An unconventional stay for convention VIPs.
In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire reduced much of the Windy City to ashes and soot. The Wheeler Mansion, however --- built just a year earlier, in 1870 --- survived. Along with it, a brand of opulence from another era, which contemporary guests can sample in spades during their stay here. That stay takes place in one of eleven guest rooms and suites, each of which is individually decorated with antique furniture and fine art that recall the late nineteenth century. Rooms are at the same time firmly grounded in the 21st century thanks to complimentary wireless Internet, flat-screen televisions and spa baths. The mansion --- named for its first owner, Calvin T. Wheeler, a successful banker and president of The Chicago Board of Trade --- was saved from demolition in 1997, designated a Chicago landmark in 1998 and fully restored in 1999. As such, it oozes history throughout, including in its dining room, where complimentary breakfast is served each morning; its antique reading room, ideal for relaxation; and its landscaped garden, which includes a fully enclosed veranda. Although the availability of in-room spa services means there’s no reason to leave, the inn’s location --- steps from McCormick Place --- makes it easy for guests who must, especially convention attendees and speakers, who can get to their meeting by walking to the convention center or by taking advantage of the hotel’s private transportation services, which include private chauffeurs and a fleet of nine-passenger shuttle buses. Pre- or post-meeting, 24-hour complimentary coffee and tea service hits the spot.