Arrival/Check-in: I didn’t know of The Sutton Place Hotel prior to this visit to Chicago. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was located in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, across the street from Gibson’s Steakhouse. The doorman welcomed me with a smile while I was left to find the front desk on my own. The receptionist was friendly and apologetic, as my room wasn’t ready yet. I waited for a few minutes in the lobby, which was comfortable but dark, leaving me with the impression I was still in the 1980s when the hotel first opened as Hotel 21 East. (27/30)
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For centuries, Swedish fathers have whittled away long winter hours by carving wooden toys in the shape of horses for their children. Today, the Dalecarlian horse, with vibrant red-painted flower saddle, is an unofficial symbol of the horse-loving country. Hemslojd offers Dala Horses in a stable of sizes and colors, ranging in size from less than 2 inches to nearly 24 inches and in price from $13 to $1,495. www.dalahorse.com. To keep the Swedish handicraft nearby, try this hand-painted Dalecarlian Horse Charm from Jord Sweden Collection, which comes with a sterling silver chain. About $50. www.4vikings.com