Palmer House Hilton
To say the Palmer House is rich in history is a bit of an understatement. It was the first building to be built in Chicago after The Great Fire of 1871. It was also the first building to ever employ the use of the elevator and the light bulb. To top it all off, the brownie was created in its kitchen. Needless to say, a visit to Palmer House is a must for any self-respecting Chicagoan. We highly recommend the hotel’s History is Hott! lunch and tour with historian Ken Price (book your reservations through Lockwood Restaurant). But that’s not to say it’s not keeping up with the times! Balance Spa in the hotel allows for a modern-day pampering like none other. Rates vary.
Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street (between State Street and Wabash Avenue); 312-726-7500.
The Talbott Hotel
From June 26 through September 22, The Talbott Hotel gives the fashion-obsessed among us the ultimate reason to treat yo'self with its "Fashion Meets Art" package. Just in time for the Art Institute of Chicago’s “Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity” exhibit, the package includes two VIP tickets to the museum and a free gift with purchase in its gift shop, a $200 American Express gift card, a $30 breakfast credit at Little Market Brasserie, and, of course, an overnight stay. Rates begin at $399.
The Talbott Hotel, 20 East Delaware Place (between State and Rush streets); 1-800-825-2688.
The Public Chicago made a huge splash when it announced its arrival on the hotel scene a few years back with one of the most lauded bashes in recent memory. Just two years later, Ian Schrager has kept it relevant with its insane revival of the hotel’s historic Pump Room, a 24-hour fitness center and lobby minibar, complimentary bike usage, and a killer spa. Feel free to bring the whole fam, Rover included — Public is also totally pet-friendly. And best of all? If you’re on the hotel’s e-mail alert list, you just might get lucky enough to score during one of its dollar sales: a glorious, limited-time sale the hotel offers on occasion that rents one of its 270 rooms for — you guessed it! — a single dollar. Rates vary.
Public Chicago, 1301 North State Parkway (at Goethe Street); 312-787-3700.
Hotel 71 is so cool, it houses Bruce Wayne — a.k.a. Batman’s — bedroom: The hotel’s 39th floor penthouse ballroom was the background scenery for The Dark Knight. While you can’t always sleep there (you can, however, rent it out for special occasions and parties!), the hotel has plenty of other stellar sleeping arrangements, like its junior, fitness, and executive suites. Ranging from 780 to 960 square feet, you’ll feel like you’re living in your very own downtown apartment, complete with killer views. In fact, you may never want to leave! Packages like the Shedd Aquarium package also make it easy to get out there and explore your own city — what are you waiting for? Rates vary.
Hotel 71, 71 East Wacker Drive; 312-346-7100.
Photo: Courtesy of Public Chicago