Ask just about anyone in the Windy City and they’ll be able to tell you exactly where The Peninsula Chicago is. Nestled in one whole block, literally held up by Tiffany’s and Ralph Lauren, this infamous hotel stands proud as a bastion of luxury on the Magnificent Mile.
Greeted by the signature white-uniformed bell-staff, we were whisked upstairs to check into our recently refurbished Executive Suite at The Peninsula Chicago. We loved our room – bright, modern airy and large for a city property, with understated oriental influences – limited to just some lucky bamboo and lacquerware. The less subtle (but gorgeous) touch was the enormous, contemporary Michael Grickman embroidery of Chicago’s designated city flower, the chrysanthemum, complete with a resident bee.
Downstairs, in the spa, a quick back-rub and a refreshing Biologique Recherche Gent’s Facial and we were ready to take on the city. The hotel also offers some fabulous, exclusive experiences they call ‘Keys to the City’ – part of their Peninsula Academy programme – that range from culinary, to urban wine, to VIP access and the city’s top sights. And when you’re done at the end of the day, dinner at the hotel’s Shanghai Terrace rounds off the experience, with Chef Elmo Han at the reigns. It was satisfactory by Western standards but fell just short of the expectations of our Asian-food-snob palates. The champagne and chocolate buffet in the hotel’s lobby lounge is also not to be missed.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
For an authentic Chicago deep pan pizza experience, head to Giordano’s, who has been serving up the city’s renowned pies since 1974. The charming old-world eatery is just 15 minutes walking or a short Uber ride from the hotel. Don’t let the looks of those little pizzas fool you, they’re pretty filling, and one pie is enough to share for two – unless you’re ravenously hungry, of course, or planning on a doggy bag for later.