The best in the Midwest: Chicago's luxury hotels



There are so many extraordinary hotels in the world and Chicago is home to an embarrassment of riches in terms of luxe properties. These hotels are expert at accommodations, public spaces, spa, dining and service, so what separates them from each other? It’s attention to detail.

The well-heeled might be drawn to sophisticated places like the award-winning Peninsula Chicago. the Langham, the Four Seasons and redesigned Park Hyatt, with dreamy beds, lovely views, incredible service and in-room deluxe soaking tubs, while others are attracted to the modern elegance from posh yet unpretentious hotels like LondonHouse Chicago and The Gwen.  Located next to Water Tower Place, the Ritz-Carlton is another peaceful retreat from the Magnificent Mile crowds. The LaSalle Chicago and Nobu Hotel - Chicago are a couple of the newest luxury inns on the block, the latter being a modern Asian oasis of  serenity in the West Loop and The LaSalle Hotel elevating the Financial District's accommodations. Look for the St. Regis to open in late 2022. 

First-class travelers who seek top-of-the-line accommodations and exceptional service have lots of options. All are centrally located and most have gorgeous views of the skyline and Lake Michigan. Some boast rooftop bars with stunning city views. If you're willing to heat up the plastic, you can live large and luxuriously during your stay in Chicago.


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Located in the landmark McGraw-Hill building on the Mag Mile, The Gwen was renovated in 2017 to understated, elegant perfection. King bedrooms are equipped with soaking tubs and steam showers and hotel amenities are numerous: two Peloton Bikes in the 24-hour fitness center; complimentary shoe shine and clothing pressings for two items per room daily; Epicurean Experience for all guests at 2pm daily; free-to-use bikes, helmets, and locks for short trips around the city; and the hotel just added a Moet Chandon vending machine in the lobby, Tipsy Tea Party experience weekends; and La Mer in-suite spa services (when booked in advance). Indulge in vibrant Mediterranean fare at Kostali or small plates and cocktails Upstairs at The Gwen, a rooftop terrace that buzzes year round: there's Saturday morning yoga and in winter try the curling rink and a cabin with hot drinks and bites in a ski-lodge atmosphere. The Gwen boasts the city's first urban glamping experience on the private terrace of the Gwen Lux Suite, too.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: The Gwen's location, list of amenities and activities, dining options and understated elegance make it an easy choice for sophisticated, fun-loving visitors.

Read more about The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Michigan Avenue Chicago →




The posh Waldorf Astoria in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood could not be more low-key and elegant. Starting with the crisply suited staff at the reception desk, guests receive 5-star service that caters to every whim. The apartment-sized rooms have comfy king-sized beds and some rooms have fireplaces or features like TVs in the bathroom mirrors. In 2022, the hotel debuted significant renovation including refurbishment of its guest rooms, an evolution of the dining venues with a new signature restaurant, cocktail bar and lobby lounge, plus enhancements to its award-winning spa. The Waldorf-Astoria is a perennial favorite among luxury travelers and consistently ranks among the best hotels in the city.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: The Gold Coast property is luxurious in the most understated, elegant way.

Read more about Waldorf Astoria Chicago →




LondonHouse Chicago easily owns some of the most impressive views of the Chicago River and the city's lovely architecture from guest rooms and especially from its breathtaking rooftop terrace - LH Rooftop, the city's only tri-level restaurant and rooftop venue (reservations recommended). The former London Guarantee Building's lovely spaces include the Juliette Ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Chicago River, the Golden Rotunda, and the intimate beaux-arts Cupola at the apex of the hotel.(Couples should look into a luxe, customizable dinner in LH Cupola). Vista Suites have a separate living area and floor-to-ceiling windows so you can awaken to the beauty of Chicago's skyline. All that and you're in the middle of Mag Mile shopping, the Loop, near museums and Millennium Park.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: LondonHouse Chicago resides in a historic building across from the Riverwalk with vintage details inspired by the Jazz Age.

Read more about LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton →


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Open since July, 2020, Nobu Hotel Chicago is a serene oasis of Japanese minimalism ensconced in the busy Fulton Market District. The 115-room hotel engages the senses from the second you step in - if they could only bottle that enigmatic, dreamy scent that's somewhere between a newborn baby and the best day of your life. Count on impressive skyline views; an indoor tranquility pool; calming, elegant decor; acclaimed dining at Nobu Chicago including a stone sushi bar; and the 11th-floor Rooftop at Nobu for inspiring views of the city, delicate bites and tasty cocktails (you can even have breakfast there when the weather is fine). In-room amenities include Dyson hairdryers, yoga mats, steamers and exclusive Nobu beds.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: Nobu Hotel Chicago is the luxurious antidote to stressful travel in a big city.

Read more about Nobu Hotel Chicago →




Located within Water Tower Place, the Ritz-Carlton is a peaceful retreat from the Magnificent Mile crowds. The 5-star luxury hotel offers upscale amenities, suites and comfortable, well-appointed rooms with large windows revealing views of Navy Pier and Lake Michigan. The hotel completed the final phase of a $100 million renovation in 2022 which includes re-design of guest rooms with upgraded bathrooms. The spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago has men and women's steam rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center with yoga and meditation spaces, swimming pool and a nail salon. Indulge in fresh pasta made in-house daily, prime and dry-aged meats, and seafood at the on-site Torali. The 12th floor Rooftop Torali is a lounge open seasonally. Youngsters can fill a bag of candies with the complimentary Candy Cart by Ferrara, a legendary Chicago candy company, which will stop by your hotel room door upon request. Though a big and busy hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Chicago lives up to its luxury reputation.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: The Ritz-Carlton has a worldwide reputation for its luxury accommodations, and its Chicago hotel is no exception.

Read more about The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago →


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Drenched in the Art Deco elegance of Chicago's past, the new LaSalle Hotel does not skimp on coveted modern amenities like Beautyrest Black by Simmons beds, Lavazza espresso machines, twice daily housekeeping service and 65-inch UHD TVs. Oversized guest rooms and luxe suites feature handsome decor, millwork, cabinetry and spacious marble bathrooms. Grill on 21 lists classic dishes like steaks and chops, Chicago's own Shrimp de Jonghe, redolent of sherry and garlic, and lobster Thermidor as well as items like Hearth-Roasted Carrot Wellington appealing to plant-based diners. The fitness center boasts TechnoGym equipment and Peloton bikes but you may want to make time for meditation and yoga health experiences. Guests at The LaSalle Hotel enjoy priority access to the Spa at JW Chicago, just an elevator ride away.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: Perched 21 stories above street level, The LaSalle Hotel offers sophisticated luxury in Chicago's Financial District.

Read more about The LaSalle Hotel →




The luxury Langham brings a mix of British elegance and modern sophistication to a famous skyscraper on the riverfront. The building was designed in the 1970s by famed architect Mies van der Rohe, and it's tasteful and dignified inside and out. Rooms are bathed in neutral colors with smart furnishings and feature floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the inimical skyline and boats floating down the Chicago River. Marble bathrooms have rain showers and granite deep-soak tubs are welcome after a day touring the city. Staff is beyond accommodating and kind. Spring for access to the Langham Club Lounge that offers private registration for arrival and departure; express check-out service; sumptuous breakfast (see the sunrise over the lake); all-day refreshments; evening cocktails and canap├ęs; one complimentary fitness class per stay; and Butler Service. Chuan Spa is the model of what a luxury wellness experience should be.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: Housed along the scenic riverfront in a historic skyscraper, the Langham Chicago is one of the best hotels in Chicago.

Read more about The Langham, Chicago →




The Four Seasons' Chicago upholds the chain's reputation for luxury and service and staff makes your visit an effortless experience. After a hotel-wide transformation, the limestone and glass building is home to spacious fully-appointed guest rooms as well as one-and-two bedroom suites and two-and-three bedroom apartment units (plus excellent views of the skyline and Lake Michigan). The hotel is family-friendly, with an indoor pool and visits from the Ice Cream Man. The Spa has a 50-foot Roman-style indoor pool, steam rooms, whirlpool and fitness center. Chicago's first restaurant in partnership with James Beard Award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer, Adorn Bar & Restaurant, lists swoon worthy global dishes like A5 Miyazaki beef. Adorn's Pastry Chef, Juan Gutierrez, excels with unique creations like the Taste of India Tierra Querida with burnt milk ice cream and saffron. Ask about exclusive river and lake excursions on yachts, Sunrise Wellness Retreats and interactive chef-driven dining experiences.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: This is a stellar luxury hotel with five-star accommodations, dining and service plus a wide range of kid-friendly activities for families.

Read more about Four Seasons Hotel Chicago →


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Magnificent Mile


A longtime favorite among discerning travelers, the Park Hyatt unveiled a breathtaking $60 million redesign of guest rooms and public spaces in 2022. Its restaurant, NoMI, is one of the best in Chicago and in warmer weather snag a table at NoMI Garden for Water Tower and lake views in addition to excellent sushi and modern American cuisine rooted in French technique. The vibrant new art program lifts spirits at every turn and oversized soaking tubs enhance in-room relaxation. Although you're on busy Michigan Ave., triple-pane glass windows ensure a hushed overnight experience. Work out in the indoor lap pool and the high-tech fitness space complete with Pelotons and the intelligent Tonal exercise system. Spa treatments couple cutting-edge products and expert technicians with ancient techniques for a highly personalized experience. It's pretty perfect and the Park Hyatt is, indeed, "all that."

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: A $60 million refresh; stunning city and lake views; high-tech fitness center and pool; and exceptional restaurant - you won't want to leave.

Read more about Park Hyatt - Chicago →




Celebrities, heads of state, artists and other VIPs often stay at The Peninsula when they're visiting Chicago because of its five-star accommodations and impeccable service. The Peninsula Chicago was named the #1 Hotel in country by U.S. News & World Report in February 2022 and its "Midwest Hospitality combined with Far Eastern Graciousness" is a big part of that. Everything about the hotel is elegant including rooms appointed with marble baths and premium bedding, and some with soaking tubs with city views. New room technology makes it easy to control all aspects from a tablet. The property features distinctive restaurants including spectacular Shanghai Terrace and the sexy rooftop Z-Bar; world-class spa (with inventive, holistic and ayurvedic treatments plus the new Life Lived Best wellness program covering physical fitness, mental health and nutrition); and a winter skating rink on the terrace. Guests enjoy location and luxury in a hotel that's kid and pet friendly. Book an extra day or two to experience everything this fabulous hotel offers.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: The elegant Peninsula Chicago is a five-star hotel that brings traditional Asian service to a city that already has a plethora of warmth and hospitality.

Read more about The Peninsula Chicago →


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Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky

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