19th-Century Hotel on Michigan Avenue Features Elegant Guest Rooms with High Ceilings
From its conception in 1893, The Congress Plaza Hotel was intended to be the elite spot for travelers who passed through Chicago. The hotel first welcomed guests during the World's Columbian Exposition; during the next 50 years, it was furnished with glamorous ballrooms and stylish supper clubs. The building soon became known as the "Home of the Presidents" for hosting Richard Nixon and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Centuries after its construction, the hotel still emanates with Old-World glamour. The lobby ceiling is constructed out of mosaic tile. The Gold Room, an Italian Renaissance-style banquet room, features elaborate murals that were restored by the same artist who restored the Sistine Chapel. Head up to the standard double guest rooms, and you'll find soaring ceilings, large windows, and horse-drawn luggage carts.
The Congress has two onsite dining spots, including Rafael Steak House. This dinner-only spot serves a variety of gourmet burgers and specialties such as blue-cheese-crusted tenderloin. In the morning, you can enjoy a hearty American breakfast at the Gazebo Restaurant. And since Congress is centrally located in downtown Chicago, you're just steps away from landmarks, world-class museums, and luxury shopping.
Chicago's Loop: Historic Commercial Center with World-Class Museums and Parks
The Congress Plaza Hotel is situated on the eastern edge of The Loop, Chicago's historic commercial center and the second-largest business district in the country. Skyscrapers loom large, including the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and the Chicago Board of Trade. But this part of town is also home to award-winning waterfront parks, a glitzy theater district, and some of the finest art collections in the world.
Half a mile from the hotel you can find the Art Institute of Chicago. There's a gargantuan collection of masterpiece works here, everything from marble busts and sarcophagi to modern masterpieces such as Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and Grant Wood's American Gothic. The Loop itself is also lined with a spectacular array of public art, including outdoor sculptures from Picasso and Miro, and pointillist hopscotch grids.
Grant Park, known affectionately as "Chicago's front yard," occupies more than 300 acres along the lake directly across from the hotel. Modeled after the gardens at Versailles, the park is dotted with several impressive attractions, including Buckingham Fountain, The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and the Pritzker Music Pavilion, which hosts free outdoor classical-music concerts during the summer.