Guaranteeing excellent views throughout an entire property is tough, which is why the Swissotel's triangular Harry Weese design is so special. Along with unobstructed panoramic vistas of the city, lake, or river, all rooms are situated on the exterior with no rooms across. Ultra-silent and generously-sized rooms that feel like condos are a boon for the predominantly business-centric crowd that stays here, plus on-site meeting rooms and UPS outlet for those last minute professional needs. A 42nd-floor fitness center and pool are both a big draw, with bird's-eye views of Navy Pier for seasonal fireworks.
YOU SHOULD KNOW This European luxury chain has properties all over the world, but Chicago is its only property in the continental United States.
Pick a view—none of them are bad. All rooms offer at least a peak of Lake Michigan (Lakeview rooms), the Chicago River (River View rooms) or Lake Shore East Park (Park View rooms). Clean, European design is outfitted with beige, minimalist treatments including Frette linens, plush beds, large desks and office chairs. Black out curtains and silent rooms are ideal for sensitive sleepers, while small amenities like umbrellas, iHome docks and Caribou coffee are helpful for busy guests on the go.
If you're traveling as a family or group, it's worth upgrading to the coveted 800-square-foot corner suite with separate living room, 1.5 bathrooms, large soaking tub, double beds, couch pulls into a full bed and panoramic views stretching from the Wrigley Building to Navy Pier.
White bath tubs and separate showers are stocked with Purovel luxury bath products. Primp up with well-lit vanity mirrors and monogrammed terrycloth robes.
Business travelers usually wheel through the two-story modern atrium, draped in neutral and purple tones with projections of the property's logo and a motif of Chicago. An open floor plan seamlessly connects the lobby bar, Amuse, with a fireplace and cozy couches often occupied with guests checking on emails or gathering before a meeting.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Swissotel is among the handful of hotels connected to Chicago's underground pedway running from Wacker Drive through major business sectors at AON Center and One Prudential Plaza all the way to the shopping and theater districts at Randolph Street and State Street by Macy's and Block 37. You'll be thankful during those harsh winters, promise.
An indoor heated 45-foot lap pool and hot tub are located on the 42nd floor inside the gym, with sweeping views of Lake Michigan and Chicago's iconic skyline.
Spa 42, a small four-treatment room on the 42nd floor, offers standard services including massages, facials, body wraps, and scrubs.
Located on the 42nd floor, the gym has the best views on property, featuring Precor cardio equipment, free weights, dry sauna, plus indoor pool and hot tub.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Swissotel's health-focused Vitality program offers complimentary work out classes every day from yoga to boot camp to running. You can also request in-room work out equipment like yoga mats and stabilization balls.
Swissotel isn't known as a dining destination among Chicago's foodies, but you'll never have to worry about going hungry. Stalwart The Palm, a steak and seafood restaurant on the first floor, is expected to undergo a renovation in 2018. Amuse, also located on the first floor in the lobby, features small plates and grab-and-go items. In basement is Geneva, a European-style buffet and full-service restaurant open for breakfast.
Buses run along Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, but it's a bit of a walk to the nearest Chicago 'L' train station at State/Lake (12-minute walk). During winter, you can take a sheltered walk via the underground pedway from the property's basement to the Washington Red Line 'L' stop (14-minute walk), but your best bet is to grab a taxi or use a ride-hailing app like Lyft or Uber.
Across the bridge in River North, it's a short distance to dining hotspots like The Purple Pig (10-minute walk), Shaw's Crab House (14-minute walk), and Chicago Cut Steakhouse (6-minute drive). If you want to get your hands on some deep dish pizza, it's only a 9-minute walk to local favorite, Giordano's.
Most of the popular bars are in nearby River North between State Street and LaSalle Street at places like Three Dots and a Dash (5-minute drive), Fremont (5-minute drive) and Bub City (5-minute drive).
WHY WE LIKE IT
Sleek and quiet with some of the most glittering skyline views in the city, it makes sense why this property is a hit among the upscale business traveler crowd. The location is a major plus, nestled along the river with pedway access to major destinations, complexes and peppered with quick professional services like UPS, nail salon, and easy access to Macy's for a last-minute suit emergency. Unobstructed panoramic views from the 42nd floor are an encouraging reason to hit the gym while on the road, and a nice perk to see Navy Pier fireworks away from the masses. It's more streamlined than other luxury properties, which might feel a little too sterile for families and leisure travelers but just hits the mark for busy guests who want the upscale comforts of a city condo.