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Aerial view of Chicago.
Aerial view of Chicago. / SUR

Chicago, the insider guide

  • The inside track on this Midwest metropolis

Stay:

LondonHouse Chicago

From people-watching in the light-filled second floor glass lobby bar, to enjoying an artisan cocktail accompanied with stunning river and skyline views from the stylish 22rd floor roof terrace, LondonHouse Chicago Hotel offers the kind of urban wow factor that makes a stay in this city so compelling.

Some 200 million dollars was invested to reimagine the iconic 1920s Beaux Arts London Guarantee & Accident Building as a new riverside hotel, combining it with adjacent new glass tower, creating a 450-room property with early to mid-century style guest rooms with vintage design details and smart technology like keyless room entry using your phone.

LondonHouse.

LondonHouse. / SUR

The Robey

The Robey, a 69-room hotel, is found in the 1929 Art Deco Coyote Building and lets you live the neighbourhood experience in Chicago. Escape the intensity of downtown and feel the buzz of the authentic Chicago neighbourhood of Wicker Park. There’s a rooftop pool and bar where you can soak up the city’s skyline.

The Ivy Hotel

Boutique bliss in this intimate, understated, 63-room property that’s close to Chicago’s iconic Magnificent Mile.

It’s all about the location. You can walk to the best city-centre stores, restaurants and bars in minutes.

The Blackstone Hotel

The Robey.

The Robey.

This vintage property with contemporary art and furnishings is very much part of Chicago’s story. One of the business meeting rooms is a former barber shop. It was a favourite with Al Capone as it had no windows, so he could visit in secret, and supposedly there was a hidden escape at the back!

Rooms have great views of Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain, and it is close to many of the city’s cultural attractions.

Eat:

Kostali

Acclaimed Chicago chef, Carrie Nahabedian, has opened this new restaurant at The Gwen Hotel. Inspired by Malta, as the crossroads of Mediterranean cuisine, Kostali is a contemporary take on the tempting dishes of Southern Europe and Northern Africa.

Gaijin

The Langham.

The Langham.

New Japanese restaurant by Chef Paul Virant, specialising in okonomiyaki and kakigori. Great fun for lunch. Okonomiyaki savoury pancakes are made just the way you want them, filled with anything from veggies, pork and prawns to fried eggs together with lots of tasty toppings. Kakigori, if its new to you, is a pudding of shaved ice with sweet sauces and syrup.

Pizza Portofino

A relaxed Mediterranean restaurant right on the Chicago riverfront.

The Langham Chicago

Indulge in a traditional afternoon tea. This quintessential English ritual is part of The Langham Chicago Hotel’s identity, building on a tradition that has been running at The Langham in London since 1865.

Do:

CityPass

This integrated city-break visitor card promises you to ‘skip the ticket line’ – so less queuing at many of the city’s main tourist attractions.

Chicago Riverwalk

Taking the Riverwalk will give you a whole unique perspective of this beautiful city. There are river cruises too.

The 'Bean'.

The 'Bean'.

Chicago Helicopter Experience

There’s probably no better vantage point to enjoy the amazing skyline than from the air!

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate has become a new icon of the city. It’s at the heart of the Millennium Park. You can’t leave the city without an Instagram shot here. Anish Kapoor’s polished stainless-steel sculpture, like a huge globule of liquid mercury, has been nicknamed the ‘bean’. It reflects the city skyline in a truly compelling way. It’s actually more beautiful, as you might imagine, when there are clouds in the sky.

SkyDeck Chicago, Willis Tower

Riverwalk.

Riverwalk.

Opened as the Sears Tower some 50 years ago, it was for a while the tallest building in the world. For an adrenaline-pumping experience, try the ‘Ledge’ for the best photos - completely glass cubes hanging out over the city from the 103rd floor!

360 Chicago at the Hancock Centre

This observation deck is one of the oldest but still one of the best. There’s also the opportunity to see the sunrise over the city; plus there’s also ‘Tilt’, an enclosed glass platform that literally tilts you out over Michigan Avenue from the 94th floor.

Choose Chicago

Chicago has a great theatre and arts scene so plan ahead. Also, for museums and galleries there are world-class options like The Art Institute of Chicago. For more inspiration of things to do, check out the city’s visitor site.