Ask just about anyone in the Windy City and they’ll be able to tell you exactly where the Peninsula is. Nestled in one whole block, literally held up by Tiffany’s and Ralph Lauren, this luxury hotel stands proud on the Magnificent Mile. Greeted by the signature white-uniformed bell-staff, we were whisked upstairs for check-in into our recently refurbished Executive Suite. 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 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 to the city’s top sights. And when you’re done at the end of the day, dinner at the property’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 not to be missed.