-foot spa, and modern-American restaurant, Sixteen, have floor-to-ceiling windows, providing photo ops of the city and river at almost every turn. Spacious accommodations allow plenty of room to relax, with custom furnishings, stainless steel kitchens, photos and artwork of Chicago landmarks, and wood accompaniments. The central location is within walking distance to the Art Institute, Riverwalk, and shopping along Michigan Avenue.
4 of 10Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton, Chicago
No. 4 Ritz-Carlton, Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)
Situated directly above Water Tower Place, the Ritz-Carlton has an Art Nouveau—inspired lobby with a dramatic marble fountain and wall-to-wall windows framing views of the city below. Impressive vistas are also a major feature of the 434 guest rooms, which overlook either Lake Michigan or the Magnificent Mile. Despite its luxury status, the hotel is also family-friendly: the chef hosts daily cookie-baking sessions, while a “candy man” travels room to room with a cart of complimentary sweets. Additional amenities include a spa, an indoor pool, and the Deca Restaurant + Bar, which serves regional cuisine.
5 of 10Courtesy of Four Seasons, Chicago
No. 5 Four Seasons Hotel, Chicago
Situated above the 900 North Michigan Shops, this French-inspired hotel is located on floors 30–46 of a skyscraper just off Michigan Avenue. Inside, the marble lobby contains oversize crystal chandeliers and a grand central staircase leading to the 345 guest rooms, all with panoramic views of Lake Michigan or the downtown skyline. In addition to large picture windows, the rooms include brightly colored artwork and Chinese-marble bathrooms stocked with L’Occitane products. The hotel also has a full-service spa, a restaurant serving locally inspired cuisine, and kid-friendly amenities like a “bedtime story butler” and homemade sundaes delivered to the rooms.
6 of 10Courtesy of Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
No. 6 Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Paris flirts with the Midwest at Sofitel’s North American flagship property. The 32-floor glass prism, Parisian-inspired restaurant (Café des Architectes), and sleek staircase in the lobby all create an understated elegance. With paneled maple walls, king-size feather beds, burgundy carpet, and bamboo textiles, the 415 rooms may sound imposing, but actually provide a comfortable, light-filled respite after a day of shopping. Local and Parisian silk-screen prints fill the hotel walls and elevators, and Le Bar, the cocktail lounge, features striking oil paintings.
7 of 10Courtesy of Renaissance Hotels
No. 7 Renaissance Chicago Downtown
8 of 10Courtesy of Park Hyatt Chicago
No. 8 Park Hyatt Chicago
Rising 67 stories above Michigan Avenue, the Park Hyatt Chicago is within a five-minute walk of major attractions like the John Hancock Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The hotel has an urban-chic vibe that begins in the lobby, where huge black columns make a striking first impression. The 198 renovated guest rooms contain reproduction Eames furniture, as well as oversize soaking tubs with candles, and window seats overlooking Lake Michigan or the Magnificent Mile. Amenities include a spa, a cocktail lounge, and the NoMI Kitchen, which serves locally inspired cuisine.
9 of 10Courtesy of The James
No.9 The James, Chicago
Opened in April 2006, The James marries a residential vibe to a hotel setting. To evoke an apartment style, all of the 297 contemporary rooms have a separate dining area with plasma screen TV’s; some include a separate living area with oversize couches, coffee tables, and Eames chairs. Art is also an essential part of the property—the lobby features a rotating gallery from the Museum of Contemporary Art; David Burke’s Primehouse restaurant showcases painter Todd White; and the Jbar displays video art on plasma screen TV’s.
10 of 10Courtesy of Omni Chicago
No. 10 Omni Chicago Hotel
Overlooking the Magnificent Mile, the Omni Chicago Hotel is the only all-suites hotel on Michigan Avenue. Upon arrival, little ones are greeted with a backpack full of games and books, while adults appreciate the goodie-filled refreshment center, 37-inch plasma TV, luxurious robes, and evening turndown service featured in each of the Omni’s 347 suites. Guests can also splash around in the indoor pool, soak up rays on the hotel’s rooftop sundecks, and savor modern American comfort food while enjoying awe-inspiring views at 676 Restaurant.
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