As ex-residents of 3 years living in downtown Chicago, needless to say- we know the Windy City very well. When we return for visits, we prefer staying in the The Gold Coast. It is located on the Northern tip of the famous Magnificent Mile or “Mag Mile,” and it is one of the most affluent neighborhoods. The posh area has breathtaking skyline views with access to Lake Michigan and her sandy beaches. There’s endless shopping, fine dining, arts, and culture to your hearts desire. Hotels located in this area have easy access to all of the main Chicago attractions, landmarks, and a closer drive to the famous neighborhood of Lincoln Park in case you want to see it too (we never miss it).
The 4 most luxurious hotels in the Gold Coast of downtown Chicago are The Four Seasons, The Peninsula Hotel, The Park Hyatt, and the Drake Hotel by Hilton. These 4 Hotels offer luxurious rooms, excellent service, and great location on the Mag Mile to all the action. But how do you choose which is right for you? Each of these hotels have unique attributes that can help you make some memorable experiences. Here are a few considerations when selecting among the best Chicago has to offer.
1. Looking for convenient upscale shopping and White Glove service ? The Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
If you are the sophisticated shopper and love top name brands like Chanel, Prada, Gucci, unique boutiques, and maybe on a time crunch- The Four Seasons Chicago is where it’s at. The fact that they are in the same building as Bloomingdales and the upscale 900 Michigan Shops Mall makes it super convenient to shop without going outside. Just take an elevator from your room and voila! You are at the mall. A huge bonus when it’s raining or freezing outside.
Guests of the Four Seasons Hotel will also receive a 15% discount at Bloomingdales. Just show your room key at Customer Service on floors 3 or 5 and they’ll give you a Visitor’s Pass to shop any of their departments. It’s usually good for as long as your stay too.
We stayed at the Four Seasons Chicago, November 2017, when we had an Indian wedding to attend. I needed to buy a few outfits and get my hair done. For those that’ve been to Indian weddings, you know they can be several days long. I loved having the convenience of the mall in our same building for everything I needed, last minute items, and not having to carry many bags at once for several blocks.
Take a break from the shopping and grab a bite to eat at their restaurant Allium. Not only do they have great food, they have the best Chicago dog in the City! The schnitzel and condiments are all made in-house for a fresh and tasty lunch.
If you’re in town just for a special event and need to do some shopping with ease without wanting to run around all over the place, The Four Season’s Hotel is a great choice for upscale shopping, convenience, and the best Chicago dog! Their service is also unsurpassed in the industry.
Their concierge service is one of the best. Any special requests you may have, just ask the front desk and they will see it gets done. They helped me find a great updo stylist for the wedding at the very last minute!
They are also the best at anticipating needs. You forgot your charger? No problem, their rooms come standard with them.
2. Need to relax and seeking the best wellness spa? The Peninsula Hotel Chicago
The Peninsula Hotel Chicago is consistently on top for their Spa and Wellness services. The Peninsula Spa was just our ticket when we needed an urban oasis for a romantic Valentine’s weekend in 2018.
Be sure to get to your appointment in plenty of time to enjoy the decompression process. The beds in the waiting room are super comfy. For services over 2 hours, you can access the gym and indoor pool. The pool has great views of the city skyline and can be enjoyed year-round. We didn’t workout this trip but the fitness facility looked nice.
We each had one of their Signature Services and thoroughly appreciated the no-rush experience. I had the Dosha Specific Wrap and it was a heavenly combination of massage, body scrub, and wrap services. My treatment room had a private shower to rinse off between services. This is very convenient to not have to go back to the locker room to do it. Hubby had the Uplifting Mint Experience. He loves the scent of mint and needed a deep full body massage. We both felt totally jelly afterwards.
We stayed at The Peninsula Hotel Chicago for 3 nights and we would recommend it. For luxury, romance, and wellness- the hotel delivered a fabulous experience.
3. Interested in seeing the unique Water Tower Square and Art Museums? The Park Hyatt Hotel Chicago
The Chicago Water Tower was the only public building that survived “the burn zone” in The Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It is a beautiful brick building and conveniently located right on The Magnificent Mile shopping district. It has its own cute little square like a tiny park with horse drawn carriages. If you love art, The Museum of Contemporary Art is just 2 blocks down the street and its large building can be seen from the hotel suites.
The hotel has a direct full frontal view of the Water Tower Square. It also happens to by a very nice luxury hotel with large suites that come with the best views of the water tower. In the Summer, you’ll see lush trees in the Square and clear views of Lake Michigan. In the Winter, it is adorned with pretty holiday lights.
The hotel is ideal if you want to do a lot of sightseeing, shopping, dining, museums, and parks of all kinds. We stayed at this hotel just to visit the City in May 2017 and loved it! The Water Tower Square attracts a lot of traffic, so it’s fun to just people watch from the room.
Just below the The Park Hyatt Hotel Chicago, there are cute little boutique shops and our favorite store is the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop. This is a must for us every time we go to Chicago. I love how they still serve everything in the classic glassware when you eat in the shop. They greet you with a piece of chocolate too!
4. Luxury amenities that are more family friendly? The Drake Hotel by Hilton
The Drake Hotel Chicago is a Landmark and was built in 1920. If you like Old World Italian opulence, larger rooms, and access to family friendly activities; the Drake Hotel is a great option. It’s location is right on Lake Michigan giving you unobstructed views, easy access to Navy Pier, and walkable to the sandy beaches of Oak St. Beach.
Last time we stayed here was late Spring of 2016. Because it is an older building, parts of it can look tired and weathered adding to its charm. Overall, the hotel does a great job in preserving its rich history. Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe once had tea in their Palm Court were they still serve afternoon tea and hors d’oeuvres every afternoon. At night, there is lively entertainment for your dancing pleasure.
It is literally on Lake Michigan and many suites are available with unobstructed views of the gorgeous Lake coupled with the amazing Chicago city skylines.
It has the easiest access to the Oak Street Beach and Navy Pier from an entrance built for pedestrians that safely go under the bypass. Every summer we were in Chicago, we loved going to Oak Street Beach to read and relax. It has real nice sand and for a minute, you forget it’s actually a Lake.
Navy Pier is great for families or a fun date. It’s like a pseudo amusement park. The biggest attraction there is the Ferris Wheel to see the gorgeous Chicago skyline and Lake. In the evening, the big fireworks show is sure to entertain you, but it’s only available on Wednesdays and Saturdays from May -September months.
The Drake Hotel Chicago is a great choice for those that would like luxury amenities and are traveling as a family. It offers something for everyone thats looking for quality service, spacious rooms, and convenience to family activities.
Chicago is said to be a Sister City of Paris and for good reason. They both are beautiful cities in architecture and rich in arts, culture, cuisine, and fashion. No matter your reason to visit Chicago, the City’s hospitality will make you feel welcomed and these 4 hotel’s will offer you world class service and amenities.