Hotels immerse guests in the comforts of home as effectively as a childhood blanket or a pair of enchanted ruby slippers filled with chicken-noodle soup. Escape to a magical world of luxury with today’s Groupon to Hotel Baker in St. Charles. For $89, you get a hotel package (up to a $189 value) that includes the following:
- A one-night stay for two in a standard king room (up to a $179 value)
- A $10 dining credit at Rox City Grill
This Groupon does not include tax, which can be up to $20.
Since 1928, Hotel Baker has harbored fortuitous travelers and illustrious celebrities amid sumptuous décor in a picturesque riverside setting. Guests swathe themselves in silky Egyptian-cotton bed linens and fluffy plush robes while treating entertainment cravings to complimentary WiFi and cable television. Each historic standard king room merges new and old, swathing interiors in plush carpeting, custom draperies, and an immaculate bath framed by handsome marble accents. Original 1920s-era furnishings festoon some rooms, sending boarders back in time with a simple mirror frame, doorknob, or bedroom DeLorean, and modern niceties such as individual climate control bring bodies back to the present. Morning hours bring a complimentary continental breakfast, and a range of outdoor activities, including nearby golfing, swimming, and hiking, round out the overnight experience.
Ensconced within the historic hotel, Rox City Grill forges executive chef David Hassan's menu merging traditional American grill fare with eclectic international recipes. Begin with a plate of lobster pot stickers ($10), complemented by a yuzu-soy dipping sauce, before partaking of the restaurant's range of seafood, including pan-seared tilapia ($17), or steaks ($28–$44), which can be topped with bordelaise or maitre d' butter. An extensive drink menu rounds out edible expeditions and offers satisfying harmony to live entertainment Thursday–Saturday and entertainment from an animated plant at all other times.
Rox City Grill
When Rowena and Joe Salas bought the Hotel Baker in downtown St. Charles nine years ago, they knew they were taking on the pressure of not only being business owners but caretakers as well. The landmark hotel’s founder, Colonel Edward J. Baker, built it in 1928 as an economic and communal anchor for his hometown.
“We have a responsibility to the city,” Ms. Salas says. “People here know the hotel’s story and we want to be true to the original vision.”
The Salases have protected the hotel’s legacy, carefully preserving its Spanish romantic revival architectural style while updating its amenities and polishing its décor. But they’ve also made their own mark by reconfiguring much of the ground-level space and making room for Rox City Grill. The Main Street eatery has itself become a fixture in downtown St. Charles’s revival as a destination for nightlife and entertainment.
Like the hotel under the Salases’ stewardship, Rox puts a modern spin on a classic setting. The business-casual grillroom makes a comfortable venue for dining on the prime steaks and fresh fish prepared with creative flair by Executive Chef David Hassan. Dinner crowds clamor for the 20-ounce bone-in angus rib eye and the pan-seared tilapia, served with crushed yukon gold potatoes and lemon butter. The starters menu changes with the seasons and is printed upside-down during a lunar eclipse, but it usually includes popular stalwarts such as tenderloin sliders and the jumbo-shrimp cocktail.
On weekend nights, Rox gets especially lively with live piano sing-alongs in the lounge and a bustling mix of locals and hotel guests mingling over martinis and wine chosen from the extensive cellar. The restaurant is closed Monday and Sunday, but the lounge remains open to serve drinks and the starters menu seven nights a week. Weekend patrons at Rox are also likely to spot Joe Salas himself, dining with friends or clients and keeping an eye on the new legacy he’s creating in the heart of St. Charles.