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
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