Fresh Looks for 4 Favorite Chicago Hotels | Midwest Living

Fresh Looks for 4 Favorite Chicago Hotels

In Chicago’s whirlwind hotel scene, these properties have found new life in old shells.
Photo courtesy of The Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront.
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Photo courtesy of The Hyatt Regency Chicago.
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Photo courtesy of The Acme Hotel Company.
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Hyatt Regency Chicago When you’re Chicago’s largest hotel, you have a rep to protect, and a just-completed renovation ensures its more than 2,000 updated guest rooms are among the city’s best. The $168 million project spiffed up dramatic suites in towers overlooking the Chicago River, brightened the lobby and creatively reimagined the restaurants. Three years in the making, the renovation replaced the Hyatt’s old color scheme with calm earth tones, reworked the guest rooms to maximize city views and installed DIY kiosks that streamline check-in. In the huge East Tower lobby, Stetsons Modern Steak and Sushi morphed from an old-fashioned chophouse done up in polished wood and leather to a nontraditional bistro with tablet menus, local grass-fed beef served on slate plates and a sushi bar. From $199. (312) 565-1234;

Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile In a city of great architecture, this 1929 beauty on North Michigan Avenue still stands out—it’s the only one with doors opening onto the street. And how many hotels have a Zeppelin landing dock on the roof (though sadly, it was never used)? The $12 million renovation, complete with mod furnishings that recall the 1960s in a good way, gave 477 guest rooms a needed refresh. Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse (a succulent dining adventure that opened in 2011) anchors the ground floor of the 792-room property, which has an junior Olympic-size Art Deco pool brightened by blue tile and grand stained-glass windows. Free podcast tours wind guests through the architectural wonder, with its rooms featuring windows that open and marble baths. From $208. (312) 944-4100;

Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront The location alone makes it worth a stay—the south side of the Chicago River, just a long block west of Michigan Avenue—but we found plenty of other reasons to like this 334-room boutique hotel. The property formerly known as Hotel 71 became a Wyndham in late 2012, and it still has ridiculously large guest rooms, free Wi-Fi, fitness suites that include a treadmill or elliptical machine, and doormen who love to make guests feel important. A seasonal outdoor cafe along the river offers the perfect perch for people-watching from breakfast through nightcaps. Still, nothing surpasses the river views—and iconic architecture lording over the opposite bank. From $228. (312)  346-7100;

Acme Hotel Company In a former Comfort Suites in River North, this deliciously saucy hotel has rock albums on the elevator walls, glow-in-the-dark lips on bathroom mirrors, super-soft beds and hot coffee delivered in a thermos to your door. From $195. (312) 894-0800;

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