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.
Given my early arrival, my accommodations were not yet ready; in town for a convention, I’d had some packages sent to the hotel and I needed them to head to the convention center and set up the company’s booth. The boxes couldn’t immediately be located, but Cookie, the friendly front desk attendant, didn’t rest until she was able to find them. I appreciated the extra effort on her part. After setting up and grabbing brunch with colleagues, I arrived back to the hotel in early afternoon to find my room ready.
Guest Quarters: Huge. That’s the best word to describe my Claridge House accommodations. The two-room Deluxe King Suite offered more space than I was able to fully utilize during my three-night stay. I entered into a spacious living room area, with a wet bar area to the immediate right. The wall of windows directly in front of me commanded my attention as they offered sweeping views out to Lake Michigan. Off of the living room was a bathroom; while two bathrooms are usually unnecessary for my solo travels, I was pleased to have this second bathroom as I found the layout and shower of the bathroom in the bedroom cramped and a bit uncomfortable. I showered in the bathroom off the living room.
The bedroom area was equally large, with a chair and ottoman near the windows, two nightstands flanking the bed, a TV, a large dressing area with a closet and vanity, and the second bathroom.
Services/Amenities: As you enter Claridge House, you enter Juniper, the on-site restaurant serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, with a bar that stays open late. The front windows open fully, bringing the outside in, and outdoor, street-side seating is also provided. Room service is also available.
Meeting and event space is available, as are an on-site spa and fitness center.
◆ I loved the Gold Coast location, tucked away and quiet, but nearby many of Chicago’s most iconic sites, including Michigan Avenue, the lakefront beaches, Lincoln Park Zoo and Second City. Options for shopping, dining and drinking abound in the neighborhood and its surrounding enclaves.
◆ Claridge House charges a $20 daily urban fee that covers several benefits, including two bottled waters upon check-in, 25 percent off at The Gold Coast Spa (on site), WiFi, access to the business center and fitness center, in-room tablet and streaming services, and more.
◆ The front desk staff was a highlight of the stay; it felt like each was welcoming you home and was willing to go above and beyond to ensure the stay was top-notch and needs were met.
CLARIDGE HOUSE CHICAGO
1244 N. Dearborn Parkway
Chicago, IL 60610
tel 312 787 4980 claridgehousechicago. com
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
FOR THOSE OF US PASSIONATE about wellness pursuits and who feel most at peace close to the sea, there’s nothing quite like the synergy offered by a floating spa integrated into the setting of a luxurious cruise ship. I’m sailing through the Mediterranean from Rome to Barcelona, discovering along the way that the Crystal Life Spa & Beauty Salon on board the Crystal Serenity provides not only the element of high-end indulgence but also the cruise line’s signature commitment to attention and service.
CONSIDERING THAT JUST A LITTLE more than a century ago — 1910, to be exact — Miami’s population was only about 5,400 people, it’s easy to see why this South Florida hot spot has long been considered a boomtown. And the evolution continues to impress as the city gears up to welcome an array of new services, amenities and experiences.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Ethiopian Airlines added a daily non-stop between Brussels (BRU) and Addis Ababa (ADD). The carrier previously made stopovers in Vienna (VIE) three days a week, increasing the journey time from seven hours to nine.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Last month, British Airways announced plans to offset carbon emissions from all its flights within the United Kingdom. The initiative begins next year and carbon emissions are offset via the United Nations’ carbon offsetting scheme, which invests in carbon reduction projects around the world, such as reforestation and rainforest protection.