Hotel with Skyline Views near Downtown Chicago's Shopping
The Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza Hotel is located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, just blocks from the Magnificent Mile. This stretch of Michigan Ave. is lined with famous boutiques and department stores that all get lit up with lights during the holidays. But you're forgiven if you just want to hang out on hotel property for a while: An award-winning recent renovation updated the hotel's lobby, restaurants, and guest rooms and earned the property a LEED Gold Certification. During your stay, you’ll have access to the hotel’s two dining venues, a heated indoor pool, and Merchandise Mart, which is lined with some world-famous interior-design companies.
Almost everywhere you look from the hotel, you'll have views of the Chicago River and the city skyline. The 15th-floor lounge, wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows, is a great place to watch the sun set and drink a signature martini. From all the guest rooms that have views, you can also see the city’s downtown silhouette.
The hotel restaurant ItaliAsia doesn’t have city views, but it has plenty to look at: red stained glass and modern furnishings fill the room, where you can enjoy contemporary Italian- and Asian-inspired cuisine.
Chicago's River North: World-Class Art Galleries and Shops on the Magnificent Mile
River North is where you'll find some of the city's trendiest restaurants, bars, and boutique shopping, 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. There's also more shopping on nearby State Street at high-end stores.
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 the hotel 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.
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.