Tech-Savvy Boutique Hotel in Downtown Chicago
Chicago's River North neighborhood is one of the city's trendiest, lined with art galleries, dance clubs, and Top Chef–run restaurants. It's a fitting locale for the new ACME Hotel Company, a boutique hotel that emphasizes style just as much as substance. ACME opened in May, following an extensive renovation that outfitted the building with the latest technology, including ultrafast 100 MB–bandwidth WiFi. Its decor is just as cutting edge—low-sitting, bold-colored furniture and canvas wall art create a modern, minimalist aesthetic. Other design touches reinforce the hotel's hipness: wood beams frame the domed entry; bright-red LED lips decorate the bathroom mirrors; and a fence, rather than a wall, demarcates the onsite fitness center.
All guest rooms are furnished with TVs, and standard king rooms’ space-saving layouts feature tucked-away ottomans and an open closet. Alternatively, king suites are nearly twice the size and include two TVs, a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin wireless audio system, and separate seating area with views of the Chicago skyline. Put your $10 breakfast credit toward artisan pastries, eggs benedict, and gourmet pancakes at the onsite West Town Bakery.
Downstairs, the old-meets-new Berkshire Room, named after the original hotel the ACME occupies, serves craft and traditional cocktails from a drink menu created by beverage director Benjamin Schiller and snacks from a menu created by executive chef Chris Curren. Additionally, West Town Bakery serves Chicago-based Passion House Coffee Roasters' drip coffee and espresso, and pastries and breakfast sandwiches are available in the mornings, followed by an all-day menu of sandwiches and to-go desserts.
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 ACME Hotel Company 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.