Arrival/Check-In: After a pre-dawn flight from Philadelphia to Chicago, I arrived rather early at Claridge House, which recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation and rebranding. I’ve visited Chicago many times and this was my first opportunity to stay in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. Claridge House’s residential location lends itself well to the hotel’s “our home is your home” philosophy. That feeling is also evidenced by the lobby décor, boasting a few tables and a bar in the on-site Juniper restaurant and a cozy couch and seating area. It feels like entering a friend’s home and grabbing a cup of coffee. Even the front desk leans toward tucked-away and unobtrusive, further evoking the at-home vibe. A few days later, we had an event in the lobby and those same qualities translated well to the event.
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Arrival/Check-In: After an easy ride across almost the entirety of the state of Pennsylvania, we arrived at the conveniently located Fairmont Pittsburgh, right in the heart of the city’s downtown. We left the car with the valet, and went inside to check-in. Despite arriving before check-in time, our room was ready and within just a few minutes in the light-filled lobby, where a staircase to the second-floor restaurant and meeting space is a design highlight, we were in our guest room, enjoying the exceptional views of Market Square. As Pennsylvania natives (from the Philadelphia area), we had never been to the city across the state and we were excited to get out and explore.