Best New Hotels: Seven Spots to Please a Spectrum of People and Budgets

CROWD PLEASERS: Your siblings, your uncle, and your in-laws? Everyone you know is coming to town this spring, and not only are you the object of their affection—you’re responsible for showing them a good time. We scouted Chicago’s bumper crop of new hotels, all opened within the last five years, and selected an option for every visitor on your list.

Dana Hotel and SpaFOR: Your free-spirited childhood friend, a natural healer and yogi

WHERE: Dana Hotel and Spa (660 N. State St.; 888-301-3262, From $250.

THE GIST: Bamboo floors and exposed cement ceilings give this 216-room boutique hotel the feel of an urban loft. A five-foot-long Vietnamese bell hanging in the lobby signals the worldly design touches throughout.

INSIDER TIP: Ask for a corner room. With two full walls of floor-to-ceiling windows, the spectacular views of State Street make a standard room seem positively deluxe.

SCENE AT THE BAR: In the ultraclubby Vertigo, on the roof of the 26th floor, party-happy 30-somethings chatter around the fire pit.

« Your concert-loving hipster brother Your upper-crust mother-in-law »



ElysianGOOD FOR: Your upper-crust mother-in-law, decked out in pearls and couture

WHERE: Elysian (11 E. Walton St.; 312-646-1300, From $385.

THE GIST: With only ten rooms per floor, this hotel feels more like a high-end condominium. The fireplaces and in-mirror TVs in almost every room and 1920s–Paris–inspired décor only add to the niceties.

INSIDER TIP: A complimentary courtesy car takes guests anywhere within a two-mile radius.

SCENE AT THE BAR: With its deep leather chairs, Bernard’s Bar could be an exclusive gentlemen’s clubhouse, but drinks like the Aviation—with gin and crème de violette ($14)—are female friendly.

« Your free-spirited childhood friend Your workaholic uncle, in town for a conference »



JW MarriottGOOD FOR: Your workaholic uncle, who’s in town for a conference. Period.

WHERE: JW Marriott (151 W. Adams St.; 312-660-8200, From $219.

THE GIST: Housed in a classic Daniel Burnham building in the Loop, this 610-room hotel offers ample meeting space and an Italian bistro helmed by the hotshot chef Todd Stein.

INSIDER TIP: Valeo, the 20,000-square-foot spa and fitness center, offers an exclusive wellness class with Shea Vaughn (mother of Vince).

SCENE AT THE BAR: The standard beer list and generous supply of TVs attract an afterwork, sports-loving crew.

« Your upper-crust mother-in-law Your sister, her husband, and their five kids »



Avenue Crowne PlazaGOOD FOR: Your sister, her husband, and their five little ones

WHERE: Avenue Crowne Plaza (160 E. Huron St.; 312-787-2900, From $99.

THE GIST: With pintsize bathrobes, Fatboy beanbag chairs, multicolor bedding, and Wii games in some quarters, this recently renovated 351-room hotel has the most kid appeal of the bunch.

INSIDER TIP: A 40th-floor outdoor pool offers spectacular views of the city.

SCENE AT THE BAR: Connected to the lobby, the English-style pub Elephant & Castle caters to the happy-hour crowd and tourists.

« Your workaholic uncle, in town for a conference Your husband’s frat buddies, for a bachelor party »



Trump International HotelGOOD FOR: Your husband’s frat buddies, in town for a bachelor part

WHERE: Trump International Hotel & Tower (401 N. Wabash Ave.; 312-588-8000, From $525.

THE GIST: The Italian marble columns, walls paneled with zebrawood, and Swarovski-encrusted water bottles are over-the-top Trump.

INSIDER TIP: For groups, book a suite (from $945)—the fireplace and larger-than-life kitchen alone are worth it.

SCENE AT THE BAR: The mezzanine-level lounge, Rebar, is filled with gussied-up young locals quaffing punch-bowl-size concoctions such as white sangria and elderflower.

« Your sister, her husband, and their five kids Your foodie best friend »



AffiniaGOOD FOR: Your foodie best friend, chasing lunch trucks and tickets to Next

WHERE: Affinia (166 E. Superior St.; 312-787-6000, From $159.

THE GIST: The bi-level entryway gives these bright rooms an apartment-like touch, and the experience is totally customizable, including choice of pillow (from Swedish memory foam to ones with MP3 plug-ins).

INSIDER TIP: A three-course lunch at White House guest chef Marcus Samuelsson’s C-House restaurant costs a mere $15.

SCENE AT THE BAR: Relax with a low-key mix of older diners and couples at the never-too-crowded C-Bar. Or head up to the 29th floor’s charming rooftop bar, C-View.

« Your husband’s frat buddies, for a bachelor party Your concert-loving hipster brother »



Inn at Longman and EagleGOOD FOR: Your concert-loving hipster brother, who thinks downtown is for losers, man

WHERE: The Inn at Longman & Eagle (2657 N. Kedzie Ave.; 773-276-7110, From $75.

THE GIST: Furnished with custom-made reclaimed-wood furniture, local art, and Apple TVs, this inn feels minimalistic in an urban-chic kind of way.

INSIDER TIP: Book a room and you’re guaranteed a spot in the no-reservations, always-packed restaurant downstairs. Or order in.

SCENE AT THE BAR: A sea of skinny jeans, plus old-school foodies, crams by the bar, waiting for a table. Inn guests exchange complimentary tokens for shots from the 30-strong whiskey list.

« Your foodie best friend Your free-spirited childhood friend »




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