Waldorf Astoria Chicago
11 E. Walton St., Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA
Parisienne-inspired opulence makes every guest feel like royalty. From the gorgeous facade reminiscent of Le Marais to its enormous award-winning spa, this property is a must for those who want to feel completely pampered.
The personal concierge service lives up to its VIP reputation and can help guests score tickets to coveted events like Hamilton on prime nights.
Residential feel with maximum space for spreading out, it's the only property in Chicago where nearly every room comes equipped with a gas fireplace and city view balcony. Clean, European-inspired rooms are decorated with touches like 460-count linens, original artwork, and plush sofas for hosting guests. Thick walls and black out curtains make this a silent dream for sensitive sleepers.
Feel free to bring your pet. As a testament to sticking with its friendly no-fee policy, the property once hosted a guest with a mini horse.
Set aside extra time to enjoy the impressively spacious marble mosaic bathrooms, each boasting a waterfall shower, deep-set marble bathtub, Salvatore Ferragamo soaps, original artwork, and luxe microfiber terrycloth robes worth paying extra to take home. In addition to adjustable mood lighting, every bathroom features a unique hidden feature: a TV located behind the mirror. "Why is that back there?" you might ask, and the answer is: who knows.
For a bath with a view, upgrade to the Grand Deluxe room which has a window next to the tub.
Inspired by Coco Chanel and French couture, the luxurious lobby features a stunning crystal chandelier inspired by her broach and Jim Dine's "Venus In Five Colors." If you plan on meeting someone, grab a cup of coffee and pastry at the new Cafe Petit Margaux on the ground floor.
Outfitted with iridescent mother of pearl mosaic roses to create the illusion of a rose-filled bath, the narrow two-lane heated pool located inside spa is better suited to swimming laps than splashing around. But it's usually pretty easy to squeeze in for a soak after morning exercise hours if you want to lounge around.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Families should check for designated kid-friendly times to make sure the pool isn't being used for laps.
Find the Waldorf's secret weapon on the fourth floor: an enormous 14,000-square-foot spa. Along with services like Rachel Zoe's DreamDay blowout salon and Labella Donna make-up services, the spa features gender-separated locker rooms with stocked with cashmere robes, jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms, infused waters, and Oribe products for women and Jack Black men's products. A state-of-the-art gym includes brand new equipment, plus complimentary sessions with pilates trainers for guests.
Among the anthology of spa services offered, the Waldorf is the only non-medical spa that offers SilkPeel facials, a non-invasive exfoliation technique.
Renowned restaurateur Michael Mina was recently tapped to overhaul the dining program, opening two new French restaurants in 2017: a bakery on the ground floor called Petit Margaux bakery and a brasserie on the second floor called Margaux.
Tucked away on the second floor is Bernard's Bar, a handsome craft cocktail lounge overlooking Oak Street featuring a select number of top-shelf whiskeys and French-inspired bites.
Valet service can easily secure a taxi or you can use a ride-hailing app to get around town. The hotel also offers complimentary car service on a first come, first serve basis to anywhere within an 8-mile radius. However, the hotel is located a few blocks away from a number of bus stops including the 22 Clark, 72 Division and 156 Union Station, and a short walk from the Red and Blue train lines.
You'll be hard-pressed to leave this luxe property, but you'll find plenty to do nearby. Rush Street might as well be called Steak Street for all the high-end meats at places like Gibson's Bar & Steakhouse, Morton's The Steakhouse, Ditka's Restaurant & Bar, and Maple & Ash (3-minute walk). Chicago's iconic deep dish is right in reach at Lou Malnati's (4-minute walk). For something a little lighter, head to Jellyfish (3-minute walk) for pricey sushi and Pan-Asian bites or Le Colonial for refined Vietnamese (1-minute walk).
Most of the bar scene is relegated to steakhouses and hotel bars, but there are a few casual gems. For people watching of the Rush Street triangle, go to American pub Lux Bar or Tavern on Rush (3-minute walk). Or if margaritas are more your scene, kick it at Blue Agave Tequila Bar & Restaurant (3-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Even if you're not a celebrity, exceptional service and amenities make every guest feel like one. Luxurious accommodations like deep-set baths with hidden television, working fireplaces, and plush bedding are so comfortable you'll never want to leave. A dip in the jacuzzi at Waldorf-Astoria's impressive spa and pampering with complimentary Oribe products make you want to book an extra day. But if you can tear yourself away, the property is a stone's throw from the high-end shopping and steakhouses on Rush Street and minutes from all the major tourist attractions.
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