Chicago is such a beautiful city! I recently arranged three days in Chicago for two clients who had never been before. When they returned they told me how much they loved their trip, which means a great deal to me. The clients flew nonstop on JetBlue from JFK to Chicago’s O’Hare (ORD) and stayed 3 nights at Public Chicago. This Ian Shrager Hotel is a 40 minute cab ride from ORD in a neighborhood called the Gold Coast, rightly named as it sits on the coast of Lake Michigan. The property reopened in 2011 after a huge renovation that worked to preserve and highlight the structure’s original design as the historic Ambassador East Hotel. Two weeks later, I went to Chicago and decided to stay at Public Hotel. The verdict? We all loved this hotel!
Candle-lit reception desk, attentive, kind and welcoming service(as it should be!), stunning lobby and a perfect bedroom to match. The hotel’s restaurant called The Pump Room is right off the lobby and was packed when we arrived late on a Friday evening. The Pump Room, originally opened in 1930, has hosted some of the most recognizable people in the world. Take a look at their website - David Bowie, Tina Turner, Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman to name a few. They say Frank Sinatra would call in unexpectedly, pay for everyone’s bill that was dining there, wait for them all to leave so he could have it shut down for his own private party (debauchery).
I asked the staff to show me where Ol’ Blue Eyes liked to sit. It turns out he loved the elevated booth in the back of the room because he always wanted to be facing the front doors so he knew who was coming in and out. The walls are adorned with incredible photographs of patrons from over the years and the food is delicious. You can tell it was made with love thanks to a newly designed menu by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The hotel also has house bikes that are complimentary for guests. We took advantage of this and rode along the water over to Navy Pier. This is a great way to spend an afternoon and explore all that the gorgeous lake-front scene has to offer.
You may have gathered by now that I take eating very seriously, which is why I made sure we got in a meal at Shaw’s Crab House. This restaurant is known for its fabuluous seafood dishes. If you have the opportunity, you must go! They have a more formal dining room and a less formal bar area/dining room, both of which serve the same menu.
I always ask clients to send me pictures from their travels. Here are a few moments captured by my Chicago-ers. A friend of mine's amazing hubby works for the Big Ten Network, which is headquartered in Chicago. We got to check out their studio and test out our on-camera skills. Naturally, we were naturals.
It's fair to say that a weekend was not long enough to take in all that this city has to offer! A return trip is definitely happening.