Stylish. Location. View. Those are the first three words that come to our mind when we think about The Renaissance Blackstone Chicago, a historical 332-room masterpiece next to Millennium and Grant parks.
This famed hotel, which boasts that it's hosted 12 U.S. presidents, reopened in March 2008 after an extensive $128 million renovation. The painstaking restoration included the tuckpointing and refurbishing of 10,000 pieces of decorative glazed white terra-cotta. And that's just for starters. The result is a destination that's both opulent and modern. Spacious guest rooms include robes and fun touches like literature about Chicago's history and framed stamp collections. Many of the lights are on dimmers, and evening turndown service is available. We recommend spending a little extra to get a lakeview room for seemingly endless views of Lake Michigan and the shoreline.
Another impressive component is the hotel's collection of more than 1,500 original artworks, many of them by locals. The framed pieces add character to the guest rooms and public areas. Speaking of character, check out Mercat a la Planxa, one of the most eclectic restaurants in the area. Serving primarily Catalan cuisine, this trendy and roomy space features tapas dishes a la planxa (grilled-to-order). Tapas prices range from $9-$48.
Like some of the food, a room here isn't cheap (rooms start at $279 on peak summer weekends), but it's a great splurge for couples or families. And with the museum campus of Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and The Field Museum a short walk away, you don't have to travel far for a taste of Chicago's top attractions.