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Old Sep 25, 11, 8:47 pm   #1
 
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Starwood, Marriot or Hilton in Nov?

It's time to take my daughter on her "12 year old weekend away with Mom and Dad" and she has chosen Chicago. She doesn't want to wait so we're going in mid November. I have hotel points and am looking for the best location, value for my points and fun factor combination.

We would usually plan to walk everywhere but the cold might limit our range. Therefore, I'm looking for a centrally located hotel. We will mostly shop (Michigan Ave. and environs) and eat and spa (just have our nails done-I'm not that crazy). We may also take in a show or go to a museum but we can take a taxi where needed. Probably won't make it to the Navy Pier.

She likes a trendy hotel or one that is impressive in that grand old hotel sort of way so I am trying to balance that with convenience. I don't know the city well-any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old Sep 26, 11, 9:17 am   #2
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Originally Posted by travelmom4 View Post
It's time to take my daughter on her "12 year old weekend away with Mom and Dad" and she has chosen Chicago. She doesn't want to wait so we're going in mid November. I have hotel points and am looking for the best location, value for my points and fun factor combination.

We would usually plan to walk everywhere but the cold might limit our range. Therefore, I'm looking for a centrally located hotel. We will mostly shop (Michigan Ave. and environs) and eat and spa (just have our nails done-I'm not that crazy). We may also take in a show or go to a museum but we can take a taxi where needed. Probably won't make it to the Navy Pier.

She likes a trendy hotel or one that is impressive in that grand old hotel sort of way so I am trying to balance that with convenience. I don't know the city well-any suggestions are appreciated.
Your best choices are the Hilton family. If you want a hotel in that "grand old hotel sort of way," you're best choices are the Palmer House Hilton or the Hilton Chicago. They are grand, old and beautifully renovated. The trendy place is the Wit (a Hilton) on State Street. For faded glory, the Drake (also a Hilton and on Michigan Ave.). The Starwoods and Marriott are all modern convention hotels. The weather will not be cold enough to limit your range unless you don't have coats. The Marriott has the best central location but none of these hotels is going to be distant from the things you want to do.
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Old Sep 26, 11, 11:05 am   #3
 
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Thanks, very much, ILP. I appreciate the insight.

Do you have a preference as to location-mostly for shopping- among the three Hilton properties-Palmer House, Hilton Chicago or Wit?
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Old Sep 26, 11, 11:26 am   #4
 
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If your plans are to shop (and walk) the Magnificent Mile then the Hilton Chicago (a grand old hotel with a lot of history) is probably too far south. The Palmer House (an old hotel with an impressive lobby) and the Wit (trendy) are loop hotels that could be considered just off the south end of the Magnificent Mile. The Conrad (good hotel, never had a bad stay, more trendy than impressive)is next to Nordstroms and basically on the MM and may be the best Hilton choice for shopping but doesn't really have a wow factor. The Drake is a old hotel that isn't as is good as the others anymore, imo.

Map for Magnificent Mile hotels can be found here:
http://www.themagnificentmile.com/im...eHotel2011.pdf
Map for MM shopping here:
http://www.themagnificentmile.com/im...Dining2011.pdf
Magnificent Mile info here:
http://www.themagnificentmile.com/

Last edited by jerry a. laska; Sep 26, 11 at 12:54 pm. Reason: speling
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Old Sep 26, 11, 12:50 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by jerry a. laska View Post
If your plans are to shop (and walk) the Magnificent Mile then the Hilton Chicago (a grand old hotel with a lot of history) is probably too far south. The Palmer House (an old Hotel with an impressive lobby) and the Wit (trendy) are loop hotels that could be considered just off the south end of the Magnificent Mile. The Conrad (good hotel, never had a bad stay, more trendy than impressive)is next to Nordtstroms and basically on the MM and may be the best Hilton choice for shopping but doesn't really have a wow factor. The Drake is a old hotel that isn't as is good as the others anymore, imo.

Map for Magnificent Mile hotels can be found here:
http://www.themagnificentmile.com/im...eHotel2011.pdf
Map for MM shopping here:
http://www.themagnificentmile.com/im...Dining2011.pdf
Magnificent Mile info here:
http://www.themagnificentmile.com/
What he said. I neglected to mention the Conrad. Both it and the Drake are the best locations for Michigan Ave. Shopping. The Palmer House and the Wit are steps from Macy's (the old Marshall Field's store, which still contains a lot of the old traditions), Sears and a lot of off price retailers (e.g., H&M, Nordstrom Rack) and close to the Art Institute and Willis (Sears) Tower.
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Old Sep 26, 11, 2:21 pm   #6
 
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I (and more importantly my wife) really like the Westin River North for that kind of stay. It is not trendy or stately, but it is more classy than typical convention hotel as a previous Hotel Nikko. Relatively close to both Michigan Ave and State Street shopping and close to River North dining and such. Not too big, as the Sheraton is, and not too far off the beaten path as the W's arguably are.
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Old Sep 28, 11, 4:19 am   #7
 
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I would suggest the Palmer House for the kind of old-time hotel ambiance I think a 12-year old girl would like. Fancy high-ceiling lobby, uniformed doormen, etc.

Yes, further from shopping, but a 5-minute cab ride from Michigan Ave or a nice walk in good weather. It is also very close to the big theater area, so you could stroll over for a show.

And she might like to see nearby Macy's for a taste of the bygone huge downtown department store that is disappearing.

She can go to the Wit when she's 21 and can hit the fancy hip bar.
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Old Sep 28, 11, 4:34 am   #8
 
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I love the Palmer House and even if you don't stay there, be sure to go see the lobby. It's special. You might also consider taking her for high tea there if she's into that sort of thing. Do consider getting a room on the club level if you can spring it; the dedicated elevators are nice and the breakfasts in particular are solid.

I also had a very good experience at the Westin River North, but for ambience/style it can't hold a candle to the P-H.
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Old Sep 29, 11, 10:43 am   #9
 
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Tea at the Palmer House with a pic of the lobby:

http://www.topsummerdestinations.com...el-in-chicago/
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Old Sep 29, 11, 11:12 am   #10
 
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Does anyone have personal experience at the Peninsula Chicago?

I have stayed at two Peninsula hotels in Asia and both were awesome. Unfortunately, it comes at a price.

Since I have not stayed at their Chicago property, I am hesitant to recommend it. But it looks like a very nice hotel in the middle of the Mag Mile shopping area.

http://www.peninsula.com/Chicago/en/default.aspx
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Old Sep 29, 11, 11:15 am   #11
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
Does anyone have personal experience at the Peninsula Chicago?

I have stayed at two Peninsula hotels in Asia and both were awesome. Unfortunately, it comes at a price.

Since I have not stayed at their Chicago property, I am hesitant to recommend it. But it looks like a very nice hotel in the middle of the Mag Mile shopping area.

http://www.peninsula.com/Chicago/en/default.aspx
According to many publications, it's the #1 hotel in the U.S. and very high on lists of the world's best hotels. No personal experience, however.
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Old Sep 29, 11, 12:20 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
Does anyone have personal experience at the Peninsula Chicago?

I have stayed at two Peninsula hotels in Asia and both were awesome. Unfortunately, it comes at a price.

Since I have not stayed at their Chicago property, I am hesitant to recommend it. But it looks like a very nice hotel in the middle of the Mag Mile shopping area.

http://www.peninsula.com/Chicago/en/default.aspx
It is probably one of the top Chicago hotels, along with the Elysian, and the Four Seasons (you could also include the Trump and the Ritz). It along with the others didn't meet the OP's specifications.
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Old Sep 30, 11, 2:41 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by ILuvParis View Post
The Starwoods and Marriott are all modern convention hotels.
The Renaissance Blackstone, while not the most centrally located (it's near the Hilton), is a Marriott and certainly qualifies as grand old and possibly trendy. The new JW Marriott in the Loop also arguably is both but, again, not an ideal location for a tourist (but not terrible either).

Like you said, the main Marriott on Michigan is in a better location for tourists (with the Ren on Wacker a close second) but they're neither trendy nor grand old, and the Marriott in particular can be convention central.
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Old Oct 4, 11, 9:44 am   #14
 
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North Michigan Avenue

I definitely would stay North of Wacker/Michigan. Anywhere between the Marriott and the Drake would be good. The Drake is the Grand Old type of hotel, and the Drake is part of Hilton. As far as trendy, Radisson is opening a new hotel the Blu Aqua, which is supposed to be really neat, and in a great award winning Chicago building.
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