Hotel at a Glance: Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago
As night falls on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, the “Tip Top Tap” sign illuminates the Warwick Allerton Hotel’s Italian Renaissance–style façade. The red neon sign is the last vestige of the hotel’s 23rd-floor penthouse lounge, a swanky nightclub once frequented by Hollywood A-listers. A recent $60 million renovation has restored the original 1920s brickwork and updated the interior for the 21st century.
- Landmark status: The Allerton is an official Chicago landmark.
- Walking distance: The hotel lies within a 5-minute walk of Water Tower Place, the John Hancock Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Onsite restaurant: M Avenue Restaurant is a stylish spot specializing in contemporary American cuisine; the adjacent lounge bar is a good place to grab a cocktail.
- Distinctive rooms: The hotel’s historic floor plan gives each of the guest rooms and suites a unique layout, though they all feature marble bathrooms, upholstered headboards, and flat-screen TVs.
- The press says: “If you want to stay in a place in the middle of it all, this is a very good choice.” — Fodor’s
Chicago’s Magnificent Mile: Upscale Boutiques and Historic Architecture
On Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, 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.
Lake Shore Drive runs two blocks east of Michigan Avenue. Travel + Leisure called this stretch “the greatest architecture road on earth” thanks to the superstar skyscrapers lined up along the lakefront. Looming above them all, of course, is the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower)—the tallest building in North America. Runners, cyclists, and runaway lawn mowers travel the adjoining Lakefront Trail throughout the year. A mile and a half north, crowds gather at North Avenue Beach during the summer to people watch, play volleyball, and listen to live music at beachfront bars.