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Doors With REAL Keys and Other Treasures at Hotel Burnham Chicago

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  Site Where: 1 W. Washington St. [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60602
June 1, 2012 at 3:04 PM | by | ()

No Photoshop job here – the historic doors at Hotel Burnham really do require old school keys.

When was the last time you used a real key to open a hotel door? It felt like ages but oh-so-right when we got to literally turn a key just recently at Hotel Burnham in Chicago.

A 122-room boutique hotel housed in a National Historic Landmark, Hotel Burnham has this charming way of catching you off guard. Enter from the throws of Chicago’s busy Loop district and – surprise! – an early 20th-Century-meets-Gothic atmosphere subdues and steeps you in stories, architectural elegance and incredible food.

We talk a lot about Chicago’s booming hotel scene, but the Burnham is a great reminder that historic hotels have the power to transport you in ways that nothing new can ever touch.

Here are some of the treasures that keep us coming back to Kimpton’s beautiful Burnham Hotel:

Doors with keys, floors with a story
A reminder of the hotel’s original outfit as the 1895 Reliance Building, Burnham’s storied doors require real keys for entry and are found only the hotel’s historic floors (floors seven and up of the 15-story hotel). The Reliance Building was considered one of the world’s first glass-and-steel-frame skyscrapers and housed doctor offices and retailers, including Al Capone’s dentist and the first Carson Pirie Scott store in Chicago. Old medicine cabinets in the hallways, restored marble stairways, and gorgeous filigreed grillwork in the elevator lobby area – you’ll spy them all throughout the hotel.

Waiting for an elevator never looked so good at Burnham, where intricate filigreed grillwork and a replica floor are a sight to behold.

Great Views
Nab a corner room on one of the historic floors and you won’t believe your eyes. Not only will you get an historic room door with an actual metal key, the views will take you straight down State St. to the Chicago Theater and right up Washington to Millenium Park art and Lake Michigan.

A look down State Street right from your room.

Atwood Café
Speaking of great views, Atwood Café offers a golden opportunity people watch at the intersection of State and Washington Streets while soaking in rich Art Deco-inspired décor (think black-lacquered columns, brass chandeliers, Persian rugs) under 18-foot tall ceilings.

There’s the amazing menu, too, from Chef Derek Simcik featuring freshly-spun American dishes. Try the BLCT (bacon, lettuce, soft shell crab and tomato), Duck “Reuben” Salad (duck prosciutto, grilled endive and Thousand Island dressing) and Sweet Potato Bread Pudding (with bourbon caramel and gelato). Atwood brings in a crowd all day long and you’ll understand why after one bite.

Floor-to-ceiling windows rise up to the 18-foot ceiling for striking views from Atwood Café.

Rates at Hotel Burnham Chicago currently start at $199 per night. Also available now, the “Summer at Kimpton” promotion will give you a $25 daily restaurant credit for Atwood for just $10 more.

Photos: Nina Kokotas Hahn

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