Home to an internationally acclaimed art institute and the beloved Cubs baseball team, Chicago has outgrown its "Second City" status. This is an urban Mecca that can compete with the best of them, and it has a sophisticated hotel scene to prove it. The Park Hyatt Chicago — like the city it inhabits—resists the staid traditions of its Midwest location in favor of style and cosmopolitan substance.
Situated on the Magnificent Mile in Water Tower Square, the hotel exudes a landmark feel — due in part to setting and in part to designation. It's fronted by the historic Water Tower monument, the sole survivor of the Great Chicago fire; and when the Hyatt Hotels group leveled the original Hyatt on this site and opened a soaring, multi-use property in 2001, it named the Chicago location as its flagship property.
The 2,000-square-foot foyer makes a dramatic first impression, with its massive black pillars, striking red wall and Piazza del Duomo, by German painter Gerhard Richter; this piece is so well regarded that it is sometimes borrowed for national tours. But despite the modern furnishings and a look that occasionally verges on minimalism, this property (unlike many "hip" hotels flooding the market) is anything but stark. With doors wrapped in leather and walls draped in silk, there is a warm, organic feeling to this place. Combine this with excellent service and just over 200 guest rooms, and the experience is one of a true boutique hotel.
The red and black color combination is carried into the Water Tower Suite — this accommodation has cachet as being a hideaway for high profile celebs who come on the recommendation of other high profile celebs. Black and white photographs hang on the walls, and the tasteful use of muted charcoal tones provides a soft touch.
The guest rooms and suites are equally polished — how often do you stay in a standard room whose furnishings have been designed by Eames and Mies van der Rohe? DVD and CD players are also considered basic amenities, and you even get a collection of movies and music to choose from. Along with four two-line phones and flat-screen TVs in the bedrooms, the bathrooms are equipped with miniature flat-screen televisions (the sound is great) and walk-in showers with two heads. Most rooms offer window seats overlooking the lake and city; some even have bathtubs with a view.
Also of note at the Park Hyatt Chicago: NoMI. We love the service, the tables by the windows and the inventive cuisine. We're also fans of the seasonal NoMI Garden (Gamba reigns here, as well), which has become the power spot in town. Additional indulgences come in the form of a spa and, on the seventh floor, a 25-meter indoor swimming pool set in solarium-style surroundings and bathed in magnificent natural light.