Modern Luxury at 1920s Boutique Hotel
As night falls on Michigan Avenue, the "Allerton Tip Top Tap" red neon sign flickers on, illuminating The Allerton Hotel's Italian Renaissance–style brown brick façade. The sign remains as a last vestige of the hotel's former lounge, a swanky nightclub where Hollywood royalty clinked cocktails and danced the foxtrot. One of the earliest high-rises to spring up along Chicago's budding skyline in 1924, the Allerton still conjures a sense of nostalgia, albeit with a modern twist. From the restored Tip Top Tap ballroom to the chic lobby, remnants of the hotel's glamorous history echo throughout the recently remodeled interior, which brims with 21st-century amenities and art-deco accents.
Plush chartreuse booths add a splash of color to the black-and-white confines of the M Avenue Restaurant, a stylish spot favored by power-lunching businesspeople and smartly dressed vacationers. Gliding across checkered tiles, friendly servers dispense cocktails and contemporary American cuisine as a sleek, freestanding fireplace warms the room. Upstairs in the hotel's distinctive suites, in-room dining allows guests to enjoy the same delectable fare while sipping wine and reclining against upholstered headboards. In addition to plush bedding and marble bathrooms, each room comes equipped with an iPod docking station for streaming tunes or podcasts on how to remove red wine stains from upholstered headboards.
Chicago's Magnificent Mile: Upscale Boutiques and Historical Architecture
The Allerton’s front door opens directly onto Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, where landmarks such as the John Hancock Center and the Wrigley Building stand amid an array of upscale boutiques. Double-decker buses and horse-drawn carriages circle the Chicago Water Tower, a limestone icon that managed to survive the Great Chicago Fire, and droves of shoppers navigate the eight levels of restaurants and retail stores at nearby Water Tower Place.
Visitors in possession of a CTA pass and an intrepid spirit can access a world of attractions beyond downtown. The Museum of Science and Industry, about 6 miles south of the Loop, houses 14 acres of exhibits, including a real German U-boat and Nikola Tesla's Gameboy. Due west of the Loop and easily accessible via the Green Line “L” train, the Garfield Park Conservatory houses hundreds of exotic floral species in a network of greenhouses built at the turn of the 20th century.