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Hard Rock Hotel, Chicago 

230 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago , Illinois
Tel: 866 966 5166 (toll-free)
Tel: 312 345 1000
view web site ›'s insider take:

Channel your inner Hendrix at this way-cool 381-room Loop boutique, aptly located in a champagne-bottle-shaped Art Deco high-rise. Pictures of Bowie, the Beatles, Madonna, and other rock legends line the walls and hallways of this Daniel Burnham-designed tower. Rooms have teak-style furnishings, plasma TVs, DVD players, and lots of black, grays, glass, and mirrors. The purple-upholstered faux Barcaloungers are a great place to kick back and practice air guitar. Party into the wee hours at the hotel's Base Bar, then sleep off the hangover in a comfy feather bed. For the best views, book one of the Hard Rock rooms. The popular pan-Asian China Grill is in the lobby.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Three cheers for the Hard Rock, which gave new life to the old Carbide and Carbon Building, whose unusual dark-green and gold facade adds credence to the story that this 1929 Art Deco treasure was designed to resemble a champagne bottle. Now, it's a 381-room hotel best appreciated by anyone who's ever had a rock 'n' roll fantasy. More than a few guests may be tempted to choose their floor based on the artifacts displayed near the elevators; on the nineteenth, for instance, is a Gibson guitar that Jimi Hendrix used to record "All Along the Watchtower." The rooms are hip, if a tad bleak—blacks, grays, glass, and mirrors—and staff, once reportedly long on attitude, have discovered the benefits of service with a smile.—2005 Hot List

When to go: Summer and fall—the most conducive to strolling the nearby, spectacular Millennium Park.

Which room to book: Views, down North Michigan Avenue or toward the Chicago River, are best from the "Hard Rock" rooms and those in The Tower

Amenities: Bar/lounge, Gym, 24-hour Room Service, Wheelchair-accessible

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