• Saturday, October 31, 2020

best hotels in chicago

The Best of Chicago Hotels
July 22, 2020
By , Founder

Chicago is one of the best hotel cities in the United States, where you get actual value for your dollars spent.  It’s good enough to devote an entire article to, and actually a reason to visit the city of Chicago.  Rooms are generously sized and beautifully appointed, compared to other major cities, and the service is genuine Midwestern welcome.  We don’t do four star hotels at Galavante unless that’s all there is available, but the four star options in Chicago are even good.  No matter where you live, if you want to taken care of for a long weekend, Chicago is your spot.  

Our favorite hotels are:  

The Peninsula.  This is like Vanity Fair’s best dressed icon list.  Located right off Michigan Avenue, this is the best hotel in the city in all categories of luxury, hotel amenities, dining, rooms, spa and appointments.  This is where we stay 90% of the time we are in Chicago because the rooms are the best – mad respect for the cleaning staff as this is one of the most spotless places you can stay in the world.  In our test, we would actually walk around barefoot in the hotel rooms if their slippers and robes weren’t so darned comfortable.  Service is text book polished – you won’t find flaws though because we’ve stayed at over 800+ luxury hotels around the world, there is a passion that is missing which is usually a reflection of how well the team is treated by management.  But if you’re not looking to be best friends with the entire team when you leave, this is the place to stay in Chicago for luxury. Hotel reopens in August sometime from this COVID mess, and because of that incredible housekeeping staff, we can guarantee that they will be top of the game. 


The Park Hyatt.  This has been a favorite from the day the hotel opened over 20 years ago, and Nomi has stayed consistently one of the best hotel dining options in the city and spot for a late night low-key nightcap.  They locked their formula down on chic modern interior, excellent lounge bites, master sushi chefs and polished service from day one, along with stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Water Tower and prime location.  Rooms in recent stays are a tad bit tired though still lovely, and nowadays it’s our choice because it’s the most reasonably priced of the luxury hotels when we don’t want to blow our wad on a place to stay but want the prime location.  For Michigan Avenue options, this is the hotel with the most modern décor for those who want that aesthetic.  We stay here at least twice a year on trips to the Windy City.  Also for those who are into earning points, Park Hyatt is always a good option.  


Nobu Chicago.  This is the hottest hotel in town right now, that even as  you walk around the streets in the surrounding trendy West Loop area, you will hear people talking about how much they want a coveted reservation at the rooftop restaurant.  We’ve been a huge devotee to their rock shrimp tempura even from the days pre-2008 when we were spending real finance money on $10,000 dinners (yes that will be in the book one day) but we were somewhat hesitant to think they could pull off a hotel we would like more than the Peninsula.  The hotel just opened around July 1st so we were also expecting a whole host of frustrating issues that we soft circled an early escape plan on our recent Chicago weekend.  In a word, we were blown away.  And no it wasn’t because expectations were low.  The team from the moment you roll up next to the Bentleys and luxury black cars dropping off guests is on their game in a way that they are all so passionate and grateful for the hotel to be open, and excited to welcome you.  They are uniformly nice to everyone, even if not all those guests are exuding the warm and fuzzies. Whoever the GM is here right now, he/she is doing something right as their team is genuinely united to make this crazy time in COVID work.  We can only imagine what it will be like when things come back to normal, as they’re crushing it right now on service.  Rooms are on the smaller size, which is surprising for a new build, but the neighborhood location lends itself to having you explore the area.  Room prices though for a five star level hotel are reasonable and an excellent value for a luxury option.  They are hands down the nicest place to stay in the West Loop, which is one of the best places to base for the culinary options in nearby Fulton Market.   

Our one piece of feedback is that they need to figure out the sound proofing (one of those opening jitters) as you can hear neighbors and this may not be the place to stay if you’re super sensitive to noise as the West Loop is a booming construction zone of luxury condominiums.  But if you’re in it to have a good time in the trendiest neighborhood in Chicago, hands down this is your spot.  

The Four Seasons:  This is as quintessential Four Seasons as it gets.  We love staying here when we’re going to host family for their famous Sunday brunch, which is neck and neck with The Peninsula as the best in the city with maybe just a nose ahead, and their afternoon tea service.  We also like that the lobby lounge and bar areas make for a discreet and cozy nightcap.  Rooms are lovely, like they always are at the Four Seasons, but if you’re looking for a blowout experience, you’ll want to get a suite.  We would say that this is also one of our top choices for Families, as the Four Seasons just knows how to welcome your kids in style. 

Skip:  The Ritz Carlton which was a construction zone last time we were there and such an unpleasant experience that we checked out early.  We’ll revisit this when they re-open to their full glory as we always loved that afternoon tea.  

We’ve stayed at pretty much every hotel worth staying at in Chicago, so for our insight into other hotel options, hit us up at travel@galavante.com and we’ll get you the inside track.