Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

It's been a week since we got back from celebrating my brother's 21st birthday in Chicago and I'm still thinking about the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.  My brother had never been to Chicago and when the Four Seasons invited us to stay over Fourth of July weekend, how could I say no to THAT extra bit of birthday sparkle!?  On my first trip to Chicago when I was 17, I stayed in my friend's apartment at the Hancock building and since then, I always thought that that was the center of Chicago.  The Four Seasons is right across from the Hancock (UNBEATABLE LOCATION!!) and I loved being close to Lake Michigan, the river, gorgeous downtown buildings and all the stores on the Magnificent Mile.   I hate shopping in New York, so it was nice to visit stores where I could walk around without bumping into people. 


The Four Seasons building is a towering part of the Chicago skyline and the lobby is on the 7th floor so you'll have to take two elevators to get to your room.  There were always groups of people enjoying themself in the lobby, bar or restaurant for afternoon tea or dinner.  All the public areas looked gussied up for a night on the town but still comfortable. 

LobbyI loved ending the night at the cozy hotel bar with a cappuccino, with Chicago locals enjoying their own post-dinner drinks.  Does anyone else watch "Giuliana and Bill?"  I just started watching it on my iPod at the gym and it's perfect workout entertainment.  They split their time between Chicago and L.A. and Bill Rancic called the Four Seasons Bar "a great spot to hook up with friends for a late-night drink. It's old-school...It's our favorite hotel in Chicago."

The rooms are great big city hotel rooms, simple, and a refuge from the hustle and bustle. 

View from Room

The fitness area is also huge, with a great locker room, lots of equipment overlooking Water Tower Place, a large indoor pool, full-sized cold water bottles and fresh fruit to take with you.

Ice Cream ManYou can schedule a visit from The Ice Cream Man or The Martini Man and these carts of deliciousness will make personal stops outside your hotel room door.  An afternoon sundae from The Ice Cream Man is the perfect treat on a hot afternoon and little kids loved it.

We packed a lot in over the weekend, from my first visit to Wrigley Field to exploring new restaurants and bars in all the surrounding neighborhoods.  And the feeling of returning to the cocoon of the Four Seasons is something I will splurge on myself for my next trip to Chicago.

More Things I Love About Chicago

1. Chicago's famous Billy Goat Tavern (don't ask for fries-they don't serve them)

2. Ann Sather cinnamon rolls at the Belmont location. Better to sit down & eat them.

3. Lunch at RL Ralph Lauren Restaurant, a Chicago favorite

4. A peanut butter & jelly cookie during brunch at Milk & Honey in Wicker Park

5. The ultimate Chicago old-school dinner at Gibsons downtown. 1,000s of celebrity photos on the wall.

6. Wrigley Field: Great seats, great weather, great game. Highlight of the trip.

Views from Trump International Hotel & Tower: Chicago

I'm back from a whirlwind Windy City tour this past weekend, having celebrated my brother's 21st birthday and showing him the great city of Chicago.  The highlight was going to Wrigley Field for the first time, and having perfect baseball weather and great seats!

While I was staying at the Four Seasons, I did have a chance to quickly stalk Trump International Hotel & Tower, which is right on the Chicago river.  The lobby was slightly underwhelming and small.  Instead of inviting you to sit and stay awhile, this one felt more like the lobby of an exclusive city condo complex, with the doorman waving you in.  Of course, that is essentially what Trump Chicago is, with more than the double the number of condos than hotel rooms.

I did love the 16th floor terrace, where you can grab a drink even if you're not eating at Sixteen, the fine dining restaurant.  You have awesome views of Navy Pier, the Wrigley clock tower and my personal favorite, the rumbling "L" train, which is so very Chicago.  To me, the coolest thing about Trump Chicago is how its shiny, reflective exterior has transformed the city skyline.


Perfect for July Fourth: Chicago

I am headed to Chicago this weekend to help celebrate my brother's 21st birthday.  Plans include lunch at Ralph Lauren's RL, a Cubs game at Wrigley Field and staying at the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.

I'm especially excited to be going over July Fourth weekend.  Chicago is one of my favorite truly American cities.  New York, L.A. and San Francisco are all international hubs but I love Chicago for its friendly, Midwestern vibe, great restaurants, architecture and neighborhoods.  We'll also be comparing hot dogs at Wiener's Circle and Clark's.  I'll be sure to declare a winner next week.

Happy July Fourth!