Arrival/Check-In: Chicago is one of my favorite U.S. cities, so I’m always eager to visit, especially around the holidays. Luckily, my recent visit coincided with the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and found me staying near the Water Tower, just off Michigan Avenue, my preferred area to stay when visiting the city. Unfortunately, my visit to Park Hyatt Chicago lasted only one night.
My colleague and I arrived in the morning, well before check-in time, but our rooms were ready; and after a brief check-in, we were on way to our fifth-floor accommodations.
Guest Quarters: Two guestroom features that stood out: my view of the Water Tower and out to Lake Michigan and the extremely comfortable king-sized bed. Nothing better than a room with a view and a good night’s sleep.
Throughout the hotel, the décor is modern and clean. I did find the elevators a bit slow throughout the stay, and they are keycard-access elevators. Upon entering the room, one finds the spacious bathroom to the right, offering a separate tub and shower, a water closet and dual sinks.
Also spacious, the bedroom boasted the bed, flanked by two end tables, with a flat-screen TV and dresser across from it. I really appreciated the dual-sided desk design. A window seat ran the length of the window — perfect for enjoying the view. Overall, the accommodations were comfortable, offering plenty of room to spread out.
Services/Amenities: NoMI Kitchen not only serves award-winning cuisine, it also offers a unique architectural detail to the building’s exterior on the side overlooking Michigan Avenue — a detail I’d noticed on other Chicago trips without being sure what I was viewing. At breakfast during my stay I was able to enjoy the opposite perspective. The breakfast service was quick and efficient, with tasty cuisine. My colleague and I also enjoyed lunch at the restaurant before departing, sitting in the more casual NoMI Lounge area.
I visited the well-equipped, on-site fitness center and was pleased with the amount and state of the equipment on offer. The attached NoMI Spa, while small in size, offers a full menu of services.
The property also offers more than 5,000 square feet of versatile meeting and event space coupled with state-of-the-art technology.
◆ I found the guestroom’s closet layout clever and functional. The closet opened both into the hallway and into the bathroom.
◆ Be sure to look out for Parker, the Park Hyatt pug, a one-eyed rescue that calls the hotel home.
◆ The lobby lounge is a great spot to relax and get work done, and I appreciated the complimentary warm apple cider, coffee and tea, particularly on a chilly November afternoon.
Park Hyatt Chicago
800 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 335 1234
THE LABELS ON SOME OF TODAY’S wine bottles sport a relatively new vocabulary, one that explains how the grapes were grown and made into wine. They include such terms as sustainable, organic and biodynamic, among others, and they warrant some explanation. Were the grapes grown by sustainable farming? Were they sprayed with organic fertilizers? Is the wine biodynamic? A number of the terms are new to many consumers. Some are controlled by the U.S. government; others are not. For simple definitions of this relatively new vocabulary, consider the following.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
Much like cities around the world, San Francisco closed its museums and performing arts venues temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to technology, those sheltering in place can experience many of these cultural institutions from the comfort of their own homes. Here are the places opening their doors remotely.
Data analytics and consumer intelligence company J.D. Power conducted a survey on the response of the travel industry to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey of 1,633 business and leisure travelers in the past year was conducted March 12–13. In general, those surveyed have faith in the travel industry and are satisfied with the industry’s response to the pandemic thus far.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.
As a result of travel restrictions and drastic reductions in flights worldwide, Munich Airport is suffering from decreases in nearly every area of its operations. Take-offs and landings reached a low last week, with traffic plummeting to less than 10 percent of the number year over year. Passenger traffic is at 5 percent of last year’s level.
Seoul Convention Bureau is poised for a strong bounce back from the COVID-19 virus. The company rolled out a new PLUS SEOUL program to offer extra support to the meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibition industry in response to the virus.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Japan National Tourism Organization While would-be travelers around the world are self-isolating and putting travel plans on hold, Japan Nation Tourism Organization sends the fun home. While everyone’s wanderlust grows, JNTO offers virtual experiences showcasing the best of the island country.