While Chicago’s central midwest location means that it is often possible to fly in and fly out for the day, when you have to stay over, the Windy City, despite being 3rd in U.S. population has a surprisingly limited number of truly luxury hotels.
Here are the picks for the best of the best.
1. Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Forbes Travel Guide says, “With its prime Magnificent Mile location and attractive, contemporary rooms, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago (5-stars) is a top choice for visiting celebrities and those who appreciate the peace and quiet the polished staff practically guarantees. Rooms feature French deco style, with fabrics in rich chocolate, deep blue and shimmery silver hues, and new leather window seats in many rooms overlooking Lake Michigan and the Gold Coast. The lobby, grand ballroom and restaurants and the larger suites and apartments received updates in 2009. Two things haven’t changed though: the wonderful, personal service, and the location. The hotel is situated above the upscale shops of 900 North Michigan, and steps from the lakefront and Chicago’s top shopping.”
One of three signature suites, The 2,315 sq. ft. Presidential Suite, redesigned by Pierre-Yves Rochon, occupies a corner of the 46th floor and features magnificent views of Chicago and Lake Michigan blending the classic features of its original architecture with contemporary design. If you need more space, connecting rooms are available. More suites from Four Seasons Chicago here.
2. The Langham, Chicago
Forbes Travel Guide says, The (5-star) Langham, Chicago occupies the first 12 floors of a landmark building that sits beside the Chicago River. Designed by Midcentury Modern master architect Mies van der Rohe, the soaring 52-story structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. Inside the hotel, you can see nods to the building’s heritage — large, elegant guest rooms have subtle bronze accents while gorgeous travertine tiles are found in bathrooms and in public spaces. Guests are able to take afternoon tea in the open and airy Pavilion, dine at the Mediterranean restaurant Travelle Kitchen + Bar (designed by David Rockwell), indulge in a treatment at the Asian-inspired Chuan Spa or retreat to the 12th-floor club lounge for cocktails and magnificent views of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.”
The 2,700 sq. ft. 2-bedroom Infinity Suite on the 12th floor (The 11th floor Regent Suite has the same footprint, just different design) has ensuite bathrooms for each bedroom. There are formal dining facilities for up to 10 guests and a private butler pantry. There is an oversized living room with a fireplace and grand piano. View the Chicago River and cityscape framed from floor-to-ceiling windows. More suites here.
3. Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
Forbes Travel Guide says, “The 92-story glass and steel tower in which the (5-star) luxurious Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago resides brought a dose of glamour to an already glitzy skyline. Inside, the splendor continues, with rich, clubby woods and neutral tones balancing the sparkle of the views outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. The modern, slate-gray rooms are filled with custom-designed furniture and fully-stocked state-of-the-art kitchens. Summon the hotel’s chefs to cook for you in your room, or head to the signature restaurant, Sixteen, to sample the creative American cuisine served there.”
Grande Deluxe Lakeview Two Bedroom Suite
The 2,245 sq. ft. Grand Deluxe Lake View Two Bedroom Suites offer 10-ft floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Lake Michigan and the historic Wrigley Clock Tower. There is a separate living room with a contemporary marble surround fireplace, a full guest bath, large dining area with a dining room table and chairs and a fully equipped kitchen with appliances by Nespresso, Sub-Zero and Miele. Heavy fabric curtains, dark wood tables and a leather-topped desk to add to the sense of luxury, while artwork depicting classic scenes of Chicago life help create a sense of place. The Master bedroom features five fixture master baths with Kohler rain shower head, deep soaking tubs, in mirror TV, double sinks and Portuguese limestone tiled floors and shower surround. More suites here.
4. The Peninsula Chicago
Forbes Travel Guide says, “Peninsula Chicago (5-star) is the retreat of choice for stars and notables who come for the discreet, attentive service, delivered by a staff trained in the art of gracious hospitality. Luxurious guest rooms are bright with light wood and muted earth tones, and the marble bathrooms have oversized tubs where you can soak while catching up on the news on the flat-screen TV. A bedside control panel allows you to adjust the room’s temperature, lighting, music and even the curtains all without having to leave the comfort of the 300-thread-count sheets. The skyline level spa and fitness center provide a reason to leave the comfort of the spacious, contemporary guest rooms.”
The Peninsula Suite
On 18th floor overlooking Michigan and Chicago Avenues, the 3,645 sq. ft. Peninsula Suite features a baby grand piano and wrap-around terrace overlooking Lake Michigan with outdoor whirlpool tub. You can configure The Peninsula suite from one to three bedrooms and the entire wing can be blocked off if you require additional privacy. More suites here.
5. Park Hyatt Chicago
Forbes Travel Guide says, “The spirit of (4-star) Park Hyatt Chicago aligns with what the Windy City is known for: stunning art and design, great food and welcoming Midwestern hospitality. Its tony Gold Coast location just off the Magnificent Mile speaks to the type of place it is — a chic luxury hotel with contemporary, design-savvy style to spare. Sophistication and friendliness are not mutually exclusive at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star. Yes, expensive artwork adorns the walls and the dark and glamorous lobby makes for a dramatic entrance, but the staff is invariably amiable and incessantly working to learn the names and the whims of its guests. The library located off the lobby has cozy sofas and chairs, modern art books ready for perusal and an adjacent kitchen where you can treat yourself to tea and coffee while lounging about and peering through the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out onto bustling Chicago Avenue.”
Water Tower Suite
The 1,850 sq. ft. Water Tower Suite has 1-bedroom with a King Simmons Beautyrest bed, a 42” HDTV, a marble foyer, a half-bath, kitchenette, and large living with 55” HDTV and dining table seating five. More suites here.
6. The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago
Forbes Travel Guide says, “The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago’s location in the center of the Magnificent Mile on the exclusive Gold Coast can’t be beat. Shopping mecca Water Tower Place houses the hotel as well as some of the best stores and restaurants in the city. Just an elevator ride down from the 4-Star hotel in Water Tower Place is an elegant shopping center with more than 125 stores. With some of the Windy City’s most prestigious shopping and fine dining at its feet, the luxury Chicago hotel is in the perfect location to enjoy the savviest sightseeing in the city. Spend an afternoon perusing works from Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Dalí at the nearby Art Institute of Chicago; walk across the street to see the historic Water Tower, one of a few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871; or stroll over to popular Navy Pier along the lakefront.”
Spanning the 25th and 26th floor, the 2,900 sq. ft. two-story Presidential Suite features a spiral staircase leading from living spaces to King bedrooms. There are floor to ceiling windows providing views from the living area with baby grand piano. There’s also a full kitchen and private dining room, media room, three full marble bathrooms. More suites here.
7. Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Forbes Travel Guide says, “One of Chicago’s newest luxury hotels is also one of its most stylish. Waldorf Astoria Chicago is an Art Deco jewel inspired by the style of Coco Chanel — the drapes are patterned after her dress designs and the elegant chandeliers in the ballroom are modeled after her jewelry. The hotel draws from the past with its old-fashioned motor court and antiques while remaining firmly au courant with its crisp gray color palette and slick surfaces. The luxurious property is also home to celebrity chef Michael Mina’s first Chicago eatery: Margeaux Brasserie, serving up classic French fare on the hotel’s third floor. Be sure to also visit the lavish spa, a getaway itself with Greek columns and a mosaic pool covered in thousands of tiles.”
The 2,130 sq. ft. Presidential Suite is located on the 26th floor with three entrances and two private terraces, both with panoramic views of the Gold Coast neighborhood. There is an expansive living room with one-touch fireplace, dining table, fully equipped kitchen and butler pantry, two master bathrooms and a separate powder room. There’s also a media room, complete with an HD TV, games consoles, surround sound system and telephone conferencing services. More suites here.
More Chicago Suites
If you are looking for more, there are more Forbes Travel Guide reviews of other hotels in Chicago its inspectors have reviewed, including Thompson Chicago, Loews Chicago Hotel and JW Marriott Chicago.