There’s no better place to appreciate Chicago’s iconic skyline and scenic lake views than through the windows of some of the poshest digs in town. The best hotels in Chicago offer luxuries to suit any taste, from elegant guest rooms and gourmet restaurants to upscale spas and chic cocktail bars.
The Best Hotels in Chicago
These nine luxury hotels, all within a short stroll of Lake Michigan’s beaches and parks and Michigan Avenue’s cultural attractions and shopping venues, are the best hotels in Chicago for a landmark stay.
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The Peninsula Chicago
This Forbes five-star and AAA Five Diamond luxury hotel on Michigan Avenue is one of the best places to stay in Chicago. The 339 comfortably opulent guest rooms and suites are decorated in shades of cream and blue. From high-tech tablets, guests can customize their room’s temperature, lighting, and amenities. The Peninsula Spa’s rejuvenating therapies promise relaxation. The Lobby restaurant serves contemporary American cuisine, afternoon tea, a chocolate buffet, and Sunday brunch. For light fare and wines try the Pierrot Gourmet cafe, or visit The Bar Lounge for cocktails. Shanghai Terrace serves up Shanghainese and Cantonese cuisine.
Amenities: Marble bathrooms, soaking tubs, 42-inch TVs, iPod docking stations, 24-hour concierge and room service, fitness center, 25-meter pool, sun deck, and transportation via the BMW house car.
The Langham, Chicago
On the banks of the Chicago River near Michigan Avenue, The Langham occupies part of a landmark skyscraper designed by renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The airy lobby and 316 guest rooms and suites feature stunning city views, sleek British-style interior design, and a 150-piece art collection. Travelle Kitchen + Bar, designed by architect David Rockwell, serves seasonal American cuisine, plus an extensive wine list and craft cocktails. Guests relax at the Chuan Spa, the city’s only spa specializing in holistic treatments inspired by Chinese medicine.
Amenities: Hardwood floors, walk-in dressing parlors, living rooms, 55-inch LCD HD TVs, marble bathrooms, over-sized soaking tubs, 24-hour room service, London-style afternoon tea at Pavilion, fitness studio, and 67-foot indoor pool.
Park Hyatt Chicago
Adjacent to the historic Chicago Water Tower and North Michigan Avenue’s shopping district, Park Hyatt Chicago has ranked as one of the top luxury hotels in Chicago for decades. The 198 guest rooms and suites feature city views and stylish Bottega Veneta furnishings. Nomi Spa is a restful retreat. Locals love NoMI Kitchen, Lounge, and Garden for seasonal cuisine, sushi, cocktails, and brunch. Guests walk or ride the hotel’s complimentary bicycles through the tony Gold Coast neighborhood to the Museum of Contemporary Art and Lake Michigan’s Oak Street Beach.
Amenities: Hardwood and marble floors, Geneva sound system, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, iPads, soaking tubs, two-sink vanities, fitness center, 25-yard lap pool, 24-hour room service, complimentary courtesy car, and bicycles for guest use.
The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
Considered one of the best hotels in Chicago by visiting celebrities, the Four Seasons provides the ultimate in privacy and pampering. The 345 guest rooms and suites designed by BAMO in a calming blue-gray color scheme have expansive Lake Michigan views and replicas of prominent Midwestern artists’ works. The full-service spa’s treatment rooms are soundproofed. Allium Restaurant and Bar serves seasonal, farm-to-table Midwest dishes. Children enjoy complimentary access to the whimsical Kids Clubroom.
Amenities: Marble bathrooms, Malin + Goetz products, iHome docking stations, 42- and 55-inch LCD flat-screen TVs, 24-hour fitness center, 50-foot indoor swimming pool, and 24-hour room service.
Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Feeling more like a posh chateau in the Gold Coast neighborhood than a hotel, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is one of the best hotels in Chicago for exceptional service and classy comfort. The elegantly appointed 215 guest rooms and suites feature sprawling bathrooms with soaking tubs, living rooms, dressing room suites, fireplaces, and outdoor terraces. The award-winning spa specialists tailor treatments and offer services for kids. The property has two Michael Mina Restaurants: the lobby-level patisserie Petit Margeaux and the intimate Parisian cafe Margeaux Brasserie.
Amenities: 400-thread-count sheets, 43-inch LCD TVs, DVRs, Bowers & Wilkins virtual surround sound system with iPod integration, fitness center, lap pool, steam room, sauna, in-room spa treatments, and 24-hour room service.
The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago
Within Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue, the Ritz-Carlton’s prime location promises shopping, culture, and lakefront fun. The 434 guest rooms and suites have sumptuous bedding, spacious baths, classic fine furnishings, and large picture windows framing stunning city and Lake Michigan views. Traveling families rank the Ritz as one of the best luxury hotels in Chicago for kid-centric amenities including tiny traveler bathrobes, toiletries, spa treatments, a pool, and proximity to Oak Street Beach. Enjoy Italian cuisine at Torali, or head to the rooftop bar for cocktails.
Amenities: Marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, DVD and CD players, 24-hour concierge, casual eats at The Cafe, fitness center offering classes, and a day spa.
A convenient location, fine cuisine, and mid-century modern design make the Conrad Chicago on Michigan Avenue one of the best hotels in Chicago. The 280 rooms and suites are decorated in warm russet, saddle brown, and crisp white with gold accents, and furnished with natural woods and contemporary artwork. Baptiste & Bottle focuses on American seasonal dishes and a lengthy list of bourbons and whiskies. Open seasonally, the Noyane rooftop restaurant serves contemporary Japanese cuisine amidst skyscraper views.
Amenities: Marble bathrooms with dual vanities, 65-inch HD TVs, Bluetooth A/V technology, in-room movies, fitness center, and Conrad Concierge app.
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile is one of the best places to stay in Chicago for travelers seeking digs in the well-heeled Gold Coast neighborhood, just a short stroll from North Michigan Avenue. Designed by French architect Jean-Paul Viguier, the glass, triangle-shaped hotel has 415 luxury guest rooms and suites appointed with natural woods, abstract artwork, and modern furniture. Euro chic Cafe des Architects serves contemporary French cuisine. Library-like Le Bar specializes in martinis and a global wine list.
Amenities: Marble bathrooms with separate showers and tubs, Bose sound systems, fitness center, multi-lingual concierge, and seasonal outdoor terrace dining.
The Gwen Hotel
Adjacent to The Shops at North Bridge and the River North entertainment district, The Gwen is in a landmark building surrounding guests in posh Art Deco style. The 311 guest rooms and suites are tastefully appointed with Frette bed linens and a pewter, black, and white color palette. Rooftop restaurant Upstairs at The Gwen delivers standout city views, cocktails, and shared plates as well as social events ranging from painting and DJ dance parties to wintertime curling. Circa, the hotel’s other restaurant, specializes in substantial breakfasts and brunches.
Amenities: Oversized showers, iPod alarm clocks, 42-inch HD TVs, 24-hour room service, fitness center offering complimentary Saturday yoga class, and beach totes.
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—Original reporting by Kit Bernardi