ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: My stay at the Thompson Chicago, in February 2020, was my last trip before (and since) the COVID-19 pandemic. So while as of press time my stay was just a few months prior, I’m certain the experience is, today, somewhat changed.
I arrived in the early morning, having departed from Philadelphia International Airport pre-dawn. Luckily, the lobby was quiet and my room was ready well in advance of the check-in time, which was just what I needed to quickly freshen up before a day of meetings.
As you enter the hotel and lobby, it feels like you’re entering a personal home, one that is warm with rich colors and an abundance of comfortable seating.
GUEST QUARTERS: I was booked in a king- bedded room with rainfall showerhead and city view for my overnight stay. The room was almost oriented lengthwise: From the entrance, it opened into a foyer with a wall of windows. The bathroom, to the right of the door, was long, with a sink/ vanity immediately to the left, followed by the spacious shower with the toilet on the right side. The bathroom was quite large with plenty of space for toiletries. It did take me a few tries before I realized where all the different bathroom light switches were located.
As I continued into the foyer, a desk sat to the right, facing the windows, allowing for great views and lots of natural light. As I entered the bedroom area, the room opened up more. A bed flanked by two nightstands sat adjacent to the desk and across from a couch and table set against the windows. The TV was mounted on the wall across from the desk.
I ran across the street the afternoon of my stay to grab lunch. I brought it back to the room and, thanks to the guestroom’s spacious set-up and separate seating area, I had plenty of space to eat, relax and work.
SERVICES/AMENITIES: On the morning of my departure I ate breakfast at the on-site Nico Osteria, which also serves lunch and dinner. I enjoyed my breakfast alongside a good, strong cup of coffee and people-watching through the large windows and my vantage point along the North Rush Street side of the building. Salone Nico is the hotel’s wine bar and cocktail lounge. Private dining options are also available at Nico.
Thompson Chicago boasts 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
Location is crucial, and the Thompson Chicago boasts an excellent one in the Gold Coast neighborhood, just off the Magnificent Mile and near Lake Michigan.
A $17-a-day destination fee includes coffee and tea in Nico, Lexus house car service Tuesday through Sunday (based on availability), exclusive discounts through outside partners and more.
The doormen were exceedingly welcoming and friendly, and they made hailing cabs or waiting for Ubers easy and seamless — especially important during a Chicago winter.
My colleagues were staying on the Chicago River, and our appointments and meetings were all over the city; Thompson Chicago served as a convenient home base for all of it and provided easy access to/from Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
21 E. Bellevue Place
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 266 2100
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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