Hi! Never been to Chicago but going to try to do and see as much as possible…with that said, nothing bums me out more than making the wrong hotel choice!!! Were using points and its basically a wash with regards to the differential so don't care about that. We are a couple in our 40's that travel often on business and pleasure..this is pleasure and we won't have kids with us. So, which hotel? We like a good bar and or restaurant on site and a good fitness center. Also, want to be close to some good trendy and or fun shopping (not touristy). What are the distances between these hotels and if there is one thing that stands out about one (in a good way) what is it? or in a bad way…what would that be as well?
thanks so much in advance for your advice!
We have stayed at the Renaissance on Wacker on two different occasions and have yet to be anything but very happy with the hotel. We are not much of a dining in the hotel type particularly with sooooooo many wonderful options right across the river and walking a few blocks. The hotel bar is large and the service was outstanding with the bartender even thanking us for being loyal Marriott Rewards folks.
As far as location, the hotel is located a short two blocks from the Clark/Lake Station which you can use to/from ORD if you're flying into that airport. Takes about 35-40 minutes on the Blue Line "L" in either direction and is a breeze for transit. You're close to Millennium Park, Grant Park, Navy Pier, great shopping about 12 blocks north of the hotel in the Rush/Wabash St. area.
We walked all over the place and found excellent food experiences at spots like The Purple Pig Chicago, Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab | Chicago and Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse, Chicago to name a few we've had fun and wonderful food.
No matter where you stay the city is alive and a great place to visit. Enjoy and keep us informed of your selection as well as travels.
i was more referring to a good pub/lounge…so seems like the renaissance is a good choice esp being close to the L.
we will be flying in with a carryon so ez peasy.
i guess i should have mentioned another couple were going with is staying at the JW. but it looks a little to sterile and maybe high end for me…although it also looks very lovely…not sure i want that vibe...
liasun - Chicago is one of my favorite major cities in North America, and I've been traveling there for some 40 years. My favorite downtown hotel is the Residence Inn on Walton - Chicago Gold Coast Hotel: Discover A Striking Downtown Chicago Mag Mile Hotel
However, if you prefer a full service hotel, you might consider either the Chicago Marriott on North Michigan -Experience a Sophisticated Chicago, Illinois Hotel on Magnificent Mile
or, for a slightly higher profile, the JW Marriott - Chicago, Illinois Luxury Hotel | Explore A Luxury Hotel In Chicago, IL
You'll notice the designation, "Magnificent Mile", which refers to North Michigan Avenue, where you can "shop til you drop", such as most all the designer shops, but also a variety of stores - including a very nice food court - in the Chicago landmark, Water Tower - Water Tower Place - Upscale Shopping, Dining, Entertainment in Chicago, Illinois
Depending on the type food you like, you can find it all along this part of the city, but some of my favorites are:
Spiaggia, only a 5-minute walk from the Residence Inn at One Magnificent Mile, across the street from the Drake Hotel. Enter on the corner and you can take the elevator to the second floor. The cafe is less expensive than the restaurant, by the same name - both are quite good - Spiaggia Restaurant - Fine Dining on Downtown Chicago's Michigan Ave
After dinner, visit the Drake Hotel, and just walk into the grand ball room; it's one of the finest in all of North America! Then, for a relaxing after-dinner drink, snack, or just a cup of coffee, go to the lounge and listen to the piano player while you enjoy the surroundings of this magnificent hotel.
There are a number of steak houses: Morton's on N. State, Lawry's Prime Rib on E. Ontario, and for fish, McCormick & Schmidt on E. Wacker Drive, and Japanese - Ron of Japan on E. Ontario, but here's a list: Downtown Chicago Restaurants: Chicago DiningGuide
Some people like a signature hotel, and the Drake (north Michigan) and Hilton Conrad Plaza (south Michigan Avenue) are the best of the city. If you saw the movie, "The Fugitive", the final scenes were shot in the Conrad ballroom.
However, my very favorite is Tuscany's on Taylor Street, in Little Italy, a 15 minute cab ride from downtown Chicago -Tuscany Italian Restaurants and Cafes - Italian Restaurants Chicago
After you dine there, stop by the Sears Building and take the elevator tour to the top Skydeck for spectacular night view of the city - Skydeck Chicago
Depending on the age of your children, the museums are some of the best in North America, particularly the Museum of Science and Industry, south of town, (Hwy. 41) and a 20 minute cab ride if you don't have your own auto. Plan to stay there most of the day - it's worth it! Welcome to The Museum of Science and Industry
The Natural History Museum, near Chicago Soldier Field (where the Chicago Bears play) is also well worth the time, and close to this is the Chicago Planetarium, and Chicago Art Museum, all a few blocks from the Conrad Hilton Hotel, on Lake Shore Drive. Also, you might want to swing by the Navy Pier, also on Lake Shore, where there are a number of attractions for youth, along with shops and lighter dining.
The Lincoln Park Zoo, north of the city, west of Lake Shore Drive, is quite interesting, particularly the bird collections, and if you're there during baseball season, take in a Chicago Cub game at historic, Wrigley Field. If a church goer, I'd recommend attending the Moody Bible Church on Sunday morning. It's an ecumenical experience.
Getting to Chicago via airplane allows you to fly either into Midway Airport, south of the city, and closer in, while the major international airport is Chicago O'Hare. A cab ride into the city from here will take you approximately 45-60 minutes, depending on time of arrival. There's also rail service, which is called "The L", since it forms a "loop" in downtown, near State Street, which you can take from the airport to downtown Chicago. This,however, makes several stops along the way, but is less expensive. If you're driving, Chicago is quite easy to drive in - no where the busy streets like NYC - but parking can be a challenge, but space is available at hotels where you would stay; however, expect to pay at least $35/day.
You might want to consider the merits of buying a five-day pass in advance if you plan to visit several of the mentioned attractions:
I hope this is helpful; if you have more specific interests, not listed, let me know, and either I,or others can help.
For your first trip to Chicago, I would go for The Renaissance on Wacker! A great location for "First timers"! Here are a few things that one could really enjoy nearby:
This tour boat takes you all around Chicago, and is really a lot of fun, with interesting facts on the city! It is just across Michigan Ave.
Make sure you visit the top of the John Hancock Building. You can dine, or just have a refreshment! The view is amazing!
Enjoy! You will have a great time! Don't forget your "Walking shoes and umbrella"!
Yes, I am trying to be "Politically correct"
Just remember, "Prescribed meds are refreshments"!