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Concierge.com

Chicago

Chicago

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Destinations: 
Chicago,
Illinois,
North America,
United States

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$400 or more
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Hotel

James Chicago, Illinois

55 E. Ontario Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: 877 526 3755 (toll-free), Tel: 312 337 1000
Email: reservations@jameshotels.com
Website: www.jameshotels.com/chicago

Partners Danny Errico (owner of the Equinox fitness club chain) and Brad Wilson (co-founder of the W hotel chain), along with restaurateur Stephen Hanson and architect Deborah Berke, pulled off a nifty trick when they opened this property in April 2006. Together, they've created a downtown hotel that is both stylishly luxurious and a showcase for eclectic artwork. The airy lobby and guest rooms double as galleries for local up-and-coming modern artists, and even the enclosed courtyard has been turned into a video-projection exhibit space. The 297 rooms are decorated in earth tones and modernist furniture, with 42-inch plasma TVs and iPod docking stations. Some have nooks with king-sized daybeds; others have projection DVD players and surround sound. The hotel is home to David Burke's Primehouse, an outpost of the nouveau steak house in New York City, as well as a small spa, a gleaming gym, and the adjacent J Bar, which has quickly become one of the trendiest bars—hotel or otherwise—in town.

$300-$399
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Hotel

Park Hyatt Chicago, Illinois

800 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: 800 778 7477 (toll-free), Tel: 312 335 1234
Email: communicationschiph@hyatt.com
Website: www.parkchicago.hyatt.com

Other high-end Michigan Avenue hotels take a staid approach to luxury, but the Park Hyatt adds a running note of playful artistry and unabashed flamboyance. The hotel's art collection, selected by local curators, turns your room into a private gallery; the specially commissioned photos of Chicago complement a masculine mix of cherrywood and black leather Eames chairs. Book a room on the east side, where sliding doors between the bath and bedroom allow you to survey Lake Michigan from the comfort of your oversize marble soaking tub. If you want to commune more fully with the cityscape, head for the hotel's seventh floor, which was dramatically redesigned and reopened in June 2011 with an organic flow between its NoMI Kitchen, Lounge, Garden, and Spa. Under new executive chef Ryan LaRoche, NoMI Kitchen's original Asian-infused French menu has given way to a heartland focus on local sourcing and simpler preparations. The softened dining room follows suit, with rich wooden tables. NoMI Gardens, a terrace dressed up with a 30-foot natural teakwood bar, has become a focal point, and the garden itself drives the spa treatments, which favor rousing lavender, peppermint, and citrus accents.—Updated by Raphael Kadushin

$400 or more
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Hotel

The Peninsula Chicago, Illinois

108 E. Superior Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: 866 288 8889 (toll-free), Tel: 312 337 2888
Email: pch@peninsula.com
Website: chicago.peninsula.com

The 339 rooms at this swank Gold Coaster, aptly located next to Tiffany, are patrician and huge (the smallest start at 530 square feet). Avoiding flash for understated glamour, they glow in a fitting palette of soft golds. The sense of luxury follows you into the marble bathrooms, which include in-tub TVs, hands-free phones, a soaking tub, and a separate shower. Tech-friendly features range from complimentary Wi-Fi to a multifunction bedside control panel that adjusts temperature, lights, and curtains, meaning you'll never have to get out of bed. The penthouse spa and its mammoth lap pool, though, will probably get you moving. So will the Peninsula's four restaurants, including the acclaimed Avenues (now helmed by chef Curtis Duffy) and the Chinese jewel-box Shanghai Terrace (dine alfresco in the summer). And then there's the weekly calendar of food events: A Thursday ice-cream social stars sundaes, Key lime parfaits, and dreamsicles; afternoon tea gets a fashionable update on Fridays; and a weekend chocolate bar transports you to a candy-land fantasia.

$400 or more
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Hotel

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

160 East Pearson Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: 800 621 6906 (toll-free), Tel: 312 266 1000, Fax: 312 266 1194
Website: www.fourseasons.com/chicagorc

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.

$400 or more
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Hotel

Trump International Hotel & Tower, Illinois

330 North Wabash Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: 312 588 8000
Email: sales@trumpchicago.com
Website: www.trumpchicagohotel.com

$400 or more
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Hotel

W Chicago City Center, Illinois

172 W. Adams Street
Chicago, Illinois 60603
Tel: 888 625 5144 (toll-free), Tel: 312 332 1200, Fax: 312 917 5771
Website: www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=97509

The cool factor is high at this 235-room Loop head-turner from Starwood's hip W chain. Details from the former 1929 Beaux Arts gentleman's club can be seen in the lobby's vaulted arches and gold-leaf ceiling, although a 2009 renovation added thoroughly modern touches such as a carpet studded with LED lights to mimic the night sky. The stylish-but-small rooms were also redone with the hotel's twenty- and thirty-something clientele in mind—the mostly white design incorporates modular furniture, flat-screen TVs, and a magazine rack that converts to a cocktail bar. At night, a glam crowd fills the lobby, the Whiskey Blue bar (designed by Rande Gerber, Cindy Crawford's hubby), and the Tuscan-inspired Ristorante We. The scene at W's Lake Shore Drive location is even livelier, with a sizzling rooftop lounge (à la Gerber), the stylish Wave Restaurant, and the beach, bike paths, and Navy Pier just outside (644 N. Lake Shore Dr.; 312-943-9200).

$300-$399
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Hotel

The Blackstone, Illinois

636 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60605
Tel: 800 468 3571, Tel: 312 447 0955
Website: www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/chirh-the-blackstone-a-chicago-renaissance-hotel/

$400 or more
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Hotel

Four Seasons Chicago, Illinois

120 E. Delaware Place
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Tel: 800 819 5053 (toll-free), Tel: 312 280 8800
Email: concierge.fschicago@fourseasons.com
Website: www.fourseasons.com/chicagofs

The Four Seasons looms above the toniest stretch of N. Michigan Avenue in one of the country's tallest limestone buildings. Though the stature and location are grand, this is the city's most discreet luxury hotel, with its lobby tucked up on the seventh and eighth floors. And the 343 guest rooms are even more removed—they're on floors 30 through 46. They all have sweeping views of the city, but if you're willing to pay a bit extra, you can also look over the lake. More importantly, all the rooms are undergoing a $30-million renovation that will be completed in 2009. Nearly 300 of the guest rooms are already flaunting the new look, which swaps the former English-manor, high-tea decor for a forties, French cocktail party effect. That means Cubist artwork and curving Deco lines all laid out in your choice of two palettes: a cool blend of steel and oceanic blue or a warm scheme of chocolate browns and shimmery silvers. Both schemes feature upgraded bathrooms of hand-cut Chinese marble as well as fully modernized amenities, including LCD flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and iPod docking stations upon request.

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