Historical Boutique Hotel One Block Away from Magnificent Mile
Chez Paree, a supper club opened in the heart of Chicago in 1932, was one of the most glamorous clubs in the country for nearly 30 years. The world’s best entertainers performed there, including Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr., and when they did, many of them stayed at Hotel St. Clair, located one block away from the club. In 1982, after a $13 million renovation, the hotel reopened as the Inn of Chicago, and The Adorables—the showgirls from Chez Paree’s golden days—were there to celebrate the grand event. Today, the hotel’s rooftop terrace and cocktail lounge continue to draw a stylish crowd, and you’ll find some of the top entertainment spots in the city around the corner on Michigan Avenue.
Set off from the lobby in an intimate, low-lit space, InnBar at the hotel is decorated with high-backed leather chairs and a backlit bar. The mixologists here handcraft specialty cocktails with names such as Inntice and Inntrigue, and there’s also an extensive wine list. During warmer months, take in stunning views of the city’s most famous buildings at Skyline Terrace, a rooftop spot located on the 22nd floor. The hotel lobby is also a stylish gathering place with zebra-print ottomans, silk pillows, and a modern fireplace.
The Inn of Chicago's guest rooms are decorated with either a blue-and-lime-green color scheme or classic Chicago photography. Queen junior suites boast spacious corner locations and large windows.
Chicago's Magnificent Mile: Upscale Boutiques and Historical 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, the 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.