19th-Century Hotel on Michigan Avenue with Elegant Guest Rooms
When it was opened 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. Over 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 Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon. Now the hotel’s chief advantage is its superb location in downtown Chicago, where it stands along Michigan Avenue. It’s just steps from Grant Park, several world-class museums, and a host of luxury retail stores.
More than a century after its construction, the hotel still exudes Old-World glamour. In standard guest rooms you’ll find soaring ceilings and large windows. Lake-view rooms are similar in size and style, but feature fantastic views of Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain, and Lake Michigan. Be sure to explore the rest of the hotel—the lobby ceiling is decorated with mosaic tiles, and the Renaissance-style Gold room features elaborate murals restored by Lido Lippi, who also helped restore the Sistine Chapel.
The Congress has two onsite dining venues. Rafael Steak House serves gourmet burgers, roasted duck breast with orange sauce, and other specialties. In the morning, you can enjoy a hearty American breakfast at the Gazebo Restaurant.
Highlights of Chicago’s Loop
- What’s in a name? The Loop is named after the shape formed by the elevated train tracks that form the perimeter of Chicago’s downtown
- Chicago’s front yard: Grant Park’s 300+ acres are modeled after the gardens at Versailles; Buckingham Fountain stands within the park’s grounds.
- The “Bean”: Officially named Cloud Gate, this legume-shaped sculpture reflects Michigan Avenue’s skyline and provides a mirror for the perfect selfie.
- The Art Institute of Chicago’s collection covers everything from marble busts and sarcophagi to modern masterpieces such as Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and Grant Wood's American Gothic.
- Millennium Park hosts free public concerts during the summer at the Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry.
- Museum Campus is nearby and includes Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum.