Love the one you're with: Chicago's romantic hotels

In addition to the obvious (winky wink), a romantic hotel getaway offers a stack of benefits like lowering stress, rekindling intimacy and it's just plain fun to discover new digs together. 

Not only does the Windy City boast tony properties like the Four Seasons, The Peninsula, Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf-Astoria, Radisson Blu Aqua with its undulating architecture and The Langham's European hospitality right on the riverfront in a historic Mies van der Rohe building (the last designed by the exalted architect), but there is new boutique lodging popping up everywhere from Wicker Park to the Gold Coast. 

With spa services, world-renowned restaurants and even rotating art collections by local, national and international artists, you barely have to leave the building. Each of our selections is surely a place for rest, romance and rejuvenation but many also aim to entertain and captivate.

Consider the copious options to celebrate romance at any time of the year in one or more of Chicago's fabulous hotels. 


Virgin Hotels Chicago offers a number of intriguing amenities fit for a romantic stay. Each of the casual "chambers" includes a custom-designed hybrid bed with an ergonomic headboard and footboard that allows for a range of positions for, well, you know. There's a set of sliding privacy doors separating the sleeping area from the dressing area and spacious showers (big enough for two) with rainfall shower heads. Each chamber's minibar offers an intimacy kit which includes condoms, lubricant and a feather tickler. The minibars are stocked at street prices. One of the most romantic areas of the hotel is Cerise Rooftop, a lively venue with entertainment, cocktails and great views of the city (talk to the team about creating a special engagement experience). Miss Ricky's, the hotel's All-American diner, is fun for brunch indoors and al fresco.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: The playful property is located in the old Dearborn Bank Building close to attractions like Millennium Park, the Art Institute and the Chicago Theater.

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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 a private terrace. Lovers look into "Love in the Windy City" and "Breakfast in Bed" packages.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: The views are phenomenal and you can walk to some of the best shopping, dining and activities in the city.

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The prestigious AAA Five Diamond award-winning Waldorf Astoria Chicago offers elegance akin to that available in Paris. An urban sanctuary tucked into the Gold Coast neighborhood, the luxury hotel offers apartment-style rooms, an award-winning spa retreat and dining at The Brasserie with innovative cocktails, fresh oysters, wood-roasted chicken and a fine brunch menu. The Patisserie offers macarons and croissants, lattes and wine. Guest rooms and suites are spacious boasting private terraces and ornate fireplaces, private bar with refrigerator, and other accessories for a perfect romantic stay. Exit the large marble bathrooms with separate shower and soaking tubs and don your soft, comfy robes. The hotel is located near Oak Street which is lined with designer shopping, including jewelry stores where you can begin browsing engagement rings.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Feeling more like an elegant estate than a hotel, Waldorf Astoria is steps from exclusive shopping and dining on Rush St. and the Magnificent Mile.

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Graduate Evanston is just steps from Northwestern University's campus, Lake Michigan and downtown Evanston. Have a John Hughes-inspired cocktail in the cozy bar and note the walls dotted with drawings of Northwestern alums like Stephen Colbert. Unlike others on the list, Graduate Evanston feels like a warm, old-fashioned inn with vintage décor but with all the comforts of a modern hotel. The restaurant, The Graduate Homestead Room, features leather banquettes and a fireplace, a nice place to nuzzle. You're staying on quiet street and exploring Northwestern's idyllic campus may take you back to heady college days. Stroll along the lake, walk to the free Block Museum of Art and to a plethora of Evanston eateries. Expert tips: Try the fantastic weekend dim sum brunch at Koi, just a few blocks away, with $12 bottomless Bloody Mary's and Mimosas. Evanston SPACE, an intimate concert venue, is just a 10-minute walk away, too.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Have your romantic rendezvous at the cozy, quiet Midwestern inn near the lake, downtown eateries and the handsome Northwestern University campus.

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Bogie and Bacall. Tracy and Hepburn. Taylor and Burton. This is old-school romance. Create your own memorable rendezvous at The Palmer House Hilton, a living piece of Chicago history. Lounge in one of the plush seats in the lobby to peruse the 21 frescos which pay tribute to Greek mythology and love. The Michelangelo-esque mural was originally created in the 1920s by French muralist Louis Pierre Rigal. Nibble savories and sweets at Lockwood Restaurant & Bar while surrounded by the Old Word glam of the 150-year-old Palmer House. Don't forget to have a brownie - it was invented here! Book an intimate dinner and a show at The Magic Parlour starring Dennis Watkins - it's an evening of classic magic and mind-reading featuring the work of the third-generation magician. Walk to Millennium Park for ice skating and concerts, the Art Institute and downtown restaurants and shopping.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Potter Palmer presented one of the most extravagant wedding gifts of all time to his love, Bertha - the Palmer House.

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Once an elite private men's club circa 1891, this property was restored and converted into wood, stained glass and architecturally beautiful boutique hotel. Cindy's, the hotel's rooftop bar, is a stylish, romantic spot for a happy hour drink or two accompanied by a fantastic view of Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain and the lakefront. Ask about any romance packages usually available around Valentine's Day. Work with the concierge team to write a letter to your partner pre-stay, and get access to the hotel's historic mailboxes and surprise them with their own mailbox key. Light up your competitive side in the Game Room with bocce and billiards. Walk to the symphony or lakefront.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: With terrazzo floors, free-standing tubs and stone fireplaces, the 1893 Venetian Gothic building is one of the most architecturally beautiful properties in Chicago.

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A night at Sofitel Chicago will have you whispering "Je t'aime à la folie" in no time flat. Located steps from the Magnificent Mile and Lake Michigan, the hotel draws inspiration from local culture and celebrates the French art of joi de vivre for a special romantic getaway. Consider booking the ongoing "Magnifique Romance Package" offering luxe comfort in elegant accommodation, a bottle of champagne on ice delivered during your stay, a romantic welcome amenity, and a complimentary full American breakfast for two from CDA takeaway, so you can enjoy breakfast in bed. Sofitel Chicago offers an ongoing wine dinner series including a special version on on Feb. 11, 2022 to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: With luxury suites and rooms with designer furnishings, marble bathrooms and views of the skyline, Sofitel Chicago is an easy road to romance.

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A luxurious bath does a body good and indulging in a soak in one of The Langham's granite tubs, which are in front of large picture windows, is simply unforgettable. The Langham is one of the best luxury hotel in Chicago exuding British elegance and modern sophistication tucked into a historic Mies van der Rohe building, the last designed by the renowned architect. Sidled up to the downtown riverfront, the building designed in the 1970s is sophisticated inside and out. The hotel's interior features appealing art and sculpture and rooms are done in neutral colors with tasteful furniture., Floor-to-ceiling windows welcome the jaw-dropping skyline and views of water traffic meandering down the Chicago River. Chuan Spa earns awards on the regular awards so consider a couple's treatment. The "River Romance" package includes great extras like a bottle of bubbly, valet parking and a bath amenity.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: Feel free to take a pampering deep soaking bath in a bathroom offering a voluptuous view of the city.

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LondonHouse Chicago easily has some of the most impressive views of the Chicago River and the city's lovely architecture from rooms and especially its 22nd-floor rooftop terrace. Couples should look into a luxe, customizable experience in LH Cupola, the intimate, private space at the apex of the hotel offering 360-degree views of the city. The historic Cupola, the property's highest point dating back to 1923, is a secluded space to pop the question. The basic proposal package includes a full hour private access of the Cupola; rose petals; bottle of Dom Perignon (Brut); and a photographer (full hour coverage). There's also a Spa and Stay package snagging you $125 credit towards any service at LH Spa including a customized side-by-side couples' massages. If s/he says "Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!" consider the Juliette Ballroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and riverfront views for intimate wedding vows.

Recommended for Romantic 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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The Peninsula is one of Chicago's toniest hotels and its understated elegance is ideal for a romantic rendezvous. Expect gracious service, and if you're hoping for a room with a view, ask for a corner suite. Event staff will help you plan special surprises for your paramour from candlelight, rose petals on the bed, or a hidden ring delivered by the culinary team. The Sky Rink has become a favorite place for proposals (how about a message in lights shining on the center of the rink like "Will You Marry Me?" Couples spa treatments are heavenly at the outstanding luxury spa. Dine in The Lobby (which features edible aphrodisiacs around Valentine's Day) or Shanghai Terrace for Asian cuisine. The hotel has great house seats to every Broadway in Chicago production production for theater aficionados. Stop by the Krigler Boutique (one of just a few boutiques outside of France) to treat your paramour to a wonderful fragrance gift.

Recommended for Romantic Hotels because: The hotel's creative guest relations team thrives on creating memorable romantic experiences for guests.

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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