Hip but cozy, the Hotel Felix uses a mixture of soft browns and grays throughout. The rooms are stylish, and the lobby, decorated with glass sculptures suspended from the ceiling, is small and inviting. Views are solid and the spa is divine: ultra-dark and quiet, it protects visitors from outside noise.
Because Hotel Felix is an eco-friendly hotel (LEED certified silver), that mantra extends to the rooms where, as much as possible, organic materials were used in the 2009 conversion from a 1926 building into a property that's up to today's standards. There isn't a lot of bright colors in the room--more like Zen, neutral shades--which is in perfect pitch with this property. Working on the road? You'll find the room's desk area up to par.
An open shelf in the bath--as opposed to a walled cabinet--stores toiletries, a hair dryer and drinking glasses as well as other amenities. The chic black-and-ivory color scheme makes up for the fact that this is not a spa-like bath, but definitely functional, clean and modern.
A mezzanine in the spacious lobby makes the space seem more grand, not to mention bigger, and walls of windows overlook the streets out front (as well as provide natural lighting). Patterned carpeting, sets of sofas and armchairs, and vases of flowers plus potted plants lend an urban vibe.
Pad down to the lobby in your slippers each morning starting at 7 a.m. for complimentary coffee service.
A fitness center is open 24/7, filled with all the machines you'd expect to help squeeze in a workout during your stay.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Yes, there's a fitness center but certainly not a gym as the spot lacks multiple machines and state-of-the-art equipment. With three treadmills and two trainers to satisfy an entire hotel, you just might have to wait your turn.
Troquet, the hotel's restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, emulates a French bistro with menu selections that include Croque Monsieur sandwiches, mussels with frites and Coq au Vin pasta.
Happy-hour specials aren't just the drinks. Pay just $4-$6 for select food items 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.
Wines at Troquet's bar are on tap (a new vino trend) and the cocktails are what you'd expect in an European-bistro setting (from Bloody Mary to Kir Royale). If you like imported beers, there are tons here, plus some Chi-town craft brews.
River North is the happening place in Chicago right now for bar and restaurant openings as well as high-concept chains; all of that is a short Uber or Lyft ride away. But you can also travel on the 147 or 151 buses to the Loop to experience museums and Millennium Park. And if you like to shop, Michigan Avenue is just a few blocks to the east.
The Boarding House, a dinner-only venue two blocks away, is a jovial three-story restaurant with a female owner who doubles as sommelier. The menu is comfort-food driven, from truffle-cream pasta to braised short ribs, with hearty sides. Portillo's Hot Dogs is a must for Chicago-style hot dogs: there's one a block from the hotel.
Kerryman Irish Bar & Restaurant is a block from the hotel and there's no shortage of Guinness on tap. At Headquarters Beercade (7-minute walk), vintage arcade and pinball games are yours to use and nearly 30 beers are on tap nightly.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Location means a lot when selecting a hotel and what's nice about this one is that it's not stuck in one neighborhood. While technically in River North, the Gold Coast, downtown, West Loop and Mag Mile are so close. Plus, it's cool to retire back to an eco-friendly hotel at night that is doing the best it can to improve the environment.