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Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel), Chicago

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Chicago, Illinois, United States, North America: view of the John Hancock Building from a Deluxe King guest room at the Ritz-Carlton
160 East Pearson Street
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 800 621 6906 (toll-free)
Tel: 312 266 1000
Fax: 312 266 1194's insider take:

Set right above Water Tower Place in the heart of the Gold Coast, Chicago's Ritz-Carlton (which is owned and managed by the Four Seasons) has been around since 1977. But after a multimillion-dollar renovation completed in spring 2009, you'd never guess that it's one of the country's oldest Ritz hotels: In guestrooms equipped with Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, an updated ensemble of dark wood furniture, white linens, graphic wall coverings, and photos of Chicago architecture has replaced the former chintz-and-brocade look. The 525 rooms, located on floors 15 to 29, are slightly bigger and higher-ceilinged than those at the Four Seasons, and the place has the concept of service down to a science. Phone messages are hand-delivered; kid-friendly items, from toys to PlayStation consoles, are ferried to the rooms of travelers with children. The staff also keeps a stockpile of necessaries on hand for adults, including curling irons and even cummerbunds for forgetful groomsmen. There's a modern in-house spa, but the best pleasures here are still the old-fashioned ones, like taking English afternoon tea in the magnificent greenhouse lobby.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Overall Score: 90.3
  • Design: 86.8
  • Food: 88.4
  • Location: 94.0
  • Rooms: 90.5
  • Service: 91.9
In a "perfect location" near the activity on Michigan Avenue, this hotel on floors 15 through 30 of Water Tower Place has an exterior of marble and glass, and a recently renovated lobby with 19-foot ceilings and a sky-lit fountain. Dine on brasserie-influenced cuisine, including steamed mussels with french fries, at Deca Restaurant and Bar, and finish the meal with the signature Deca-dent Cake—a ten-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. The "well-trained and polite staff are attuned to traveler needs." The 2,900-square-foot Presidential Suite has a baby grand piano; its guests are picked up from the airport in a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

(434 rooms)
—2011 Gold List

Amenities: Pool, Spa

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.