Sometimes, hotels offer just enough comfort to let you sleep at night. But destination hotels offer so much more than good enough accommodations; they’re an important part of the travel experience themselves. Absolutely, everyone should visit Chicago for the shopping, the museums or the sports venues. Plenty of happy travelers visit just for the pizza! But if you’ve done all that and want to enjoy a new kind of memorable getaway in Chicago, a destination hotel may be just the kind of place you need for a romantic celebration, a weekend with your besties or another type of special occasion. Here are some of the greatest Chicago hotels that are off the beaten path.
Ever wonder how the one percent live? Get a glimpse by staying at the Trump Hotel in Chicago. The place takes swankiness to a whole new level, but not in a smarmy ad campaign kind of way. For instance, the Trump Attaché service offers guests everything from personalized business cards at a moment’s notice to custom-stocked bars and kitchenettes. This perk is available to all Trump Hotel guests.
But why stock your own food when you can experience all the fabulous fare this hotel has to offer? From the renowned five-star restaurant Sixteen to the hotel’s elegant rooftop eatery, The Terrace at Trump, and chic bistro, Rebar, enjoying the sit-down service at Trump Hotel will make you feel like the star you really are. Even better: The food at these restaurants is lauded as some of the best in the city.
Be sure to check out the spa before you leave the comfort of Trump’s posh paradise. It features luxurious treatments that literally cover you in diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. But if the thought of rolling in diamonds doesn’t relax you for some reason, you can get classic massage treatments, detoxifying facials and body masks.
Rainbow Motel: Pink Palace Fantasy Suites
For travelers looking for a little less swagger and a lot more kitsch, the Rainbow Motel’s Fantasy Suites may be just the place you’ve been hoping to find. This motel offers 11 different suites, and each has its own Elvis-esque theme. Want to spend the night in a space shuttle? Or a sandwich? Or a brass bed like your folks had in the early 90s? There’s a room for that!
The eccentric themes aren’t all this destination hotel has to offer, though. All suites include a color TV, romantic mood lighting, whirlpool spas and complimentary Champagne. Some rooms come with a water bed. The Rainbow Motel’s Fantasy Suites is located about 13 miles outside Chicago, but something tells me many occupants don’t venture far from their rooms.
The Allerton Hotel
Got a touch of the Gatsby fever? Indulge your roaring fantasies with a stay at Chicago’s own Allerton Hotel. The space first opened in 1924, and it’s carried all of its Jazz Age charm into the 21st century. The hotel gained immense popularity during the 1940s for its Tip Top Tap ballroom; Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club radio show was recorded in the 23rd floor lounge in the 50s.
The Allerton Hotel is fully aware that its history is a huge draw for patrons. The old Allerton Hotel and Tip Top Tap signs are as original as the Italian Renaissance style of the building itself. Inside, you’ll find guest rooms with striking Art Deco details and cozy color schemes. The lounges are all richly decorated in the same style, and the ballroom is as grand as ever. You can check out the M Avenue Restaurant and the accompanying lounge for even more beautiful views and delicious delights.
The cost of the hotel’s renovations in 1999 (approximately $40 million) dwarfed the investment required to build the original landmark ($4 million). But the repairs and updates have been enough to bring the hotel back to its roots and to present-day guest standards.