Pursuitist presents The Top 5 Best Luxury Hotels in Chicago. It’s easy to indulge your love of exquisite accommodations in the Windy City. Celebrating arts, dining, shopping, entertainment and sports, Chicago is a diverse luxury destination that presents unlimited adventures. The Gold Coast. The Art Institute. Alinea. Michigan Avenue. Soldier Field. There is so much to see, do, eat and drink in Chicago, that the list is virtually endless. As a major metropolitan city with midwest hospitality, you’ll discover the latest amenities in the lap of luxury at these top Chicago hotels.
Pursuitist presents the most outstanding Chicago hotels for 2022. We celebrate each of these properties for the gems that they are, each location has a distinct personality that will suit different travelers, whether you are visiting on business, with the family or on a romantic getaway. Compiled by Pursuitist’s Editor-In-Chief Christopher Parr and contributor Stacy Steponate Greenberg (follow on Twitter), we proudly showcase these “Pursuitist Platinum” Chicago Hotels:
The Pursuitist Difference: All reviews and recommendations are 100% authentic without reimbursement. Unlike all other luxury hotel review sites, Pursuitist does not accept any payment or commissions if readers book reservations.
1. The Peninsula, Chicago | website
The Peninsula Chicago ranks #1 on our list of Chicago’s Best, and is the perfect upscale destination for families, dignitaries, celebrities, and affluent business travelers. With numerous delicious fine-dining options, the stunning pool, spacious rooms and suites, there is so much to adore about the legendary Peninsula Chicago. They pamper the whole family, and all affluent travelers, with scrumptious meals and thoughtful amenities. The staff exceeds expectations and creates a remarkable experience. Beyond its excellent service, and truly friendly people, the property is gorgeous, the rooms are huge, and the location is perfect.
Views of Lake Michigan…. situated in the center of the Magnificent Mile…. the ideal location for shopping and entertainment, The Peninsula Chicago is a do-not-skip treat in the heart of the city of Chicago. The property offers many delicious culinary options too, from the Lobby to Shanghai Terrace (voted the number one “Chinese Restaurant in Chicago” by Zagat), and the new Z Bar. (Read more: The Peninsula Chicago Review)
2. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago | website
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, now a real Ritz Hotel, is a warm and welcoming home-away-from-home for your family’s visit to the Windy City.
After a year of renovations and a $100 million investment, the brand-new Ritz-Carlton Chicago debuted in 2017, and has reemerged as one of Chicago’s best luxury hotels. The completely renovated and fresh guest rooms at The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago boast shades of cream, blue and gray and amenities like flat-screen TVs, luxury bedding and marble bathrooms. New additions to the property include the tasty Torali restaurant and Bar, a concierge floor, a 24-hour fitness center and wellness classes like rooftop yoga and Pilates.
The unbeatable location and signature service assure your family a comfortable and relaxing stay. Located at Chicago’s Water Tower Place, you are an elevator ride away from Magnificent Mile shops and the American Girl Place. The perfect destination for the entire family. However, be sure to balance out the kiddie-centric activities by planning a few grown-up treats as well. The hotel spa is an onsite haven and the pool is perfect for swimming laps. The hotel babysitting service is always superb. The friendly, responsible, capable staff has always made us completely at ease. While the kids are being entertained, parents can enjoy classic favorites and handcrafted cocktails at Torali Restaurant and Bar. (Read more: Ritz-Carlton Chicago Review)
3. Waldorf Astoria, Chicago | website
The Waldorf Astoria Chicago is Chicago’s most romantic hotel. It boasts a fine restaurant and bar, an outstanding spa and amazing private dining (in front of your own fireplace, too). Exceptionally designed, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago impresses guests with its elegance and privacy. Located in the Gold Coast neighborhood, this is the perfect hotel to escape with a loved one. You’ll feel transported to Europe, without stepping foot out of Illinois. We highly recommend the spa and fitness facilities for a transformative and relaxing experience. There is something truly remarkable about this Waldorf Astoria.
The biggest change since our last visit? Brasserie has opened its doors at the property. Located on the third floor of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, the restaurant evokes the feeling of dining at a Parisian café. The menu features casual French cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients, alongside a thorough French wine and cocktail list. (Read more: Waldorf Astoria Chicago Review)
4. Nobu Chicago | website
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 is brought to life through its architecture, which playfully blends elements of old world Japanese art and new world utilitarian, creating a sense of accessible sophistication. With tastefully appointed guest rooms and suites, a signature Nobu Restaurant, and the new-concept Nobu Rooftop, Nobu Hotel Chicago is the perfect destination for a stylish stay in one of the Windy City’s culinary hubs. Just a few blocks from Nobu Hotel Chicago, guests can get a full gastronomic experience going from sushi bar to sports bar, bakery to brewery, wine tasting to taquería, or by checking out the nearby Chicago French Market, the city’s only year-round, indoor marketplace. (Read more: Nobu Chicago Review)
5. Park Hyatt Chicago | website
Imagine strolling in an art gallery with its sleekness and high style, that’s what you feel like walking in to the Park Hyatt Chicago. With a distinct urban vibe and luxurious surroundings, welcome to the ultimate, intimate, in-the-know place to stay. Settled next to the glamorous Michigan Ave, conveniently located next to the famous sites and shops, this destination has great things to offer. Indulge in the acclaimed NoMi Kitchen, Lounge or Garden, the latter boasting a secluded, outdoor retreat that reflects the distinct surroundings found throughout the hotel. Jump on the complimentary bikes and explore all the city has to offer and be sure to enjoy the Spa that will no doubt provide you with the urban energy and renewal you so desire.
Note: Park Hyatt Chicago and NoMI temporarily suspend operations on January 2, 2022 to complete hotel renovations. Reservations, services, and all operations will be suspended during the time of renovation, and the property will reopen summer 2022. Our visit to Park Hyatt and NoMI was in December of 2021, and it was a remarkable first class visit with exceptional service. Due to our recent experience, we’ve kept Park Hyatt Chicago on our Top 5 Best list, as the property will only reemerge better than ever. (Read more: Park Hyatt Chicago Review)
Changes in our Top 5 Luxury Hotels in Chicago: Nobu Chicago is in, and Four Seasons Chicago is out. While Nobu debuted in the city with an amazingly designed and inspiring hotel and restaurant, Four Seasons Chicago, on the other-hand, underwent a renovation that was an enormous step backwards. Gone is FS’s classic lobby with many architectural nuances, discreet areas and private venues. It has been replaced with a dull and bland elongated open space — like a big, long white futuristic bowling alley that has been furnished and decorated with wanna-be edgy decor and uncomfortable seating.
Having been a luxury traveler to Four Seasons Chicago for over 20 years, and hosted wine events and business conferences at this destination, the redesign of the public space, lobby and restaurant/bar is truly heartbreaking. I know all hospitality brands are trying to chase and attract that mythical “affluent millennial,” but those young travelers are savvy enough to know better, while the FS brand is turning off their core affluent traveler. Due to this design flop, and trying to be a brand that they’re not, we’ve removed the Four Seasons Chicago property from our top 5 list. The staff at Four Seasons Chicago continue to amaze, and the services are exceptional, but their recent renovation is a misguided disappointment. Seriously, a DJ in the lobby? This is Chicago, not a Kimpton in Miami. (Read Four Seasons Hotel Chicago Review)
Honorable mention: InterContinental Chicago, Langham Hotel, Conrad Chicago, and Virgin Hotels Chicago.
Take a stroll to the Museum of Contemporary Art around the corner from all these hotels, window shop on world famous Michigan Avenue, take the Architectural Boat Tour and then bop over to Millennium Park to see “The Bean,” as locals call the stunning, enormous sculpture properly known as Cloud Gate. Keep strolling down Michigan Avenue and experience one of the world’s best art museums, The Art Institute of Chicago, for a luxurious fill of Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh, to name just a few. And what could be more fun than a day at the Shedd Aquarium that boasts Beluga Whales and dolphins and a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline.
Christopher Parr, is the Editor and Chief Content Creator for Pursuitist, and a contributing writer to USA Today, Business Insider — and the on-air host of Travel Tuesday on Live at 4 CBS. He is an award-winning luxury marketing veteran, writer, a frequent speaker at luxury and interactive marketing conferences and a pioneer in web publishing. USA Today has named him one of the “Top 10 Luxury Travel Bloggers” — and Madison Magazine honored him as one of the “Top 20 Most Influential People in Madison.”