Tucked into Chicago's tony Near North neighborhood, The Ivy Hotel caters to the urban eco-chic crowd who yearn to be close to designer shops on Michigan Avenue (the hotel is a block east) but that also have a passion for practicing environmental conservation. Guests are shuttled around, at no cost, in the hotel's two Lexus hybrid cars (will be available after the fall) and paperless check-in is done on iPads. Inside the shell of a vacant building for close to a decade, and most recently an office building, the revamped décor is largely neutral tones and guests enter the lobby under a soft, orange-red, white, or blue (depending on the time of day) glow.
A rooftop lounge on the 16th floor serving cocktails and tapas will properly usher in summer weather at the sleek hotel. And in the lobby lounge a four-course lunch or dinner can be arranged, folding in organic produce from two local purveyors.
On each floor, guests will find just four or five rooms (for a total of 63), which helps cultivate a quiet haven after a day of sightseeing. In fact, each suite has a soaking tub complete with lavender sea salts to coax away stress. Also in the rooms are 19-inch LED television built into the bathroom mirrors; bamboo flooring; rugs spun from spisal; linens (bed sheets, towels, and robes) created from Fair Trade, organic cotton; and amenity bottles featuring post-consumer recycled content. Non-toxic cleaning products, eco-friendly water and energy conservation, and recycling programs are also in place.
Thinking of a trip to Chicago?
For up-to-the-minute hotel and restaurant recommendations, as well as the best planning advice, check out our Chicago Travel Guide.
Photo credits: Courtesy of the Ivy Hotel