Chicago: Top Luxury Attractions

Chicago, the most American of American cities  (Brand X Pictures)

The Drake
The grand dame of all Chicago hotels, the Drake has been featured in countless films, retaining an aura unmatched by some of Chicago's latest luxury additions. But while perhaps not as glitzy as these modern marvels, what the Drake lacks in splashy-ness it makes up for in regal old-time grandeur. For serious pampering stay on the "executive floor" where the digs come with valets to help with packing and securing theater tickets, and complimentary cocktails are served in the private lounge.

Green Mill
A real Chicago treasure, the Green Mill retains the same speakeasy vibe it had during the 1920s and '30s, when Al Capone was a regular patron. Today, Chicagoans pack the place to lounge in plush velvet booths and listen to high-caliber jazz.
Green Mill: 773.878.5552

The Peninsula Spa
Floor-to-ceiling windows provide spectacular city views at this posh spa located atop the Peninsula Chicago. The glass-enclosed pool is a great place to start (or end) your treatment session—float on your back, or peer down to watch life pass by on the Magnificent Mile below. Skin care, body treatments, massage, nutrition counseling, personal training, and customized spa packages are all offered.

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Chic and modern, the Sofitel's trademarks include sleek, edgy designs, vivid colors, and bold architecture—exemplified here by a towering glass prism that stretches into the sky. The efficient staff have reinvented that classical Chicago staple, the pinstripe suit. Think chromatic-colored scarves and zippers in lieu of buttons. The interior design has a decidedly French flair, and the rooms are trendy minimalist and packed with top-notch amenities.

Chicago Symphony Opera
The Chicago Symphony Opera collected a record 31 Grammy awards under the tutelage of the late maestro Sir Georg Solti. That impressive legacy has led to world-wide recognition as one of the best of symphonies on the planet. Its repertoire includes crowd-pleasing classics along with less traditional jazz, world beat, Latin, and cabaret.
Chicago Symphony Opera: 312.294.3000, www.cso.org

Four Seasons Hotel Spa
Focusing on sensory therapies, the Four Season Spa treatments are designed to stimulate and nurture all your senses in comfortable, luxurious surroundings. Services range from simple facials to daylong pampering sessions in the spa's five treatment rooms, each soundproofed for ultimate relaxation. The private nail suite features two heated-massage whirlpool pedicure chairs and two manicure stations.

InterContinental Chicago
Situated in the heart of Chicago on North Michigan's Avenue's famed Magnificent Mile, this landmark hotel exudes graceful Old World elegance. Cast bronze ornamentation and a sweeping staircase highlight the four-story lobby. Guestrooms feature lavish chic décor with magnificent views of Lake Michigan and downtown Chicago. After a day on the town, enjoy a fine meal at stylishly modern Zest restaurant, or linger over a drink at one of the hotel's two cozy bars.

Goodman Theater
Chicago's most reputable theater company mounts both original productions and familiar favorites that, coupled with the custom-designed theater's modern vibe, has attracted the likes of Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, and Denzel Washington. To date, the company's greatest claim to fame was its revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, starring Brian Dennehy, which won four Tonys and made it to Broadway in 1999.
Goodman Theater: 312.443.3800, www.goodman-theater.com

Le Meridien Chicago
This 17-story Art Deco building on the Magnificent Mile greets guests with a modern lobby graced with contemporary style. In addition to four floors of classy retail shops within the hotel, more fashionable shops are mere minutes away on foot. Guestrooms are comfortable and elegant, and the Rendez-Vous bar is an inviting place to kick back with the hotel's signature drink, a delicious Godiva chocolate martini.

Lyric Opera of Chicago
If you have tickets to the opening night at the Lyric Opera of Chicago each September, then you boast tickets to the unofficial kickoff of Chicago's social season. But even if you can't get ahold of those coveted tickets, year-round productions here are a must-do in Chicago. They all place in the 1929 Art Deco Civic Opera House, the country's second largest. Attracting some of the world's best singers, performances are dramatic affairs that tend to showcase new American works.
Lyric Opera of Chicago: 312.332.2244, www.lyricopera.com

Published: 25 Apr 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in Chicago

$950-$1475
Average/night*
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#1
The Peninsula Chicago
$188-$475
Average/night*
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#2
The Talbott Hotel
$380
Average/night*
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#3
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
$266
Average/night*
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#4
Thompson Chicago

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