HotelsHistoric Hotels in Chicago

Historic Hotels in Chicago

From prohibition-era hideouts and prototype skyscrapers designed by America's preeminent architects to neoclassical marvels that capture the decadent allure of the roaring twenties, Chicago's landmark hotels are more than just a place to rest your head for the night. In the finest historic hotels, you'll experience lavish public areas that ripple with a classic Chicago aura, sultry cocktail bars, and renovated rooms that boast leading-edge technology. It's worth noting that many historic hotels are in need of serious upgrading. Here's the pick of the best:
from $92
Be on your best behavior at the distinguished Drake.
A pillar of the exclusive Gold Coast neighborhood, the Drake is the grande dame of Chicago hotels. While it may lack the polish, modern technology, and deluxe amenities of its five-star peers (the Peninsula or Ritz), the Drake comfortably rests as a place of distinguished grandeur where the social élite still meet for high tea in the elegant Palm Court, where Bing Crosby sipped cocktails in the sultry Coq d'Or bar, and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio carved their initials in the signature restaurant, the Cape Cod Room. Old school but comfortable guest rooms feature Serenity beds, fluffy robes, high-speed Internet, and that bygone ritual: a chocolate on the pillow. Deluxe rooms feature antique furniture, marble bathrooms, and northern views of the lakefront. There is a large gym and a unique Parisian-style shopping arcade that showcases exclusive brands, including Chanel. 
from $89
The Palmer is a gilded blaze of glory.
A favorite wedding venue, the Palmer House is one of the oldest hotels in North America. Forever entwined with Chicago history, its first incarnation was razed to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, just 13 days after its inauguration. Famed as the place where the brownie was created, the Palmer House was the first Chicago hotel to have a phone, an elevator, and electric lights. Designed in Beaux Arts style, the Palmer House is ostentatious at every turn. The frescoed lobby leads to a brilliant confection of richly appointed ballrooms awash with Tiffany chandeliers, frescoed ceilings, billowing drapes, and gilded artifacts. All rooms feature Serenity beds, flat-screen HD televisions, and Wi-Fi. For more space, splurge on a deluxe room or executive suite that mirrors the lavish overtones of the public spaces (think red velvet, heavy drapes, and plush carpets). There are four restaurants on-site, a spa, and a health club.
from $120
Modern amenities and classic charms at the Intercontinental.
With a primo Magnificent Mile location, the Intercontinental marries modern sophistication with Old World charm. Built in 1929, as the élite Medina Athletic Club, this restored treasure draws families with its Olympic-size swimming pool studded with Spanish tiles, Michael Jordan's acclaimed steakhouse, and Eno, a hip wine bar. Labyrinthine corridors lead from the Moorish-influenced lobby, adorned with fountains and chandeliers, to well-conceived, standard guest rooms. Deluxe rooms and suites, in the historic Tower section of the building, are more spacious and feature Serta beds, 350-thread-count linens, and 32-inch flat-screen HDTVs.
from $119
The Blackstone is so posh it hurts.
Overlooking Grant Park, the Beaux Arts-style Blackstone goes by the moniker of "Hotel of the Presidents" — a nod to the 12 presidents, including Roosevelt and Eisenhower, who have stayed here. Fusing Old World grandeur with modern élan, the Blackstone is hailed as a paradigm for architectural restoration. To a soundtrack of ambient music, black-clad staff sashay through the sublime lobby, a showcase of original features, including a crystal flower chandelier and bronze elevator floor indicators. The fashionable on-site Spanish restaurant, Mercat a la Planxa, is one of the city's best. All rooms sport the requisite creature comforts including, iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and plush sofas. Amenities include a gym, full-service business center, valet parking, and a Starbucks.