The Blackstone, Autograph Collection
What We Love
- Museum-quality art collection of 1,400 works by local artists
- Prime location on the Magnificent Mile across from Millennium Park
- Celebrity chef Jose Garces’s distinctive menu of Catalan-inspired cocktails and dishes at Mercat a la Planxa
What To Know
- Sophisticated atmosphere not ideal for kids
- No spa services, but the front desk offers referrals
- WiFi costs $12.95 a day
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Since its opening in 1910, this stunning Beaux-Arts grande dame has hosted celebs, sports stars and 12 U.S. presidents. A 2008 reopening brought the design into the new century with avant-garde video installations by Lincoln Schatz and mod chrome lamps that contrast with expertly restored marble floors, gleaming wood-paneled walls and a grand staircase.
Bed & Bath
The rooms are even more contemporary, in a neutral palette of beige, slate and ivory, with pops of crimson. The clean-lined furniture manages to feel indulgent thanks to luxe materials — a marble-topped desk here, a buttery leather armchair there. Spacious marble bathrooms have combo tub-showers, Aveda bath products and funky Rorschach-inspired graphic wallpaper.
Celebrity chef Jose Garces offers a taste of Catalonia with his modern Mediterranean menu at the hotel’s Mercat a la Planxa restaurant. Expect a mix of traditional dishes such as hearty seafood paellas with more modern seasonal dishes such as rabbit agnolotti with truffle chestnut puree, brandied cherries and rosemary brown butter. Chicago’s Art Institute is just down the street, but you only have to take the elevator to the fifth floor Art Hall to see beautiful works by local art students. There’s also a 24/7 fitness center on-site.
In the Area
Deep dish pizza is an institution, so sink your teeth into a cheesy pie at Giordano’s, one of the city’s most famous pizzerias. When you’re ready to get the inside bite on Chicago’s foodie scene, head over to the West Loop’s Girl and the Goat, a 10-minute cab ride from the hotel, for chef Stephanie Izard’s inventive small plates (think escargot ravioli with bacon and tamarind-miso sauce, and roasted beets with green beans, white anchovy and avocado crème fraîche). The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers year-round walking and bus tours and seasonal riverboat tours of the city’s most famous buildings. Speaking of impressive architecture, don’t miss the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by Renzo Piano. Across the street from the hotel, Millennium Park, a 24.5-acre urban escape, offers events and activities all year, from concerts in the summer to ice skating in the winter. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by starchitect Frank Gehry, and the Crown Fountain, an art installation featuring two 50-foot towers with moving faces of Chicago residents, are highlights.
How to Get There
My husband and I were spending an evening downtown to celebrate our wedding anniversary and we were so impressed with the staff at the front desk as we checked in. They were friendly and helpful, especially Rachel at the concierge desk who offered to make dinner reservations for us. When the first place she tried was booked, she found us reservations another nice restaurant. The front desk staff had lots of good suggestions, which was great since we didn’t know the area. Such a great first impression as we arrived! The room was clean, modern and spacious. We would definitely stay here again!
We had an awesome stay at The Blackstone! We visit Chicago often to visit our college student there. When we arrived, our room was not quite ready, but instead of making us wait, they offered us a surprise upgrade to a suite, which was incredible. Throughout our stay, the staff was considerate and attentive, and the rooms well appointed and well maintained. The views of the lake and city are spectacular and the hotel is well situated for shopping on the Magnificent Mile, a trip to the Art Institute and other downtown attractions. Mercat, the onsite restaurant, was a great dining experience and the rich history of the hotel, detailed in exhibits and descriptions throughout the hotel, makes it an especially great place to stay. We will definitely return for another visit!
This was an excellent conference overall, and a very nice place to stay and host it. The ballroom was absolutely freezing! as most attendees would agree. The room itself was gorgeous, but the squeaky stage floor was a major distraction for the speakers.