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 Peninsula Chicago. the Langham and Park Hyatt, with dreamy beds and in-room deluxe soaking tubs, while others are attracted to the modern elegance from posh yet unpretentious hotels like The Gwen. The Viceroy Chicago is a genuine intersection of luxury and boutique offering an array of amenities (like complimentary transportation in the House Tuk Tuk). Located next to Water Tower Place, the Ritz-Carlton is a peaceful retreat from the Magnificent Mile crowds. The Pendry and Nobu Hotel - Chicago are the newest luxury inns on the block, the latter being a modern Asian oasis of  serenity in the West Loop. Look for The LaSalle Chicago and the St. Regis to open in late 2021. 

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.


Magnificent Mile

A longtime favorite among discerning travelers, the Park Hyatt emphasizes service and sophistication. Its restaurant, NoMI, is one of the best in Chicago, and foodies can arrange to have a special dining experience in the "chef's corner." Walk into the art-covered lobby and then into one of their stylish, clean and contemporary rooms, with comfy beds and enormous, spa-like bathrooms. Some guest rooms have window seats that overlook the lake. Have an evening cocktail on the outdoor patio, surrounded by urban lights, or pamper yourself with a long swim in the indoor pool or a revitalizing Hydrafacial in the spa.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: It has been a stalwart luxury hotel in Chicago and a favorite among travelers for many years.

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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 are decorated in tony, Parisian-themed décor and have comfy king-sized beds. Some rooms have fireplaces or features like TVs in the bathroom mirrors. There's a great spa on the premises and two restaurants: a sweet French patisserie on the hotel's lobby level stocking coffee, pastries and sandwiches, and The Brasserie, a Parisian café with elevated French cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients. 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.

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The Viceroy brand's first property in the Midwest opened its doors to locals and guests in fall of 2017 and less than two years later, it was named the number one hotel in Chicago by Travel & Leisure. The 180-room modern luxury hotel is located on the site of the former historic Cedar Hotel. Guest rooms have luxurious bathrooms with CBD bath bombs; private bars with local and artisanal offerings; free Wi-Fi access; and some suites offer expansive terraces with wonderful views of the cityscape and Lake Michigan. There's a rooftop pool and fitness center with panoramic views to keep you going another few minutes on the elliptical. Somerset features American cuisine by Chef Stephen Gillanders and don't miss desserts by Pastry Chef Tatum. There's complimentary transportation in the Viceroy Tuk Tuk, a three-wheeled, 100% electric vehicle available to hotel guests for short-distance travel to the beach or within a mile radius of the hotel.

Recommended for Luxury Hotels because: A member of Viceroy's Icon Collection, the hotel is a genuine intersection of luxury and boutique accommodations.

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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 broccoli and ricotta gnocchi and 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Located next to Water Tower Place, the Ritz-Carlton is a peaceful retreat from the Magnificent Mile crowds. The 5-star luxury hotel offers upscale amenities, 90 recently refashioned suites and comfortable, well-appointed rooms with large windows revealing views of Navy Pier and Lake Michigan. The Day Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago has five treatment rooms, 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 Italian â€" Steak. The 12th floor Rooftop at 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.

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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 canapés; 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.

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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 has received a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating each year since its opening and in 2021, it was named the #1 Hotel in Chicago and #3 hotel in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report. 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 is impressive - tap the tablet next to your bed to change the temperature, listen to music from a Brazilian or Native American radio station or zone out with spa music while soaking in the tub. The property features three distinctive restaurants including spectacular Shanghai Terrace, the sexy rooftop Z-Bar and a world-class spa. As you'd expect from a hotel of this caliber, service is unparalleled. Situated along the Magnificent Mile, guests enjoy location and luxury.

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.

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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