Four-Star Boutique Hotel in Chicago's River North
Hotel Felix in Chicago’s River North seamlessly combines the stateliness of its 1920s-era building with an interior design that fits in with the rest of the cosmopolitan neighborhood. In the lobby, overstuffed suede chairs sit before a flat-panel fireplace, and an old-fashioned rotary phone on the coffee table hints at the building's roots. But its most contemporary features are its eco-friendly initiatives, which range from motion-sensor heating to its LED and fluorescent lighting. Its environmental efforts lead Frommer's to call the Silver LEED–certified hotel "the city's ultimate eco-chic retreat."
The hotel’s smartly minimalist guest rooms come with streamlined furniture and subtle mocha accents, with several rooms looking out over Chicago’s iconic skyline. Downstairs, you can indulge in full-body relaxation at the nature-focused spa with a chakra-balancing massage or a botanical facial. Bamboo flooring and walls decorated with recyclable materials continue the eco-friendly theme.
The onsite LM Bistro suggests a street-side café in France. A chalkboard menu displays the daily specials, and bare light bulbs hang above faux wooden chairs and an angular button-back sofa. LM’s dinner menu includes several twists on traditional French cuisine, from the foie gras burger to organic salmon with gnocchi. The friendly staff can help you find the perfect wine pairing from LM Bistro's extensive list of international wines. Afterward, grab a seat next to the lounge’s fireplace and sip on a quick cocktail.
Chicago's River North: World-Class Art Galleries Steps from Historic Commercial Center
In the 1960s, Chicago artists such as Jim Nutt began creating surrealist art that rejected many of the modernist trends in New York. The group would eventually become known as the Chicago Imagists—and the artists' impact was significant enough that, ever since, Chicago has played a crucial part in the international art world. Today, the city's most concentrated cluster of galleries is in its River North neighborhood, where Hotel Felix is situated. Century-old, red brick warehouses now house lofty exhibition spaces, each specializing in distinct art styles ranging from modern American art to European Impressionism.
River North is also where you'll find some of the city's trendiest restaurants and bars, all within walking distance of the Loop—Chicago's historic commercial center and the country’s second-largest business district. Skyscrapers loom large here, including the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the Chicago Board of Trade. This part of town is also home to award-winning waterfront parks and a glitzy theater district.
Head to the Loop's Art Institute of Chicago for its gargantuan collection of artwork, ranging from marble busts and sarcophagi to modern masterpieces such as Grant Wood's American Gothic. The Loop itself is also decorated with a spectacular array of public art, including outdoor sculptures from Picasso and Joan Miro, and pointillist hopscotch grids.
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