Midwest Living Review
Opened in December 2009, the hotel originally known as the Elysian draws well-heeled patrons who travel a lot and who want to stay in a boutique hotel that, frankly, doesn't feel like a hotel. Each of the 188 guest rooms (located on floors 7-26 of this building; private condos are on floors 29-60) boasts plush king beds and amazing baths that come standard with mosaic-tiled walk-in shower, a deep soaking tub, dual vanities made of carrara marble and remote-operated TVs hidden inside the bathroom mirrors. Most of the rooms, considered 95 percent soundproof, also come with gas fireplaces, French balconies or traditional balconies that open to overlook Streeterville and Lake Michigan. The decor throughout reflects inspiration by Christian Dior and Coco Chanel. (The drapes on the soaring windows resemble Dior couture dresses; the chandelier in the lobby resembles one of Chanel's brooches; stretched silk covers the walls in the lobby while more masculine suede covers the walls in Bernard's, the dimly lit bar full of dark brown leather furniture.) The on-site spa and health club offer a stunning lap pool drenched in natural light, whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas and a men's atelier, where traditional shaves take on modern touches of hot towels, head massages and exfoliation masks. A concierge in the lobby offers simple advice about where to go to dinner -- and meets the whims of the wealthy. And Ria, the farm-to-table restaurant, earned two Michelin stars in 2011, putting it in the company of Charlie Trotter's the Avenues at the Peninsula Hotel. During the summer, weekend room rates start at $485. If where you stay is an important part of your trip, and you plan to spend some quality time in your hotel, this absolutely worth a splurge. We'd plan our next visit in the winter, when rates are lower and we're looking for a thoughtful place to settle in with that special someone.