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
Considering an autumnal adventure or Thanksgiving trip this year? Well, with walkable cities, cozy pubs and lots of seasonal festivals, the island of Ireland is calling. And if you need more reasons to Press the Green Button and go, take a look and see what awaits you on the Emerald Isle …
This past May, the location of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland, was granted status as a city of its own during Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Not too shabby for a town that’s actually been around for a while, boasting structures dating to the 11th century.
Marriott Bonvoy and American Express recently debuted changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. The card, aimed at helping small business owners turn business expenses into travel rewards, now provides new and existing card members with a 7 percent Room Rate Discount on eligible bookings at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; four times Marriott Bonvoy points at restaurants worldwide; and complimentary Gold Elite status. These changes are in addition to the card’s other existing benefits.
IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.
PHOTO: © BOGDAN LAZAR | DREAMSTIME.COM,
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
Sweet tea. Soul food. Y'all. Sound familiar? Though these words and phrases are commonly associated with the South, it's understood in any language. If you're seeking a city abroad that will enchant you, capture your attention from start to finish and welcome everyone as family, we cordially invite you to visit Savannah.
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.