Boutique Hotel Steps from Michigan Avenue
Located one block east of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Ivy Boutique Hotel opened in May 2012 as the newest work from Arthur Minor, who designed The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas. With swanky amenities including mirror televisions and theater surround sound in all guest rooms, the hotel seems poised to become one of the city’s most exclusive hotels. Although it rises up 15 stories, there are only five rooms per floor, providing guests with a mixture of intimacy and comfort that makes it “the only true boutique luxury hotel in the city,” according to HotelChatter.
After guests check in, hotel staff personally escort them to 675-square-foot king suites. Paragons of modern design, the suites contain platform beds with white leather headboards and floor-to-ceiling windows that open. Eco-friendly bamboo flooring, along with organic towels and rugs made from thistle, help to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint. Guests can watch the flat-screen TV set in the vanity mirror while getting ready in the morning or practice Tarzan-style affirmation chants in the rainforest shower.
River North and Gold Coast, Chicago: Hip Restaurants and Art Galleries near Magnificent Mile
North of downtown Chicago are the River North and Gold Coast neighborhoods, occupying some of the city's most desirable real estate. Gold Coast’s reputation as an upscale residential spot dates back to 1882, when wealthy businessmen began building castle-like mansions along the waterfront. For a glimpse at these historical estates, head to the Seven Houses on Lake Shore Drive District, where you'll find a French-chateau-inspired mansion that now serves as the International Museum of Surgical Science.
The city's most concentrated cluster of galleries is located west, in the River North neighborhood. Century-old red-brick warehouses now house lofty exhibition spaces, each specializing in distinct art styles ranging from modern American art to European impressionism.
A block east of the hotel is Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, where landmark skyscrapers such as the John Hancock Center and the Wrigley Building tower over the city's liveliest retail corridor. In total, this stretch of high-end real estate houses some 460 stores, ranging from exclusive designers such as Armani and Chanel to beloved brands including Apple, American Girl, and Gap. Double-decker buses and horse-drawn carriages circle the Chicago Water Tower, a limestone icon that survived the Great Chicago Fire, and droves of shoppers navigate eight levels of boutiques and cafés at the nearby Water Tower Place.