In 2013, the property's multi-year renovation revealed a new look to the lobby (check out the high-gloss red alligator fabric on the registration desk). Rooms reflect the hotel's global-chic aesthetic, with steamer-trunk nightstands and Moroccan lamps. Another nice touch are each room's bay windows.
The best feature of each room is the bay window, with its black-and-white chic cushion. If you're lucky enough to be on a higher floor, sitting here can feel like you're floating above the city of Chicago (not bad!). Cherry-red, turquoise, chocolate-brown and ivory colors in the room design are chic and the bed frames ornately carved wood. It's totally fine to bring Fido as the hotel does not charge a pet deposit or additional fee; there's also no limit on the dog's size, unlike other hotels.
Complimentary high-end coffee is available from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and guests are offered free wine in the evening evening from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Toiletries from Atelier Bloem are in fun scents, like fig, geranium and oolong tea. Almost all of the rooms feature a bath tub.
Black-and-white framed photos blown up to art size and hanging on the walls remind of the building's architectural history. Black and ivory high-back chairs with nailhead accents are a great spot to cozy up with a book or enjoy the hotel's hosted wine hour each evening.
A fitness center on the second-floor helps travelers stay committed to their work-out routine. However, there are just five machines so keep that in mind (they could be in use). Yoga mats in the room help you find some Zen and can be used with the hotel's fitness channel (yoga and pilates). The hotel also provides a jogging map if you want to combine sightseeing with exercise.
Come spring 2018, the hotel will welcome Fisk & Co., in the former South Water Kitchen space. Craft beer, seafood and gastropub-type fare will be on the menu.
Free bicycle rentals available through the hotel help you cruise along the lakefront, Chicago's crown jewel and just a few blocks to the east. A car isn't needed and you can save money on overnight parking by opting to use public transit. The L's Red line is a six-minute walk from the hotel and the 147 or 151 buses running up and down nearby Michigan Avenue trace the Loop in a North/South direction. Uber and Lyft drivers are always in the area.
Tavern at the Park (5-minute walk), along Michigan Avenue and across from Millennium Park, serves comfort foods ranging from fish and chips to a steak sandwich, for lunch and dinner. The Purple Pig (9-minute walk) continues to be a buzzy place since its 2009 opening, offering charcuterie and cheese boards, plus small-plate items.
If you like boutique-y, historical design spaces just like this hotel, then you'll love Cindy's (8-minute walk), the rooftop bar at Chicago Athletic Association. The building was a men's club long ago and recently reopened as a cool hotel. City Winery at the Chicago Riverwalk (5-minute walk) is one of the best spots in town to sip wine with a view.
WHY WE LIKE IT
You can't put a value on a hotel like this that features good design from the minute you walk into the lobby until you're back at the room. Rooms are spacious and that window seat really is an Instagram-worthy feature. With a decent restaurant on site and being equi-distance to the Chicago River and Michigan Avenue, pretty much everything you need is within reach. Plus, if you're traveling with the dog, this is a great place for both of you to be happy.