Arrival/Check-In: After an early-morning flight from Philadelphia, senior vice president Richard Evans and I arrived to an exceptionally warm welcome at The Peninsula Chicago. We were greeted by name and escorted from the groundfloor entrance to the lobby several floors above. The lobby area boasts a check-in desk and a sitting area, but to the right lies an open area with the concierge desk and the restaurant. Light pours in through the large restaurant windows, brightening the entire space. We were each personally escorted to our 9th- and 10th-floor executive suites.
Guest Quarters: The recently renovated guestrooms boast a subtle blue and beige palette and intuitive, easy-to-use technology. My massive executive suite opened into a living room with a couch, chair, coffee table, flat-screen television and desk, with a long hallway connecting the space to the king-bedded bedroom. Large windows in all the rooms boasted great views and bathed the rooms in light. The in-room iPads made it easy to open the curtains, use the TV, order room service and access several other functions, all available in 11 languages.
I found more than enough space to store luggage, hang clothes and dress in the hallway and bedroom. The comfortable bed was flanked by two nightstands with built-in charging devices. Windows lined two walls, with the third wall featuring a mounted television.
The bathroom, a definite highlight, featured a separate soaking tub and shower. Two sinks offered ample vanity space, and the toilet was housed in a separate water closet. A built-in television with surround sound, mounted above the tub, allowed me to watch the news while getting dressed in the morning.
Services/Amenities: Where to start? Richard and I enjoyed post-work cocktails while catching up on emails in The Bar, offering a menu of specialty cocktails in addition to all the classics. My in-room breakfast arrived at exactly the time requested with a fresh flower accompaniment. On our second day we dined at The Lobby, which transforms for weekly brunch and offers high tea. My one regret was missing the chance to dine at Shanghai Terrace.
While not open 24 hours, the on-site fitness center’s views are enough motivation to work out. I was impressed with the gym’s equipment and the offered class schedule. Another regret was missing the chance to relax at The Peninsula Spa.
The Experience: My accommodations were wonderful, the amenities superior and the location perfect; but the true standout of the experience was, without a doubt, the staff. Each member of The Peninsula team was friendly, helpful and accessible. Passing by in the hall with a warm hello helped start my day with a smile.
The Peninsula Chicago
108 E. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 337 2888
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
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