Enormous and ideally situated, this hotel calls out to families with generously sized rooms and a large indoor pool. It attracts numerous businesspeople and caters to all with Shula's Steak House. There's also a fitness center, sun deck, and dry sauna. Guest rooms—along with the rest of the hotel—underwent renovations in 2015, and the beds are divine.
Save a few bucks each night with self-service parking ($55 as opposed to the $67 valet cost). You still get in-and-out privileges.
Neutral color palettes are a standard at most Sheratons, including this one, with beige carpeting, blonde-wood furnishings and a fabric headboard with a cool design. A red armchair is cozy and provides a pop of color. Travelers working while on the road will find the desk and chair to be ergonomically comfy. An in-room coffee maker with Starbucks grounds is a nice start to the day without leaving the room. Families will find the Family Guest Room convenient with its two Double beds and a Twin sofa sleeper, plus complimentary breakfast for up to two kids and a welcome bag on arrival filled with candy, snacks and bottled waters.
Request a Deluxe Water View room--just like it sounds, you'll have an amazing vantage point of either Lake Michigan or the Chicago River.
Le Grand Bath toiletries are in all baths, which are well-lit and feature long creamy-white sink and vanity countertops, with mahogany-like wood below. An accent wall in the tub area provides visual interest.
Grand and spacious, the lobby is not cozy or inviting but it's also not shabby. Tuscan-like columns, potted ferns and a rotunda ceiling greet guests upon arrival.
Families and work-out enthusiasts like the indoor pool on the seventh floor, overlooking the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Lap lanes are carved out into the space, too. Come summer, the sun deck is open, which is a great spot to get some sunshine and enjoy a good book, without the crowds.
Located next to the pool on the seventh floor, pretty much every machine you could desire is here, including elliptical cross trainers, treadmills and free weights. There are also men's and women's locker rooms and dry saunas to enjoy.
Shula's Steak House is the sole eatery at this hotel, offering dinner service only. Just like the name sounds, steak is the main thrust here and the steakhouse is continually ranked one of Chicago's best.
You definitely don't need a car at this property--and can easily avoid a pricey nightly parking fee. The 124 bus a block west travels south on Michigan Avenue. Grand is the closest L stop, at the corner of State and Grand, a 14-minute walk. Uber and Lyft drivers are always nearby.
Shaw's Crab House (12-minute walk) is a great seafood concept for lunch and dinner that even kids will enjoy (and adults will like the sushi, oysters and entree-sized salads). Pizzeria Uno (14-minute walk) serves Chicago's famous deep-dish style pizza.
For some tunes with your beer, head to House of Blues Chicago (16-minute walk). Tiki drinks more your vibe? Three Dots and a Dash (17-minute walk) is a locals' favorite.
WHY WE LIKE IT
While this isn't the best Sheraton you'll find across the country, it's filled with what you'd expect from the brand, including a steakhouse, indoor pool with a view and recently remodeled rooms. You can't beat the location as it's immediately north of the Chicago River near North Columbus Drive, wedged between the lakefront and bustling Michigan Avenue.