FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel

Feb 28, 2014
2014 / March 2014

Arrival/Check-In: There is so much to take in upon arrival at the historic Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel — from the black-and-white checkered floor and dark wood walls to the popular gold couch and art installation behind reception. One glance around and you suddenly understand you are standing in an area rich with history. Opened on April 16, 1910, it quickly became a favorite of movie stars and U.S. presidents, having hosted 12. Closed in 1991 after being briefly owned by Maharishi Yogi, it reopened in its current incarnation after a $128 million renovation. Its former barber shop is where Al Capone hid his hooch.

Two reception desks stand to the left of the entrance, and after a few minutes, I was on my way to my guestroom.

Guest Quarters: My deluxe room offered awesome views of Lake Michigan and Grant Park, which was definitely a highlight. The modern décor pops with bursts of red in pillows and on the floor, and pale yellow adorning the walls and in the artwork. I entered into a hallway. On my left was the bathroom, with its black and white paisley wallpaper and marble countertops. The shower was excellent, but the lighting a bit dim for getting ready. A king-sized bed clad in a fluffy white duvet greeted me in the guestroom. The bed was flanked on one side by a multilevel nightstand with an iPad-compatible alarm clock and on the other side with a tall shelf of books and other décor elements. Two lights hung from the ceiling over either side of the bed. Across from the bed was a desk/bureau combination with a flat-screen TV overhead. While not exceptionally spacious in square footage, the room felt generously sized given the design aesthetic and functionality.

Services/Amenities: Far and away my favorite amenity at the hotel was the on-site restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa, operated by Iron Chef Jose Garces. I enjoyed a decadent multicourse dinner on the porch overlooking the park and the lake. My favorite of the small plates were the bacon-wrapped figs with a fondue dipping sauce. The restaurant is also open for breakfast and lunch. A Starbucks serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Room service is available from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Another highlight of the property is its 11,396 square feet of event space. Nine event rooms include the Spertus Crown Family Great Hall and the Crystal Ball rooms. The ballroom offers stunning views as well.

The Experience: Offering a convenient location and history wherever you turn, the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel is a thoroughly modern hotel with the ability to transport guests back to the city’s illustrious past. Wander the property and take in the art, décor and special touches to truly enhance your stay.

GT CHECKLIST

  • Doorman/valet
  • Less than 10 minutes for check-in
  • Separate tub and shower
  • Large vanity
  • High-quality towels
  • Powerful, unattached hair dryer
  • High-quality bed linens
  • Large, flat-screen television
  • Large desk with convenient outlets
  • Large, complimentary laptop safe
  • Complimentary in-room WiFi
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Stocked minibar
  • Ample lighting
  • In-room coffeemaker
  • Iron and ironing board
  • On-site restaurant and bar
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center
  • Turn-down service

Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel

636 S. Michigan Ave.
(lobby entrance on E. Balbo Avenue)
Chicago, IL 60605
tel 312 447 0955
marriott.com

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