Open since 2013, a Mies van der Rohe-designed skyscraper is now home to the city's hottest stay. The Langham Chicago stands out for its winning mix of impeccable service, sleek style, and outstanding location. Spacious guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, dressing parlors, and marble bathrooms with soaking tubs and rain showers. Inventive cocktails are served in a midcentury-modern lounge overlooking the Chicago River, while Travelle (a Mediterranean-focused, David Rockwell–designed restaurant), has some of the most coveted tables in the city.
Lavenders and creams are very Zen-like in each of the rooms and, because they begin on the fifth floor, nearly all boast a view of either Chicago's skyline or the Chicago River. Furnishings are classy dark-walnut wood and the bed is Langham's signature Blissful mattress.
Splurge on a Club Level room and you get a complimentary breakfast buffet, afternoon tea, cocktails and snacks all day and into the evening, butler service, and exclusive access to the Boardroom for two hours. Depending on how often you eat here, and what coordination is needed during your stay, this could pay for itself.
Luxurious bath amenities hail from the hotel's Chuan Spa, where treatments are inspired by Chinese medicine. Only the most luxurious of materials were used in the bath: Travertine, Alaskan White granite and Botticino Fiorito marble. A deep soaking tub and rainfall shower-head are in each bath, regardless of the room category.
Completely encased in glass, the lobby's flooded with natural light that catches on metallic hanging fixtures for a glam touch, day or night.
One of the city's most beautiful swimming pools--its ceiling sparkles with lights that look like stars when you're floating beneath--is 67 feet long. A whirlpool is also in the space.
The spa alone is worth checking into The Langham, Chicago. Deep-purple fabrics and onyx-colored panels depicting Asian art are a nice departure from the minimalist decor spas typically employ. All treatments begin with the multi-step Chuan Bathing Ritual, incorporating a sauna, steam room, salt room and aromatherapy.
Just over 2,000 square feet, the fitness center is an inspiring place to work out, thanks to the skyline views, and is packed with machines. Group fitness classes are also available.
Afternoon tea is served with petit-fours and other treats on Wedgwood china, in the Pavilion Lounge, paired with live music on Friday through Sunday. The lounge's white sofas and wall of windows are the perfect spot to linger on a winter day. At Travelle Kitchen & Bar, a dining space with Danish-style table sets, and an interior designed by David Rockwell, Mediterranean-inspired meals are plated from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
The wrap-around bar at Travelle is quite swank. There isn't any drink the mixologists can't make for a guest (try them!).
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you're a penny-pincher and plan to throw back a lot of drinks, know that the cheapest selection is $15, which can add up real fast.
A car isn't needed here as you'll find that walking to and from museums and other attractions affords nice views of the Riverwalk, a block away from the hotel. Still, if you need to leave the area, Uber and Lyft drivers are always around, and L and bus lines are convenient.
Literally across the street inside Trump's Chicago property is Sixteen, one of the neighborhood's best restaurants--and views. A nightly tasting menu makes choosing what to eat a simple matter and, on warmer nights, the 16th-floor restaurant's terrace is open. Shaw's Crab House (3-minute walk) is an elegant oyster bar with other delicacies like sushi and Maine lobster.
Locals love one of the newest River North hot spots--Three Dots and a Dash (6-minute walk)--for the Tiki drinks. Soak up the Riverwalk view at City Winery at the Chicago Riverwalk (3-minute walk), with winery made in-house (using grapes sourced from wine regions such as Napa and Argentina) and live-music acts with national followings.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Just over the Chicago River in the buzzy River North neighborhood, also close to museums and attractions in the Loop, this is a clear competitor for Trump's tower across the street as well as the Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton further north in the Gold Coast. But what's fun about the Langham is its tie to the London brand as well as Asian influences. You feel like you've traveled somewhere just by checking into the hotel. And if you like to be pampered, you won't leave here unsatisfied.