Best Of Chicago

New Chicago Hotels Guide

July 18, 2011 2:00 PM

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(credit: elysianhotels.com)

(credit: elysianhotels.com)

In the past couple of years, downtown Chicago has welcomed several new and updated additions to its roster of excellent hotels. With the ranks swelling, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s what, even for those in the know. If you’re looking for an impressive new place to accommodate visiting friends, relatives or clients, or if you just want to hang out at a swank new hotel restaurant/bar, here’s a rundown of notable recent additions to the city’s hotel scene.
elysian New Chicago Hotels Guide

(credit: elysianhotels.com)

The Elysian Hotel

11 East Walton St.
Chicago, IL
312.646.1300
elysianhotels.com

The 60-story Elysian is a Lucien Lagrange-designed throwback to 1920s-style elegance, with plenty of the sort of old school detail that most new downtown buildings lack. The hotel features 188 rooms on the lower 26 floors, with private residences on the remaining upper floors. Rooms (and residences) are pricey, but it is worth a visit to experience Elysian’s two restaurants: Ria and the more casual Balsan.

Hotel Felix

(credit: hotelfelixchicago.com)

Hotel Felix

111 W. Huron st.
Chicago, IL
312.447.3440
hotelfelixchicago.com

This River North boutique hotel is as cool as its namesake cat. Opened in 2009 in a 1920s building, the hotel touts its eco-friendliness, “inspiring natural elements,” and overall happy vibe. The combination equals a gentle, calm, quiet and clean respite from the bustle outside.

Hotel Monaco

(credit: monaco-chicago.com)

Hotel Monaco

225 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL
312.960.8500
monaco-chicago.com

The boutique Hotel Monaco has been around for a while, but the interior was revamped last year, with stylish, updated rooms that emphasize the hotel’s prime location (river view rooms are recommended). The hotel’s ground-floor restaurant, South Water Kitchen, serves room service, but there are plenty of great restaurants, bars and walkable scenery in the surrounding area to beckon guests from their comfy quarters.

Hotel Palomar

(credit: hotelpalomar-chicago.com)

Hotel Palomar

505 N. State Street
Chicago, IL
312.755.9703
hotelpalomar-chicago.com

In the middle of the action in River North, the Hotel Palomar brings a contemporary vibe and 261 stylish guest rooms. The hotel is ideal for year-round visits, with an indoor heated pool for winter, and a summertime sundeck. The Palomar also boasts a dining destination that has become popular among townies, Sable Kitchen & Bar.

JW

(credit: jwmarriottchicago.com)

JW Marriott Chicago

151 W. Adams
Chicago, IL
312.660.8200
jwmarriottchicago.com

Sometimes an old building takes a while to realize its best purpose, and that seems to be the case with the new JW Marriott Chicago. Daniel Burnham would be proud of the recent $396 million renovation of his Continental & Commercial National Bank Building. The broad, sweeping facade and open first floor space are ideally suited for what is now one of the best hotel lobbies in the city, and the location is well-suited for accommodating business travelers in the relatively underserved financial district. The hotel also features a 20,000 sq. ft. spa and wellness center.

La Quinta

(credit: lq.com)

La Quinta Inn & Suites

1 S. Franklin St.
Chicago, IL
312.558.1020
lq.com

La Quinta may be a large national chain, but the accommodations at this recent addition to the financial district don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. It is also one of the most affordable hotels in the Loop, filling a niche for business travel on a budget. Amenities may be limited, but with a location like this, there’s plenty to partake of nearby.

publichotels.com

(credit: publichotels.com)

Public Chicago (formerly The Ambassador East Hotel)

1301 N. State Pkwy.
Chicago, IL
312.787.7200
publichotels.com/chicago

Hotelier Ian Schrager, originally known as part owner of the infamous New York nightclub Studio 54, adds an impressive property to his portfolio with the opening of Public Chicago, formerly the Ambassador East. The opening date is set for September 12 of this year, and will coincide with the much-anticipated renovation of the Pump Room. As determined by an online vote last month, the legendary restaurant will keep its name, which is a good thing, considering the alternative was “Gold Coast Kitchen.”

ROOF on theWit

(credit: theWit)

TheWit

201 N. State St.
Chicago, IL
312.467.0200
thewithotel.com

When it opened two years ago, theWit became instantly popular among locals for its 27th-floor outdoor space, Roof. The building is recognizable by its “witty” yellow vertical streak on the State Street facade. Room rates are generally very reasonable, and its signature restaurant Cibo Matto has become a popular destination for pre-show dining before shows at the Chicago, Oriental and Goodman theatres.

Greg Wahl is a Chicagoan, a freelancer, a grad student, and a seeker of all things awesome & interesting throughout the city and beyond.

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