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The Wit, Chicago 

201 N. State Street
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 800 222 8733 (toll-free)
Tel: 312 467 0200
view web site ›'s insider take:

Located a block south of the Chicago River, on the edge of the theater district, the Wit is Doubletree's successful entrée into the cluster of Chicago hotels (the James Chicago, Hotel Sax, and the W hotels) aiming to be one-stop nonstop entertainment complexes. The Wit, obviously, also wants to live up to its name. The result is a joy buzzer of a hotel that should come with its own laugh track…and almost does. The fun starts with a green superhero-style lightning bolt on the building's facade. Inside, an omnipresent sound system broadcasts jokes from comics who've stayed at the hotel, along with a tweeting chorus of songbirds in the hallways (soothing for some, alarming for anyone who has watched The Birds once too often). The hotel's more sober elements include a library, spa (try the mango exfoliating body wrap for a fruity detox), and posh 40-seat screening room that can be reserved for small groups. In addition to Roof, a rooftop lounge with live music, tapas, and fire pits on the alfresco terrace, there are two in-house restaurants: an Italian option, Cibo Matto, which serves first-rate bucatini carbonara and braised short ribs, and the casual State & Lake, where the menu tilts toward updated comfort food. The guest rooms vary significantly in size; the best are the two-room suites with spacious kitchens. Standard rooms, which have showers but no tubs, keep the party mood going with reasonable prices (starting at about $170 for a double), signature Popsicle orange chaises, jewel-tone throws, and tech-ready workstations. At turndown, the Wit goes for its last laugh—you might find a yo-yo or a bright yellow rubber lightbulb on your stack of pillows.—Raphael Kadushin

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
This smart downtown hotel on reviving State Street combines business traveler essentials with a buzzy scene and quirky touches like recorded birdsong in the hallways. At check-in, stylish front desk staff dispense warm chocolate chip cookies along with insider advice on the nightlife—although you may feel like staying put, since the two-story glass lobby broadcasts dance music 24/7 while, on warm evenings, fashionable young things line up awaiting access to the hotel's large rooftop bar. Double-layered glass muffles the noise of elevated commuter trains rumbling directly past architect Jackie Koo's jazzy 27-story tower. In the 256 cheerful teal- and magenta-accented rooms, deep soaking tubs face floor-to-ceiling windows; aerie suites on the top floors offer kitchens and chaise longues from which to admire views of the famed skyline, the Chicago River, and Lake Michigan. The Wit lives up to its name: Some of the more artful touches include the lobby's animé-inspired mural of a woman morphing into a phoenix (a reference to the Great Chicago Fire); wake-up calls recorded by actors from the Second City improv troupe posing as "The Prez," Muddy Waters, and other Chicago celebs; framed epigrams as wall art; and Rubik's cubes as turndown gifts. —2010 Hot List

Which room to book: The Paramount suites above the twentieth floor for the best city views.

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