The service and food may have been excellent, but you do get a feeling that a celebrity chef is missing, as Charlie Trotter backed out of doing a restaurant here a while ago. Having a Marc Jacobs boutique at street-level does majorly help the hotel's clout, however.
Next we sniffed around the hotel lobby, and for an open property, it was altogether too quiet and empty. A lobby sitting area of all black velvet couches and white oversizes fireplace mantels gave us the feeling of trespassing in an eclectic millionaire's mansion. And that's pretty much what it was; the Elysian is developed by Mario Tricoci, Jr., son of famed hairdresser Mario Tricoci.
Perhaps the only public area of the hotel that feels like it belongs in the Gold Coast, or really Chicago at all, is Bernard's, a sort of dark and leather sofa-filled library baron the second floor. In fact, this is where we found the most people hanging out on the evening of our visit when Ria was deserted and Balsan nicely populated, but with hardly a rush on reservations.
But then, a 60-story French chateau might be out of place anywhere...unless we're talking a new feature at DisneyWorld.
[All photos: HotelChatter]