St. Regis Chicago & The Waldorf-Astoria Chicago – The 11 Best Hotels in Chicago
August 11, 2023
Find the retreat that best matches your taste in the Windy City.
With its world-class cultural institutions (the Art institute of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra among them), 24 sand beaches right in the city, and a richly diverse population, Chicago remains one of the United States’ most visited metropolises. The Midwestern city drew nearly 49 million visitors in 2022—about 80 percent of prepandemic numbers—and in recent years, the hotel scene has heated up, too, with both newcomers and reimagined classics. Whether you’re seeking an uber-luxe escape, a hipster hangout, or an architectural gem with killer views, you’ll find it on this curated list of Chicago’s 11 best hotels.
1. St. Regis Chicago
A guest room at the St. Regis Chicago | Courtesy of St. Regis Chicago
- Neighborhood: Lakeshore East
Why we love it: A chance to sleep in the tallest building in the world by a woman architect (Jeanne Gang), with spectacular interiors to match
- Loyalty program: Marriott Bonvoy
- Book now
The world has been waiting years for the St. Regis Chicago, located in the city’s 101-floor skyscraper designed by Jeanne Gang, to welcome guests and owners; in 2023, it finally made its stunning debut. The triple-tower building’s architecture was based on the frustrum shape, which is basically a pyramid with its top chopped off. (Think of a popcorn box.) That form is replicated subtly throughout the hotel, from the exoskeleton to the marble tiles in the inviting lobby on the Chicago River. Each of the 192 guest rooms comes with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic city views, a dedicated butler, one of four soaking tubs, brass detailing, and curvilinear furnishings from a collaboration between architectural powerhouse Gensler and boutique firm Simeone Deary Design Group.
Rounding out the amenities: the Miru all-day-dining restaurant that is anything but casual, a new Tuscan steakhouse concept, a truly cossetting seven-room spa, an indoor pool with an outdoor patio, and the finest urban hotel gym probably anywhere. Was the wait worth it? Indeed it was. From $779
11. The Waldorf-Astoria Chicago
A guest room at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago | Courtesy of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago
- Neighborhood: Gold Coast
- Why we love it: Location, location, location, plus a stunning renovation
- Loyalty program: Hilton Honors
- Book now
Designers Lisa Simeone and Gina Deary of KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group oversaw the original design of the Parisian-inspired Waldorf-Astoria Chicago in 2009, and the pair was once again brought in to breathe new life into this 215-room Gold Coast gem. Rooms are now bright white, well-lit, and include pops of uplifting magenta. Before you hit any of them, however, there’s much to entice at street level. Enter from the circular driveway and marvel at the Swarovski chandelier, modeled after a vintage brooch, along with the herringbone wood floors and black-and-white pinstriped stone. Don’t miss the Peacock Lounge and its secret sister, Bernard’s Bar, an intimate craft cocktail and champagne boîte, which is virtually unknown even by city denizens (which means you can always find a seat). Its Scottish and equestrian themes are almost as anachronistic as the Mansard roof and circular driveway, which just adds charm to this newly beloved Chicago hotel.
The guest rooms feature oversize headboards and abstract floral bedspreads, while bathrooms are a marvel of marble. For something more, splurge on either the new 1,800-square-foot Astoria Suite or the redesigned 2,400-square-foot Presidential Suite, both of which will have you feeling you’ve been transported to a Parisian pied-à-terre (the latter’s primary bedroom features a fireplace).