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Summer Hot List: Luxury & Pampering

A PAMPERED PURSUIT: Coco Chanel said elegance is refusal—but your decision to spend summer in Chicago is no hardship. Luxury is all around, if you know where to find it.

Sex and the City 2→ Lakeside-lounging season is finally here (BEACHES OPEN 5/28), and you require a suitably sinful beach read. You pick up a copy of LAST NIGHT AT CHATEAU MARMONT (OUT 5/25), by the novelist Lauren Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada), about—you guessed it—girls getting revenge.

→ You were first in line for the release of SEX AND THE CITY 2 (OPENING 5/28), but after a night with the general public, you want a new cinema strategy. Netflix the original SATC, recruit a few stylish friends, and host a catered private party at THE WIT HOTEL’S SCREEN, a state-of-the-art viewing room outfitted with a 27-foot display and 40 seats. Think Big.

→ Appraising Carrie’s wardrobe, you wonder where fashion comes from. Curious, you sign on for the Chicago History Museum’s WORK SPACES, CHIC PLACES TOUR (6/5), an insider’s jaunt through the underpinnings of the local fashion industry, led by the CHM’s chic curator of costumes, Tim Long.

Chair→ The Tour’s fabulous clothes leave you panting, but summer in Chicago is not a hotbed of retail activity (save for the Hermès opening). It is, however, the prime time for LESLIE HINDMAN’S West Loop auction house, where two Marketplace sales (6/16-17, 8/25-26) mean deals on luxe goods from antiques to paintings. Then RSVP for the Mass Modern auction, 7/10 at WRIGHT.

chocolate semifreddo→ What’s more indulgent than skipping lunch in favor of a drink and dessert? On a break from ogling Matisse’s masterpieces at the Art Institute (the exhibition closes 6/20; for more artistic outings, see Summer Hot List: Arts & Culture), you take a seat at the bar in the Modern Wing’s TERZO PIANO and order a Cava Rosa Carnina (Koval Rose Hip Liqueur, organic sparkling wine, lime juice, and candied beet; $14)—just the thing to wash down a scoop of chocolate semifreddo topped with Spanish-peanut nougat and salted caramel ($9).

See Summer Hot List: Restaurants & Food for more foodie finds.

Frame→ You’re saving bundles with your staycation, so why not spend some like royalty on a personal portrait? THE MASTERPIECE package at the just-opened Hotel Palomar includes in-room massages and facials for two, a hair and makeup session, a Nordstrom spree with a personal shopper, the sitting and finished painting, and a bottle of Dom Pérignon. After posing, you head downstairs to Sable Kitchen & Bar for a five-course dinner with wine pairings.

Starting cost: $18,000

Value of handing your visage down through the generations: priceless

→ The Chicago Yacht Club’s 102nd annual RACE TO MACKINAC on 7/24 presents the perfect opportunity to relive your East Coast prepster youth. No sailboat? Not to worry. You’re among the lucky 42 who snag a spot aboard a 77-foot schooner for VEUVE CLICQUOT’s $85-per-head sail near the starting line’s Parade of Boats.

Sunglasses→ Following a day in the sun, you need some serious buffing and chart a course for the hotel spa in the Gold Coast’s ELYSIAN. After the two-hour cleanse treatment ($335)—including a sea-salt exfoliation and a full-body wrap—it doesn’t matter whether you have a tan or not. You’re glowing.

→ In fact, your future’s so bright you could use a fresh pair of shades. You breeze through the new street-level MARC JACOBS boutique and pick up the design­er’s MJ317 ($275). Gorgeous.



Photography: (Parker) Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Productions, Inc., (pod chair) courtesy of Wright, (semifreddo) Jeff Kauck, (sunglasses) courtesy of Marc Jacobs


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