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Chicago Business Travel Guide

Chicago boasts some of the most impressive skyscrapers in North America

The Best Hotels, Restaurants and After-Hours Activities for Chicago Business Travelers

Chicago has long been a hub for American commerce. From its turn-of-the-20th-century stockyards to today's Chicago Stock Exchange, the Second City has positioned itself as a commercial leader, drawing in multinational corporations like Boeing, Motorola and McDonald's along the way. That said, Chicago has also honed its chops as an artistic wonderland, culinary mecca and champion of the blues and jazz scene, meaning there's never a shortage of things to experience here. The Windy City is one cosmopolitan town, welcoming visitors — business travelers in particular — with gracious, open arms.

Where to Stay — Chicago Business Hotels

Fairmont Chicago, Millenium Park
200 N. Columbus Dr. (E. Lake St.)
Chicago, IL 60601
312-565-8000, 800-527-472

Lincoln Park Suite at The Fairmont Chicago

Big on amenities, this luxurious, business-minded hotel features 692 sizeable rooms inside its contemporary walls. The well-appointed rooms, which come complete with wireless internet, rain showers and marble tile. The nine-hole Sydney R. Marovitz golf course isn't far away, either.

JW Marriott Chicago
151 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60603
312-660-8200, 888-717-8850

Executive Lounge at JW Marriott Chicago

Located in the heart of the Loop in a Daniel Burnham-designed building, this twelve-story, 581-room, 29-suite property caters to business travelers with 40 meeting rooms spanning 40,000 square feet of space. A full-service business center and on-site fitness room keep the hotel humming, while The Florentine impresses in the lobby with modern Italian takes on pastas and shared plates. Plan to rent a car if you want to golf at Cog Hill: it's a worthwhile 25-mile trip from the hotel.

The Palmer House Hilton
17 E. Monroe St. (S. State St.)
Chicago, IL 60603

Excutive room at The Palmer House Hilton

This restored, 1925 Beaux Arts-style hotel was originally opened in 1871, just thirteen days before the Great Chicago Fire reduced it to ashes. Today's 1,639 rooms and suites feature amenities like high-speed Internet access, large work desks and marble bathrooms. For added convenience, book an executive room, which comes with a morning newspaper, continental breakfast and blackout curtains. Not to mention Lockwood, an upscale American spot located on the lobby level that is sure to impress clients.

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago
221 N. Columbus Dr.
Chicago, IL 60601

Stylish digs at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

Just steps from Millennium Park and the Financial District, this fashionable, business-friendly property has all the makings of a great stay, from complimentary, wireless Internet access to on-site event planners, 28,000 square feet of meeting space and the option to book business class rooms with access to a lounge serving complimentary breakfast. Onsite, Italian-leaning Filini, pours more than 100 wines from "the boot," alongside a likeable lineup of modern antipasti, small plates and memorable pasta.

Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
401 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
312-588-8000, 877-458-7867

A deluxe guest room at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

This Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed luxury hotel with sweeping city views welcomed its first hotel guests in January 2008, and features 339 luxuriously appointed, contemporary guestrooms and one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. Expect floor-to-ceiling windows, 42-inch LCD TVs, sleek event spaces and attaché services, including a customized fully stocked refrigerator and complimentary personalized stationary on request.

Where to Dine — Chicago Business Restaurants

619 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60661


Blackbird restaurant in Chicago offers classic dishes with a unique twist

Paul Kahan continues to make culinary magic in this loud, stylish West Loop dining room with high-tech seating and a menu that turns out classic dishes with a unique twist. There's an equally slick private room with its own bar, kitchen, restrooms and entrance upstairs.

Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse
1028 N. Rush St.
Chicago, IL 60611


Dining room at Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse

This home-grown steakhouse is packed nightly with business types in dark suits, lovelies in little black dresses, sports figures, politicos and average Joes and Janes waiting for tables in the clubby, wood-paneled dining room. Prime aged steaks — displayed raw tableside along with giant lobster tails — are the main draw, though chops and fish also rank high.

Girl & The Goat
809 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607

Contemporary/ American/ Small Plates

Dining room at Girl & The Goat

Reservations are hard to come by at Stephanie Izard's come-as-you-are West Loop haunt, so plan ahead to experience the farm-driven cuisine and seasonal whims of the Top Chef alum.

Trump International Hotel & Tower
Chicago, IL 60611

Modern American/Global

Donald Trump delivers decadence at Sixteen

Located on its namesake floor of the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, this über-classy, curvaceous dining room is adorned with a massive Swarovski-crystal chandelier, soaring ceilings and a sweeping skyline view. The food — as pricy as the setting is posh — hits global notes morning, noon and night. When entertaining clients, consider the four-course tasting menu or a blind tasting menu of nine courses so you can focus on the business at hand. Looking to lube the conversation? Be sure to check out bottles from the glass-enclosed wine gallery, which is flush with expense account-worthy vintages.

676 N. St. Clair St.
Chicago, IL 60611


Dining room at TRU, Chicago, IL

Reinvigorated by executive chef-partner Anthony Martin, TRU is one of the best restaurants in the Windy City. Enjoy progressive French fare in the soaring, art adorned dining room, while selecting bottles from the Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning list.

Off the Clock — Chicago Business Entertainment

Chillax with the A-crowd at Vertigo Sky Lounge

Magnificent Mile
Michigan Avenue From Oak Street to Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

This ever-pulsing North Michigan Avenue shopping haven is home to more than 200 restaurants, 50 hotels and 460 shops and boutiques, from Vosges Haut Chocolat to Hugo Boss, Bottega Veneta and Escada.

Millennium Park
Columbus Drive and Randolph Street

Two 50-foot glass towers display changing video images and spout water in the park's dramatic Jaume Plensa-designed fountain. Wander through the Lurie Garden with its more than 200 species of flowers, go ice skating or hear the Grant Park Orchestra perform at the futuristic Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60603

Wander through the impossibly stylish Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing, a 264,000-square-foot wonder dedicated to art of the 20th and 21st centuries. Marvel at the collection of European paintings and sculptures, hailing from 1900 to 1950, and explore the third-floor galleries where works from Pablo Picasso can be found.

Vertigo Sky Lounge
Dana Hotel and Spa
2 W. Erie St.
Chicago, IL 60610

Perched on the top of the eco-chic Dana Hotel and Spa, this minimalist lounge — all sleek modular seating inside, patio oasis outside — fills with an A-list crowd looking to be seen. Servers prepare drinks from rolling carts amid an air of exclusivity. Don't rule it out in winter, either: its signature outdoor Fire and Ice Bar, complete with seasonal cocktails, is a hoot.

(Author: Jennifer Olvera)

Related Content:

Chicago's 10 Best Business Hotels

Chicago's 10 Best Business Restaurants

72-Hour Vacation Guide to Chicago


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