For the best lakeside property in Chicago, look no further than this vibrant, modern property that has unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier (particularly a hot place to be during fireworks displays). Modern and dark with purple lights give this a hip funhouse vibe popular among young travelers and families near all the top tourist destinations.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Want a pillow fort or a pint of ice cream at midnight? W Hotel's "Whatever, Whenever" policy means you can literally get whatever you want, whenever you want it and the concierge will find a way to get it. Bonus: You're only billed for the price of the product, not the service.
Sleek black and white abstract murals bounce against chartreuse accents and custom hanging light treatments that look like wind chimes. If you opt for a king bedroom, feel free to invite guests: these stand out with unique banquette seating that curve from the window to the headboard, offering comfy seating for a party vibe. Plush beds featuring pillowtop mattress feel nothing short of luxurious, with blackout curtains for ultimate quiet and privacy. Complimentary room perks include eye masks and body buffs not often found in many properties. Get even more space by upgrading to the lakeview rooms, which are slightly bigger.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Love the bed? You can purchase it on the property's website. That's right--you can buy the dang hotel bed. For those with sensitive allergies, the 19th floor is completely hypoallergenic from scents and even uses different cleaning supplies.
Bathrooms vary by room—some might have a walk-in shower, European shower/bath combo, or larger deep-set tubs in some king suites—so it's worth inquiring if you have a preference. The Bliss spa experience extends to your room, with a signature line of products worth stuffing in your bag on the way out.
An open lobby flows from the door to the back dining room with concierge, bar and communal spaces mingling in between. Reflective with mirrored columns and circular black leather couches lend to the weekend's clubbier scene when DJs spin.
WET, the property's 8-foot pool area, is in the process of being updated but is often filled with families and kids throughout the day. If you're coming off-season and not planning to dip into the lake, the pool also has panoramic views as a stunning backdrop.
Unwind at the Bliss Chicago Spa, where hotel guests get priority booking for treatments at the spa's 16 treatment rooms that include mani/pedis, massages, and facials. Don't miss the locker room on the way out, which feature eucalyptus steam showers and sauna.
Get your sweat on at FIT, the property's fitness concept outfitted with updated TV-equipped cardio machines, free weights, and yoga mats. Weather permitting, the hotel will often host evening yoga sessions on the terrace during the fireworks at a Navy Pier.
Because the property is situated on the lake, public transit isn't as robust in this area as other centrally-located hotels. Bus routes run aplenty along nearby Grand and Chicago avenues, which can connect to Chicago's El stations. Otherwise, it's easiest to have the valet hail a cab or use a ride-sharing app like Lyft or Uber.
A short walk from Chicago's vibrant River North dining scene, you're bound to find something you like. The closest hotspots are Yolk, Stan's Donuts or Do-Rite Donuts for a morning bite (5-minute walk), Beatrix for modern American (9-minute walk), LYFE Kitchen for the healthy crowd (6-minute walk) and Les Nomades for upscale French (9-minute walk). If you want to throw down for an extra special meal, make a reservation at top-rated TRU (6-minute walk) for award-winning experimental fine dining.
The closest bars tend to be Irish-American pubs, so if you're interested in something with a hipper vibe, head to nearby cocktail bar Green River (6-minute walk) for a quiet drink. Kids in tow? If it's before 9pm, you can distract them with arcade games at FTW or bowling at Lucky Strike (8-minute walk) while enjoying craft beer and a solid cocktail list—or if you're flying solo, it's a solid spot to mingle with other adults in the evening.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Top-notch views and stellar service are enough to give this property the thumbs up, but a fun, modern vibe adds great character. Smart room design makes for a cool party room or comfy crash pad, with enough on-site amenities that won't make you feel guilty for hanging in (Bonus: W Hotel's "Whenever, Whatever" policy instantly turns every stay into a VIP experience).