60611 Travel Guide

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The Newest AC Hotel by Marriott Will Open in Chicago on June 5

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  Site Where: 630 N. Rush [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
May 15, 2015 at 2:06 PM | by | ()

Chicago is often referred to as the Second City, but according to AC Hotels by Marriott, the Midwestern mecca is actually the fifth city; the fifth U.S. city to get their newest property geared towards millennials and their travel needs.

Planning to officially open its doors on June 5 on Rush Street, the AC Hotel Chicago is just completing the finishing touches to the well-connected rooms and public areas. (Remember, this was previously the Four Points by Sheraton.) With free WiFi throughout the hotel, guests will be not have to think twice when Instagraming pics, updating their status or sending out a few last emails before exploring the River North area of the city.

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Thompson Chicago Takes Flight of Its Stairwell Art Exhibition

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  Site Where: 21 East Bellevue Place, Chicago, IL, 60611
May 8, 2015 at 9:25 AM | by | ()

Hotels' approach to art is an endless source of interest and occasionally wide-eyed wonder for us. Lately we’re seeing a new pattern of hotel art emerging, the latest example coming from the Thompson Chicago.

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InterContinental Chicago's Historic Tower Has Been Promoted, and Upgraded, to 'Executive'

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  Site Where: 505 North Michigan Avenue [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
March 31, 2015 at 12:35 PM | by | ()

We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.

The InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile earlier this month completed a $13 million renovation of the Michigan Avenue hotel’s Historic Tower, now officially renamed the Executive Tower (presumably because it looka shiny new, no longer “historic.”)

And they accomplished it in record time! Beginning in January 2015, the hotel refurbished 315 guest rooms and corridors in the tower. Above is how the rooms looked before. Now a peek at the after:

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AC Hotel Chicago Downtown is Expected to Open in May (So They Say)

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  Site Where: 630 N. Rush Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
February 26, 2015 at 8:30 AM | by | ()

We've long known that the old Sheraton Four Points in Chicago on Rush Street was transforming into an AC Hotel by Marriott but now we have a date on when this transformation will be revelead---MAY.

That's what the website for the hotel is saying, but you know this hotel business, dates can, and do, change. Interestingly, that's also when the new Hyatt Centric brand will open in Chicago. (Taps fingers together and laughs a Dr. Evil kind of laugh.)

Still, if May is when the hotel opens, guests can expect masculine but comfortable decor, free WiFi, tapas and cocktails from the AC Lounge, and breakfast with those imported buttery croissants in the AC Kitchen. There should also be an AC Store where you can pick up toiletries, snacks, wine and phone chargers, among other things. No word on room rates but we'll update you when we have them. #prayfor$200orless

Elsewhere in the AC world, AC KC (Kansas City) is about to open, while AC DC is happening next month, followed by AC MB (Miami Beach). And there's a whole bunch more in the works too. You can read those here.

GO INSIDE THE AC HOTEL BY MARRIOTT EXPERIENCE!

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The Peninsula Chicago to Get a Makeover, Inspired By Sister Hotels in Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai

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  Site Where: 108 East Superior [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
February 19, 2015 at 3:17 PM | by | ()

The Peninsula Chicago, which opened in 2001, is undergoing a guest room overhaul this year, perhaps to freshen up before new luxury hotels like LondonHouse and Nobu hit the scene. Details are sparse, but here’s what we know. All 339 rooms and suites will be redesigned, with the new décor inspired by the best elements of other Peninsula properties such as:

Accent details from the Peninsula Paris:

Distinct wood and leather finishes from the Peninsula Hong Kong;

Elegant color palettes from the Peninsula Shanghai:

Can you picture a combination of these features? Well, we can’t either but look forward to seeing the most likely beautiful result.

The hotel will up its game in the technology space as well: in-room proprietary Peninsula touch tablets will feature 11 different languages and will control everything in the room from the curtains to the Nespresso machine, plus complimentary long-distance calling via VOIP technology.

Peninsula Chicago enthusiasts, what would you like to see in the newly designed rooms? Do tell.

Peninsula Chicago enthusiasts, what would you like to see in the newly designed rooms? Do tell.

[Photos courtesy of Peninsula Hotels/HotelChatter]

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Loews Chicago Gears Up to Grill Some Steak With Their New Restaurant

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  Site Where: 455 N. Park Drive [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
January 22, 2015 at 9:53 AM | by | ()

In a foodie city such as Chicago, it's great news when a hotel takes their food and beverage offering serious. That's why we're pretty excited to catch a flavor of (wayyyyy) South of the border at the new Loews Chicago once they open in March.

Previously unreleased, the hotel has picked hometown chef, Jose Garces, to tempt the taste-buds of guests and locals as he chars up some of his Argentinian faves in the themed restaurant. Featured as a central focus for the eatery is the parrilla, or grill, Rural Society's menu will explore cooking more than steak on an open flame creating an authentic and refreshed experience using quebracho, an Argentine hardwood to cook the meats.

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An Inside Look at The Loews Chicago Hotel, Opening in March

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  Site Where: 455 N. Park Drive [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
December 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM | by | ()

With the dust still fresh in the air and the raucous sounds of construction all around, Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood has been pinned by the folks over at Loews Hotels for their latest property to open early next year.

Donning a hard-hat and safety glasses, we scored an exclusive sneak peak inside the for a first-hand look at the Loews Chicago Hotel.

Just east of the shopper's paradise that is Michigan Avenue and sporting views of Lake Michigan, this new build hotel in downtown is also just a five-minute walk to Navy Pier, making it a central spot to stay in Chicago. The hotel is actually comprised of two towers, one housing 400 Loews hotels rooms and the other Loews luxury condominiums. These are completely separate from the hotel with different entrances and amenities.

But we're here to talk about the hotel side. And away we go!

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Funky Friday: An Ice Cream Sundae At The Langham Chicago Will Cost More Than Your Room

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  Site Where: 330 North Wabash Avenue [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
October 3, 2014 at 6:22 PM | by | ()

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

We love hearing about a hotel’s latest dessert creations – more so directly experiencing — and when chocolate’s involved, they’ve got our attention. If it’s outrageous enough, for example, the 'Chicolate Room' at the Four Seasons Milan, we give it a friendly does of Funky Friday. Equally outrageous and jaw dropping, so to speak, is the series of high-end desserts, and their high end price tags, presently offered at The Langham Chicago.

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Thompson Chicago Now More Luxe, Thanks to New Lexus Rides

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  Site Where: 21 E Bellevue [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
July 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM | by | ()

It's not a rare 1961 Ferrari GT California but it is pretty sweet.

Thompson Chicago has revved up their offerings for hotel guests, thanks to a new partnership with Lexus.

Guests can ride around town in a sleek Lexus IS 350 convertible or a ginormous LX 570 LUV--luxury utility vehicle--without any mileage restrictions, i.e. no one telling you the ride is only good for a one-mile radius from the hotel. The rides are complimentary and feature a pre-programmed navigation system with addresses to Chicago landmarks and nearby road trip destinations outside of Illinois. But of course, you'll still rely on Google Maps anyways.

Guests can also choose to ride in the house car, which is an LS 460 L flagship sedan, driven by a personal chauffeur and equipped with complimentary bottled water, the Chicago Tribune newspaper and Wi-Fi mobile hotspot functionality.

Rates next weekend at Thompson start at $429 a night so having the use of a Lexus during your stay makes that a little more bearable. And if you already own a Lexus, you can book the Thompson Chicago through the Lexus Drivers Site and get a $100 hotel credit which can be used towards dining and drinks at the hotel's Salone Nico or Nico Osteria.

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From Beer To Bourbon, Four Seasons Is Getting Its Spas All Boozy

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  Site Where: 120 E Delaware Pl [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
July 10, 2014 at 12:47 AM | by | ()

Possibly not the scrub selection

First it was massage with beer. Now it’s with bourbon. Are Four Seasons trying to tell us something?

Yes, hot on the heels of FS Vail’s bro-tastic beer massage comes word of FS Chicago’s Vintage Bourbon Massage – and this one is far classier than the last.

First comes the scrub: a wicked scrub of brown sugar, ginger, pecan and Kentucky bourbon. Then, once your pores have been suitably boozed up (and back bacteria slaughtered by the bourbon), comes the massage – not just any massage, but one with hot stones.

Does it get any better than a bourbon scrub and a hot stone rub? Indeed it does. The treatment ends at the bar: not the poncy spa bar, but the actual hotel bar, Allium, where you’ll sample its signature single-barrel bourbon. Presumably you’ll be expected to change out of your robe for this part.

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W Chicago-Lakeshore Unveils Their Very Swish New Look

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  Site Where: 644 N. Lake Shore Drive [map], Chicago , IL, United States, 60611
July 1, 2014 at 3:25 PM | by | ()

Sleeker. Sexier. Sassier.

Those are the three words used to describe the freshly revealed design of W Chicago Lakeshore after a massive renovation that made this beach-side stunner even more stunning.

Forking over about $38 million dollars for a much-needed refresh of the 520 guest rooms and suites, corridors, and even building exterior, the only hotel that overlooks Lake Michigan is once again the hotspot for visitors. And for locals too thanks to a few new restaurant and lounge offerings.

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Langham Chicago to Serve Up Tacos and Treats at New Outdoor Restaurant This Summer

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  Site Where: 330 N Wabash [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
May 13, 2014 at 1:47 PM | by | ()

We've gushed about the inside of the Langham Chicago and now we're getting excited about the outside as the hotel rolls out a new al fresco dining spot that will send Chicago into a tizzy.

This summer, the hotel's fine-dining establishment, Travelle, will spin-off an outdoor restaurant on the banks of the Chicago River. Elle on the River will claim the open spot from the hotel to the river between State and Wabash and should be the hot-spot for visitors and locals alike all season. Tim Graham, the chef inside, will oversee the menu outside, filling it with Mediterranean-style tacos and refreshing punches for those lingering long lunches. Some dishes to choose from include tacos filled with chickpea to mahi mahi and chicken to braised pork shoulder

And if the temps aren't hot enough, chef has prepared some house-made hot sauces to kick up the spice. An apropos "rookie" sauce is perfect for beginners, where the "blazing" is for the more seasoned.

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