The Top 10 Hotels in Chicago in 2017
Maybe it’s because the Cubs finally won the World Series, or the fact that it’s Obama’s hometown: Chicago is red hot right now. Last year, more than 54 million people visited the city, an all time record. To keep up with the demand, several new luxury hotels have opened — and many of the established properties underwent multimillion-dollar renovations to stay competitive.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Hotels were classified as City or Resort based on their locations and amenities.
Our readers recognized the Peninsula, this year’s World’s Best winner in Chicago, for its extensive room renovations, which were completed in 2016. Guests now use tablets to control everything from the air-conditioning to the television. “The level of service is above and beyond,” said one reader. “Rooms are spacious, comfortable, and offer the latest technology at your fingertips.” The hotel has also added a few new perks like the “Keys to the City” program, which gives each guest access to unique experiences around Chicago — think exclusive kitchen tours at Michelin-starred restaurants like Grace.
The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, another hotel topping this year’s list, was featured on our It List in 2016. The property impresses with its attention to design and history; the Venetian Gothic clubhouse was built in 1893, and much of that retro feel was either preserved or re-created by interiors firm Roman & Williams. (For example, guests get boxing-style robes.) “They have super nice rooms, and I love that the original ‘gym’ look was kept. Plus, Shake Shack is in the main lobby,” said one reader. Like the CAA, another newcomer to the list, the Virgin, stood out for its social spaces: the Commons Club bar (a great place for cocktails) and the speakeasy Upstairs. For the full list of the best hotels in Chicago, scroll down.
10. Alise (formerly Hotel Burnham)
9. Park Hyatt
8. Virgin Hotels Chicago
7. Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown
6. Four Seasons Hotel
5. Waldorf Astoria
4. Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
2. The Langham
1. The Peninsula
It’s clear that our readers are in love with the recent changes at this North Michigan Avenue landmark, which underwent a $37 million renovation last year. From the crisp new room décor to the tablet technology and inventive guest perks, the improvements were enough to bump this luxury hotel from No. 4 on the 2016 World’s Best list to No. 1. “The Peninsula is the most beautiful and luxurious place we’ve stayed in Chicago in a long time,” said one reader. The spa, occupying the 19th and 20th floors of the hotel, is another hit. It offers Asian-inspired treatments and an indoor pool overlooking Lake Michigan and the city’s skyline.