Best New Midwest Attractions: 2009
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Four hotels worth a trip
Outside, the 23-story Beaux Arts Blackstone along South Michigan Avenue in Chicago looks much like it did when JFK learned of the Cuban missile crisis here. A recent renovation preserved the public spaces' rich styling (left) and gave 332 rooms hip touches such as Eames-style chairs.
In a largely Victorian downtown Holland, Michigan, City Flats added a twist in 2008. All 56 rooms offer different takes on the hotel's "anti-vanilla" tone. Highlights: floor-to-ceiling windows, walk-in showers and cork floors.
In St. Louis, the new Four Seasons stands in the heart of downtown's entertainment district and boasts one of the best views of the Arch and the Mississippi River. A lavish spa and an eighth-floor pool add to the pomp.
Detroit's MGM Grand, open since October 2007, deftly separates hotel and casino. The luxuries aren't just in the spa, restaurants and 400 rooms' multi-headed showers and rich linens. Touches such as wicker cabanas make the indoor pool a resort itself.