Arrival/Check-In: I arrived at the hotel with a colleague who had never been in Chicago before, and he remarked how windy it was as we exited the cab. I said, “Welcome to Chicago, the Windy City.” It had been an uneventful flight and a relatively quick trip into the city from O’Hare, so we were off to a good start for the two-day visit.
Guest Quarters: My King Park View Room had a balcony that I did not go onto since it was windy, in keeping with the city’s nickname, and I am not built like a kite.
It was a corner suite with wall-to-wall windows, giving me a view of the Chicago River to the north and Lake Michigan to the east. Needless to say, it was a cheerful suite. The décor utilized a sleek, minimalist design with light blue accents and blond wood floors, creating a calming space.
A separate workspace off the entrance hall included a generously sized desk with several desk-height outlets. This area also included the minibar, above which a small, flat-screen TV was mounted. The bedroom included the king-sized bed, a dresser that held a flat-screen TV, an easy chair and a coffee table. The bathroom offered a separate tub and shower with rain showerhead.
Services/Amenities: The hotel restaurant and bar is called Filini. We had dinner there on our first night and I ordered the lamb ravioli, which was superb. I highly recommend it.
The hotel is ideal for anyone wanting to keep fit while traveling. The fitness center includes a full gym with lots of cardio machines, a basketball court, a separate yoga room, an outdoor junior Olympic-sized pool and an indoor two-lane lap pool. A lifestyle garden includes a sundeck with a fire pit, a hot tub and cabanas. The sundeck provides partial views of the lake to remind you you are in the heart of Chicago. The hotel also boasts a full spa.
◆ The hotel is ideally located within easy walking distance — or a short cab ride — to the Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park with the iconic “Bean,” the Art Institute of Chicago, Navy Pier and Lollapalooza, the preeminent music festival in the United States. It is also convenient to the financial district and downtown.
◆ Among the hotel’s 13 meeting rooms, the Atlantic Ballroom can hold up to 1,650 people.
◆ One of the joys of staying at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago is the staff. From the time you enter the hotel to when you depart, they are extremely friendly and accommodating.
Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago
221 N. Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
tel 312 565 5258
West Palm Beach, Florida, recently welcomed AKA West Palm, a hotel residence offering long-stay accommodations. As AKA’s second South Florida property, AKA West Palm features 215 hotel residences comprised of studios, one- and two-bedroom spaces, and Penthouse suites. The five-story hotel blends modern luxuries with comfort and simplicity, with sleek kitchens, washers and dryers, and private terraces. Room furnishings contrast with a backdrop of stone, metal and wood to create simple, clean lines with minimal contrast.
Birmingham, Alabama, was named for the city in the English Midlands that kept the fires burning, warmed the homes and made much of the steel for the United Kingdom’s industrial revolution. Decades later, the American city also made steel, so much of it, in fact, it became known as the “Magic City” for steel production, and the moniker stuck. But today’s Magic City makes more than steel, taking the raw product a few more steps to become a major center for automobile parts manufacturing and more, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz and U.S. Steel. Thanks to local leadership and long-term planning, the magic still works for Birmingham, as evidenced by its role hosting The World Games 2022 last summer.
As New York City’s leading Latino cultural institution, El Museo del Barrio welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American cultures. El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions represent these cultures’ richness, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations and educational programs. Ranging from pre-Columbian to modern and contemporary art, the permanent collection totals more than 8,000 objects.
ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown recently reopened its Fairmont Gold, introducing amenities, a contemporary new style in the Fairmont Gold Lounge and dedicated concierges. The 48-room, three-suite Fairmont Gold, positioned as an urban oasis, takes over the entire ninth floor of the hotel and delivers exceptional service to meet guests’ needs.
The results are in! For the 19th consecutive year, Global Traveler conducted its GT Tested Reader Survey, asking frequent luxury travelers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. More than 22,000 people responded. Global Traveler’s inaugural awards were celebrated in 2004.
When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.
Originally a thriving Colonial seaport, Newport became the summer playground for the Gilded Age’s elite in the late 1880s. Today their mansions dot the coast of Aquidneck Island, and their favorite pastimes — sailing and tennis — still dominate the city’s recreational offerings. In fact, Newport hosted the first U.S. Open tennis championship in 1881 and golf tourna- ment in 1895 and hosted the America’s Cup from 1930 to 1983. You can experience most of Newport on your own, including the mansions, but don’t rule out a guided tour or two when you visit.