The atmosphere at this sleek spot, topped by ROOF, one of the Loop's most happening bars, is fun and youthful. Hanging in each of the moderately sized guest rooms is cheeky art meant to resemble puckered lips. The hotel announces itself with a massive lightning bolt out front and winged lighting sculptures in the lobby. You'd never guess this is a Doubletree (don't worry, warm chocolate-chip cookies are still presented upon check-in).
Punched up with fun, bright colors, rooms are full of little surprises such as a bright-orange fainting sofa. Smartly designed work areas feature easy plug-ins for laptops and other devices.
Ask for a room with a view of the Chicago River.
From the magnifying mirror to a tub deep enough for a true soak, the baths are spa-like sanctuaries.
Columns and walls are backlit in this open-air space, with plenty of comfy sofas and armchairs to chill.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you like to hang out in hotel lobbies with a drink, this isn't your place as bar service does not exist in the lobby. You have to zip up to the rooftop for drinks.
Touting seasonal ingredients (like cranberry and cinnamon in winter), Spa@theWit is popular with locals. Treatments are what you'd expect (massages, facials, wraps and body polishes). Get to your appointment early enough to hang out in the Whisper Lounge, a super-calming space.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Far from full-service--there's no pool or steam room--if you're looking for a pampering spa day you'd be better off at another downtown Chicago hotel.
Pump up your adrenaline levels at the 2,500-square-foot fitness center, open 24/7, with state-of-the-art machines.
There's no extra fee to use the gym (rare for downtown Chicago hotels) so long as you're a hotel guest so don't be shy about taking advantage of this perk.
Service at State and Lake Chicago Tavern's gastropub environment never stops, starting with melt-in-your-mouth malted pancakes in the morning and steak at night. To beat the rush to the rooftop bar ROOF, have pre-dinner drinks at ROOF then head to the tavern.
Love live music? Local musicians perform Friday and Saturday nights at the tavern.
Drinks at ROOF, the hotel's rooftop bar, are matched with panoramic views of Lake Michigan and Chicago's stunning architecture, making the place feel more like South Beach than the Windy City (that's a good thing!). Guest DJs perform on weekends.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Being a hotel guest doesn't mean you can bypass the line at ROOF, nor does it let you in for free. You're basically competing with the general public and receive no special treatment. But to avoid a wait, book a table through the hotel's website.
An L stop (State/Lake) is literally next to the hotel, with connections to all parts of the city. An Uber ride of 10 minutes or less, or a stroll of--at most--20 minutes connects you to attractions, museums, theaters and nightlife in the Loop, River North, West Loop and Gold Coast areas. Buses run up and down North Michigan Avenue (146, 147 and 151), two blocks east of the hotel.
Cross the river (two blocks north) and you're in the hot River North neighborhood, where Tiki drinks and Hawaiian-themed eats at Three Dots and a Dash (10-minute walk) are a fun start to the evening. Modern Mexican food at Mercadito (9-minute walk) will forever change any opinions that this type of cuisine is ho-hum and casual (just bite into the lobster tacos and you'll see).
Listen to the founding music of Chicago at House of Blues Chicago (4-minute walk) and sample suds from one of Chicago's newest craft breweries. Stocks & Blondes (11-minute walk) is a solid example of a sports bar and the kitchen stays open late, in case you get midnight cravings.