Eat, eat, eat—then rest

The Taste of Chicago continues through Sunday, July 4th and, in conjunction with the annual gastropalooza’s Fourth of July finale, the Talbott Hotel is offering the appropriately (if unimaginatively) named Tastes of Chicago package. For $299, your suite comes stocked with a $25 gift certificate to Giordano’s (whose pizza you will not find at the Taste); a stash of Garrett Popcorn’s Chicago Mix (the addictive caramel/cheese blend); and two bottles of Goose Island root beer to wash it all down. Should you still be feeling peckish on your departure date, the Talbott offers a $30 breakfast credit at the hotel’s Bice Bistro.
GO The Talbott Hotel, 20 E. Delaware Pl.; 800-825-2688,


Top Deals This Week

  • Need to work off those calories? The InterContinental harkens back to its roots as an all-male, Shriners-only athletic club by offering overnight visitors (rates start at $229) discounts on bicycle rentals from Bobby’s Bike Hike (bikes usually cost $27 to $50 for a full day’s use). Fun fact: Although the athletic club stopped operating as such in 1934, a victim of the Great Depression, the Shriners’ greeting, Es Selamu Aleikum, is etched in marble at the Michigan Avenue entrance.
    GO The InterContinental, 505 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-944-4100,
  • Along with the Taste package, the Talbott is also offering two other summertime deals. Book a suite for the Chicago Hawaiian Holiday package (rates start at $329), and you’ll find a fresh Hawaiian floral arrangement and chocolate covered macadamia nuts waiting for you upon arrival; the package also includes two VIP tickets to the Shedd Aquarium and a $50 gift certificate to Roy’s (the nearby restaurant featuring Hawaiian fusion cuisine). Or, embrace the Stone Age with the Mammoths and Mastodons package (rates start at $239). M&M provides lodgers with two VIP tickets to the Field Museum’s Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age exhibit, a DVD about the Ice Age, and a stuffed mammoth (a toy, not a real one).
    GO The Talbott Hotel, 20 E. Delaware Pl.; 800-825-2688,
  • The Swissôtel also offers museum-centric stays, including the Summer VIKation (that would be a vacation for families with Very Important Kids) program. Book two nights (starting at $289 a night), and the third one is free. The deal also includes four tickets to the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, or the Art Institute of Chicago (you can choose four tickets to one museum or two tickets to two museums); and $100 in “play money” that can be spent at the Lobby Lounge, Geneva Restaurant, or for room service, in-room movies, and the mini-bar.
    GO Swissôtel, 323 E. Wacker Dr.; 312-565-0565,
  • And finally: The Wit has named a cheap drink after us. We’re not sure whether this is a case of flattery or effrontery, but either way, the $5 Escape Artist (Stoli, lemon juice, and simple syrup) is quite economical compared to the bar’s regular libations (which run from $13 to $15.) The Escape Artist is available only on Friday, July 2nd, and Saturday, July 3rd, from 5 to 7 p.m. and isn’t listed on the menu. You have to ask for it special.
    GO The Phoenix Lounge at the Wit Hotel, 201 N. State St.; 312-239-9500,


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