FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Chicago’s The Drake

by Kimberly Krol

Dec 1, 2016
December 2016

Arrival/Check-In: While a plethora of high-end hotels exists in Chicago, when it comes to history, The Drake does not have much competition. The property joined the Historic Hotels of America in 2014; with a history dating to 1920, The Drake served as a high society favorite in the Roaring Twenties and continues to delight guests through the modern day. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio even carved their initials into the hotel’s Cape Cod Room’s bar in the 1950s.

It was at this historic hotel that I spent a long Mother’s Day weekend in Chicago with my mom. While not the most modern or shiny new hotel, The Drake offered us comfort, convenience and a perfect location, all with an exceptionally warm, welcoming attitude. It started upon arrival with a speedy and friendly check-in. The gorgeous floral centerpiece in the middle of the lobby offers a spectacular first impression.

Guest Quarters: Could the guestrooms use a bit of a refresh and update? Yes, but there were several amenities in our double-bedded corner room that couldn’t be beat — one being the generous size and the other being the wonderful view of Lake Michigan.

The room opened into a short hallway, with the bathroom to the right and a large walk-in closet to the left. In addition to the two beds flanking a nightstand, our accommodations boasted a flat-screen TV, a mini refrigerator, a couch, a coffee table, an armchair and a large desk with a chair. All this, with more than enough space left over for two women to spread out and unpack.

The warm welcome continued with the in-room amenities, including a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a Mother’s Day card for my mom, a thoughtful mug and tea gift.

Services/Amenities: Speaking of tea, one of the highlights of our stay was afternoon tea at Palm Court. The Drake is iconic for the ritual in Chicago; peach Bellinis and a harpist accompanied our Mother’s Day celebration. In addition to Palm Court, on-site dining options include Coq d’Or, Cape Cod Room, Lavazza Café and Drake Bros’. In-room dining is also available but is not 24/7.

As part of Hilton International, The Drake offers HHonors benefits, including digital key check-in and express check-out. Other on-site amenities include a 3,000-square-foot fitness center, paid access to the nearby Equinox gym, a business center, several shopping outlets and more than 33,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

The Experience: The Drake exudes a truly special ambience that is hard to explain; while some updates may be needed, the charm and historic quality of the property really cannot be beat. The hotel does a great job translating the hotel’s personality through its staff. And the location is ideal, near the lake and right off of famed Michigan Avenue and its shopping. My mom and I enjoyed the city mostly by foot from our base at The Drake.

GT CHECKLIST

[checklist]
[item check=yes]Doorman/valet[/item]
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item]Separate tub and shower[/item]
[item check=yes]Large vanity[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality towels[/item]
[item check=yes]Powerful, unattached hair dryer[/item]
[item check=yes]High-quality bed linens[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, flat-screen television[/item]
[item check=yes]Large desk with convenient outlets[/item]
[item check=yes]Large, complimentary laptop safe[/item]
[item]Complimentary in-room WiFi[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary bottled water[/item]
[item check=yes]Stocked minibar[/item]
[item check=yes]Ample lighting[/item]
[item check=yes]In-room coffeemaker[/item]
[item check=yes]Iron and ironing board[/item]
[item check=yes]On-site restaurant[/item]
[item]24-hour room service[/item]
[item]24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center[/item]
[item]Turn-down service[/item]
[/checklist]

The Drake

140 E. Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 787 2200
thedrakehotel.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Feb 24, 2020

Qatar Airways Set for Expansion to 8 Destinations This Year

Qatar Airways is expanding this year, adding eight new destinations to its network. The list includes:

Adventure of a Lifetime with Volvo

Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.

Feature
Feb 24, 2020

JetBlue Will Offset Domestic Flight Emissions

JetBlue joins a growing cast of airlines offsetting the carbon emissions from flights.

News
Feb 24, 2020

Hotel Indigo Gives Travelers a New Way to Experience Neighborhoods

Hotel Indigo recently launched its Clues to the Neighborhood initiative, a fun way for travelers to discover experiences in property neighborhoods. Clues to the Neighborhood uses curated artifacts to artfully present travelers with a new look at a locale, with the hope of leading them to local museums, shops, music venues, restaurants and bars.

Goway Offers Travelers Journey of a Lifetime

Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Daily
Feb 24, 2020

Wynn Las Vegas Unveils New Social Dining Concept, Elio

Travelers in Las Vegas can enjoy a new dining concept at Wynn Las Vegas starting March 19. A new restaurant, Elio, will debut, offering an energetic environment and thoughtful menu items reflecting Mexico’s rich culinary traditions. Small plates focus on seafood and produce, while entrees are shareable. A lounge offers agave-based spirits.

Feature
Feb 22, 2020

ForwardKeys.com Study Finds International Air Travel Grew 4.5 Percent Last Year

ForwardKeys.com found an increase of 4.5 percent in 2019 was significantly slower than the 6 percent growth in 2018 and the average over the last decade of 6.8 percent per year. The increase last year was less than expected, but projections for quarter one of 2020 is more optimistic. Bookings are expected to grow 8.3 percent when compared to the same period in 2019.

A Lighter Footprint

United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.

Daily
Feb 22, 2020

Château Elan Winery & Resort Opens in Braselton, North Georgia Foothills

Château Élan Winery & Resort reopened in Braselton, Georgia, following a $25 million comprehensive renovation. The first major refurbishment since the resort’s inception in the mid-1980s pays homage to the estate's 16th-century charm, while taking the property into the future. Now, the resort offers 251 brand-new guestrooms and 24 suites, four new food and beverage venues, an immersive spa, pool terrace and new lobby. The winery likewise received a facelift.