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The view of Wrigley Field's iconic Cubs sign would be a major plus from the would-be new hotel
Yes, some of us are Chicago Cubs fans (don't be a hater) and haven't been able to find a decent hotel, ever, in close proximity to Wrigley Field. Which would explain why news of the latest Chicago hotel planned for just outside of the beloved Wrigley Field ballpark has us more overjoyed than usual.
It was announced last week that the Rickets family, owners of both the Cubs and Wrigley Field, had plans to build a boutique Sheraton hotel on the lot across the street from Wrigley Field, a lot they purchased just last year for $20 million and upon which currently stands a McDonald's.
According to Crain's Chicago Business, the new hotel would "be a 'one-of-a-kind collaboration' designed to fit the neighborhood landscape and community.
"Holy Cow!" It sounds so good we bet even Harry Carey is rolling in his grave.
Inside the cozy, casual Balsan at Waldorf Astoria Chicago
Ever since chef Danny Grant left Ria at Waldorf Astoria Chicago last July (mere months after being named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2012, we've wondered about the future of the restaurant, which also closed in sync with Grant's departure for "reconcepting." Six months later, and the former Ria remains in an odd sort of limbo.
One would think the deserted dining space would weigh heavily on the shoulders of a hotel just named last year as the #1 Large City Hotel in the U.S by Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards. But as far as we can tell, no one seems to be in a hurry to do anything with Ria. An insider tells us it's currently being used for private events and meetings, and may remain that way indefinitely.
Another idea we caught wind of several months ago was transforming Ria into a partially-enclosed rooftop space, a great move given the Rush Street/Gold Coast views below. But no official word has been released yet from Waldorf Astoria.
Well, the epic day happened last week and we finally got a full tour of the 1,400-square foot luxury designer suite.
We couldn't be more excited to lift the veil and show you everything now. When it first opened, the high-fashion suite high on the 17th floor of the Park Hyatt hailed with news of Bottega Veneta details and decor galore, but first-hand experience and true insider accounts were scarce. Not anymore.
Ready for a look? Go on and click through our photo gallery.
Facing Randolph Street from the rooftop at Soho House Chicago: to the left under the orange awning is Nellcôte with Little Goat across the street at right. Let the chow down begin!
Last January when we shared that the private member boutique Soho House would be coming to the white-hot Chicago hotel scene (watch out, don’t touch!), there was some talk from Crain's Chicago Business about whether the hotel would have trouble drawing guests to its West Loop location -- what it called a "non-traditional neighborhood" for a Chicago hotel.
Despite the location, we had no doubt from the get-go about the potential hotness of Soho House Chicago, based entirely on what we know about the collection. “The Soho House experience is so covetable, if you will,” we wrote, “that luxe scenesters--especially A-list celebrities as well as high-profile artists--will seek out the patented private haven, wherever it may be. We know we will.”
There's more: we recently spent time in the West Loop neighborhood and there's every reason to believe the West Loop location is going to be downright killer -- as hot if not hotter than the likes of the new Hotel Lincoln in unexpected Lincoln Park.
In January, Allium's All-You-Can-Eat specials include a whole day devoted to their delicious fried chicken!
We’ve been covering sweets, champagne and all the places to live it up before the start of the New Year and those promising
dreaded resolutions. But starting January 1, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is giving us every reason to keep the gluttony fest going, if only for a little while longer, with All-You-Can-Eat weekday specials.
Why not heed their advice? Since the February 2012 opening of the Chicago hotel’s new regional American dining concept, Allium – a rich, totally gourmet display of Americana and locally-sourced fare from chef Kevin Hickey – we can’t stop thinking about their 100% homemade hot dog, deviled eggs, cheese curd whipped potatoes, etc. It's enough to make us send our New Year's resolution's straight to hell.
And now with one look at Allium’s weekday specials, each of which includes three courses, life suddenly seems too short (and that tire around your waist not nearly so bad). You decide:
New Year's Eve Hotels / Hotel Parties / Manhattan Hotels / Brooklyn Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Los Angeles Hotels / Texas Hotels / Chicago Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
It's 10:30am on a Thursday. Do you know what your New Year's Eve plans are? If you're anything like us, you'll wait 'til the last possible moment and hope everything comes together for a night of champagne guzzling merriment. Otherwise, here are 16 awesome New Year's Eve celebrations happening at hotels around the US. Here's to a drunken start to 2013!
MIAMI—At Anglers Boutique Resort, you can choose something quieter and more refined than Miami's usual bass-thumping circus. At the New Year's Eve Gala, there will be two seatings (a 3-course meal at 6pm, $100; or a 5-course meal at 9:30pm, $150)—though both will offer live music, a complimentary cocktail and champagne toast, and delicious Latin-inspired fare like dulce de leche pine nut-crusted rack of lamb, or stuffed dates and manchego cheese roasted pork loin. You'll even get to try out the Spanish "12 Uvas" tradition, where everyone gets to make 12 wishes on 12 grapes—then when the clock strikes 12, you pop 'em in your mouth to bring a year of good luck and prosperity! A DJ'd pool party will kick off after midnight.
SAN FRANCISCO—The Westin St Francis is where you'll find the city's largest hotel-hosted NYE event for the past 7 years, known as Passport to the World ($130). The attractions are almost too many to name, but here's the main gist: throughout the liquor-fueled evening, guests are encouraged walk from room to room, experiencing the music, fashion, art and performances of dozens of different cultures around the world. You'll see an 80s cover band, 15 international DJs, live art, stilt-walkers, taiko drummers, an Asian night market, and igloo-inspired cabanas (gotta show some love to the North Pole!). Best part, though? Drinks are included.
For 14 more ways to party, read on!
Hotel Rebrandings / Chicago Hotels / Thompson Hotels / Sutton Place Chicago / Tara Bernerd / → All Tags
Also designed by Tara Bernerd, The Belgraves, London (pictured here), offers clues about the style to expect at the new Thompson Chicago
Back in February when we first shared details that Thompson was taking over the lackluster Chicago hotel, we were a bit stoked. One look at the Thompson Hotels collection and a peek last summer at the LollaShop pop-up rooms, things were looking way up for a hotel that needed a pick me up in a big bad way.
An insider shared that the reno will be massive--right down to the studs--with new rooms available by August 2013 and a new restaurant by December. We were also told that expecting something fashionable, modern and edgy like 60 Thompson NYC would not be far off the mark. Normally we’d call bullsh*t right there, but we know a few things about the new Thompson Chicago that might make this a real possibility:
Chicago woke up to some sad news this morning, with the Tribune reporting that, during the night, 23-year-old Nicholas Wieme fell down and got trapped in the smoke chute of the InterContinental Chicago. Apparently, after he'd fallen, Wieme was still able to text his girlfriend and ask for help, but by the time firefighters got him out of the chute, it was already too late.
A WGN reporter explained:
"The 23 year old man's girlfriend told fire officlals he went up to the rooftop to take pictures at around 1am. That area is not open to the public, and it's not clear how he gained access, or wound up trapped in the shoot about 22 feet down."
It sounds like the rescue team did literally everything they could--the Tribune reports that 125 firefighters and paramedics showed up at the scene, though once the situation had been properly evaluated, it was clear that removing Wieme was not going to be an easy task.
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’Tis the season to believe in magically appearing hotel amenities that pop up where you least expect them. For example, a new 2,100-square-foot ice skating rink that's going up this month on top of The Peninsula Chicago. The rink, which will be built on the rooftop (pictured above), is scheduled to debut within the next week.
Believe it, friends, believe.
A source at The Peninsula shared that the new rink will offer hot cocoa and German-inspired snacks and treats, like mulled wine, cider, warm nuts and pretzels. The only downside? The ice rink will only be available exclusively to hotel guests. Which may cause a few temper tantrums, but we think it's a smart move to allow guests a joyous skating experience, minus the crowds (if you’ve been to Chicago’s Millennium Park skate rink, then you know what we mean).
Hotel Art / Hotel News / Chicago Hotels / JDV Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / For the Sake of Hotel Art / → All Tags
Looks like the old saying still stands true: One man's trash is indeed another's treasure.
At least that appears to be the case at Hotel Lincoln in Chicago. The boutique hotel in Lincoln Park, which recently underwent some renovations, has installed what they're openly referring to as the "Wall of Bad Art,"--essentially a bunch of reject artworks placed closely together on a lobby wall.
Apparently it's so bad, it's good. (Sort of like the movie Bio-Dome).
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Let your pooch whisper her list to Santa at Hotel Allegro's Santa Paws event
It’s that time of year when it’s totally permissible to loose your mind over last-minute shopping, dinner with the in-laws, and over-the-top bouts of feasting, drinking, and spending.
Hotels follow suit, too, with their own spin on holiday madness — something we couldn’t miss at Chicago’s most festive hotels. A Posh Santa meet-n-greet for pets, Bûche bakeoff, and an elevator covered in sugar? Call it cray cray or wildly exciting, but we've just got to let you know what's going on here.
Reality TV Hotels / Celebrity Chefs / Anthony Bourdain / Four Seasons Hotels / Chicago Hotels / Paris Hotels / → All Tags
Anthony Bourdain is back for another season of “The Layover”, and we like it because he names the hotels in the cities where he'll be spending his precious time. We figure, he won't be laying his salt-and-pepper head just anywhere, after all, he's big time now.
So, for entertainment and a dose of travel value, we’ll give you some details on the properties he picks, just in case you find yourself looking for a place to stay in a city that’s sanctioned by this travel personality/chef.
Layover Hotel Episode 1: Four Seasons Chicago:
If this isn’t an endorsement, we don’t what is. Bourdain says, "this hotel is swank as all get out. The industry gold standard in big ass, comfortable beds. I'm staying at the Four Seasons [bleep]!"