Free Wi-Fi requires signing up for free hotel loyalty program
The upscale Omni Chicago Hotel has an enviable location on the Magnificent Mile, along with rare downtown perks like an indoor pool, a hot tub, a rooftop garden, and a sundeck. The 347 units at this all-suites hotel are geared toward corporate travelers though, with work desks and wet bars, though family-friendly perks such as welcome backpacks full of games for kids make it a good option for families. The hotel's contemporary American restaurant overlooks Michigan Avenue, and there's a popular lounge bar too. Travelers could comparison shop with the nearby InterContinental Chicago, which has lots of historic charm, but smaller rooms.
Luxury all-suites business hotel with a 2015 makeover
A 2015 renovation updated all of this four-pearl hotel's rooms and most of its common spaces at the cost of $11 million. The lobby's marble tiled floors and wood-paneled walls remain largely unchanged, but are now paired with handsome cream-and-navy area rugs, and leather chairs and couches. The new design is an homage to Chicago architect Louis Sullivan, taking inspiration from his intricate sketches throughout the decor. A faint floral scent pervades the hallways, and the walls are adorned with artwork that pays tribute to the city's iconic places and buildings. Though it's primarily a business hotel, the Omni does attract families and tourists willing to pay a premium for large suites and convenient access to the Magnificent Mile.
On the Magnificent Mile, walking distance to shopping and attractions
The Omni is located right along the Magnificent Mile -- an iconic stretch of North Michigan Avenue known for its upscale shopping -- within walking distance to many attractions. It's just four blocks from the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hancock Observatory, and five blocks from Water Tower Place shopping. There's a convenient taxi stand right in front of the main entrance. Expect a 45-minute drive to Chicago Midway International Airport, and factor in over an hour to drive to O’Hare International Airport.
Five-minute walk to Water Tower Place
20-minute walk to Navy Pier
23-minute walk to Millennium Park and Art Institute of Chicago
27-minute walk or seven-minute drive to Lincoln Park Zoo
Large suites with chic furniture, work desks, iPod docks, and wet bars
Although the Omni is on a busy street, its 347 suites start at the fifth floor and stay pleasantly quiet (though they have windows that partially open if desired). Higher-floors have views of the city skyline and lots of natural light that plays well with the brown, cream, and navy blue color palate. Art Deco touches like the quatrefoil-patterned carpets and arc floor lamps provide plenty of glamour. The full-sized sofa beds in the living room are a boon for families who want a separate sleeping area for the kids, while the wide glass-topped work desks give plenty of elbow room for business travelers. The 37-inch flat-screen TVs appeal to all parties. Wet bars, minibars, and coffeemakers come standard in the living areas. French doors separate the living areas from bedrooms, which have dapper, natural wood bedside tables and illuminated headboards plus iPod docks and additional 25-inch flat-screens. Upgraded suites add increasingly larger living rooms, some with dining tables. The bathrooms have large granite countertops with plenty of space and marble-tiled shower/tub combos.
Indoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, rooftop sundeck, restaurant and lounge bar, and meeting space
Features at the Omni Chicago add elegance and a few delightful flourishes to this upscale chain property. The hotel grows its own seasonal vegetables, fruit, and herbs on a rooftop garden for use in its popular 676 Restaurant & Bar, which serves "New American" cuisine in an impressive dining room that has huge windows overlooking Michigan Avenue. The adjoining 676 Bar & Lounge serves light bites and cocktails. The restaurant has a thoughtful kids' menu, and children also get a welcome backpack stuffed with an activity book, games, and crayons. The small indoor pool is accompanied by a hot tub and a small sitting area with a few lounge chairs and tables for the (limited menu) poolside restaurant service. For sunbathers, there's a rooftop sundeck on the fifth floor. There's no spa (though in-room massages can be arranged). The fitness center is equipped with elliptical machines, treadmills, free weights, and flat-screen TVs.
Business amenities include a dedicated 24-hour business center that has a printer and multiple workstations at separate desks, with roller chairs. There are nine event spaces, ranging from boardrooms to meeting rooms to two ballrooms with crystal chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows. The valet parking is expensive -- typical for downtown Chicago -- but it comes with unlimited in-and-out privileges. Pets under 25 pounds are allowed for a one-time fee. Wi-Fi costs extra for guests who do not belong to the Select Guest loyalty program, but it's free to sign up.
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