Like most of the hotels operating under the InterContinental banner, this 792-room property on Chicago's Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue) is elegant, upscale and trendy. But it's particularly notable for the historic gems within its walls, from a grand hall filled with elaborate pachyderm engravings to an Olympic-size Art-Deco pool brightened by bright blue tile and grand stained glass windows. And how many hotels have a zeppelin landing dock on the roof?
Guest rooms start at $208, which is actually pretty reasonable considering it's the only hotel with an entrance on Chicago's main shopping thoroughfare. We recommend booking one of the 477 guest rooms renovated in 2013. The $12-million renovation transformed darker-toned, stuffy rooms into bright open spaces complete with mod furnishings that recall the 1960s (in a good way). Large windows in the rooms provide excellent views of the city, and an historic Art-Deco pool is brightened by bright blue tile and grand stained glass windows. Other amenities include a spacious fitness center and the excellent Eno wine bar, offering flights of wine, chocolate and cheese. For a classy dinner, we love the attached Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, a succulent dining adventure that opened in 2011.
Guests or other visitors interested in the hotel's history can take a free podcast walking tour through this architectural wonder.