The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago
What We Love
- Lake Michigan or skyline views
- Great for families: the chef hosts a daily cookie baking session, a “Candy Man” makes room calls with a cart full of candies and bathrooms are stocked with kid-sized robes.
- Mixology-driven cocktails at the THE dec, a hot rooftop bar
What To Know
- Not all rooms feature stellar views; go higher for the best
- The hotel was last renovated in 2010
- The hotel is above the Water Tower Place mall, so the lobby starts on the 12th floor
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
As is often the case, luxury starts with location, and the Ritz-Carlton Chicago’s perch above Michigan Avenue is choice. A gurgling marble fountain anchors the Art Nouveau lobby, but the star is the window wall peering out over the Mag Mile. All 435 guestrooms and suites have a classic style with creams, cool grays and slate blues complemented by dark wood furniture. Like the lobby, the star is again the panoramic views out of picture windows; they range from Navy Pier and Lake Michigan to the city’s famous architectural gems. You’re not likely to find a better spa in downtown Chicago, with treatments ranging from rejuvenating facials to healing massages or you can just hit the salon for a mani-pedi before a night on the town. Get to THE dec while the weather’s still warm to sip custom cocktails with the beautiful people high above Chicago’s most famous strip.
In the Area
The shopping all around the hotel is the best in the Midwest, but two of the best shops are right there below your hotel room: The Lego and American Girl Stores in Water Tower Place. 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. Top Chef Stephanie Izard’s menu of inventive small plates includes escargot ravioli with bacon and tamarind-miso sauce, and roasted beets with green beans, white anchovy and avocado crème fraîche. In a city known for its architectural history, a tour is a must. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers year-round walking and bus tours and seasonal riverboat tours led by local certified docents. Speaking of impressive architecture, don’t miss the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago designed by Renzo Piano. The Art Institute is a must; pop in on a Thursday, when admission is free from 5 to 8 p.m. Millennium Park, a 24.5-acre urban escape the heart of the city, 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
Located in the Water Tower building, on the 12 floor and above, its great area. Not only are you attached to shops, but also on the Magnificent Mile you're close to other restaurants, shops and anything else you need. The lobby bar and steakhouse on the 12 floor are very nice, great for meetings, a meal and very tastefully done. There is a balcony there with a coffee bar but being November in Chicago it was a little cold for that. I imagine on a summer night it would be very nice. The guest rooms are larger for a big city hotel and well appointed, although they felt a little odd to me. The shower and toilet area is very small for a luxury hotel and in a separate room. Then there is a room with two sinks that seems very large area taken up by it. Also the windows are not well insulated so when the sun is shinning you are sweating while working at the desk in the room, when the sun is down, you are freezing. The heater in the room also tends to blow directly where you are working so can be a bit uncomfortable. Water pressure internet sleep quality was all very good. Long story short, would stay here again, although would have hoped for more out of the rooms, the rest of the hotel and the staff are fantastic.
The lobby (which I heard is newly renovated) is stunning and sets the stage for what should be an amazing stay. But then you get to your room, and it’s like the 80s threw up in there.
Super dated. Beige wallpaper. Awkwardly tight toilet/shower room where you have the choice to either stare at yourself on the toilet from one foot away or get up, shimmy yourself around, and close it.
Also no status recognition or upgrade as a Titanium, even though many other rooms
categories available (but I was too tired to argue).
Mediocre stay in an expensive hotel. The Gwen is still the best Marriott/SPG option in the Windy City.
I stayed here for the night to celebrate my Dads birthday and travel for a college football game. We had two rooms and the hotel is in an excellent location and is truly walkable to all dining and restaurants needed. We ate at Wildberry right out front of the entrance for breakfast so that was nice and convenient. The staff was accommodating and friendly and they were quick to address and apologize for a cleanliness issue. They surprised my dad with a small birthday cake and card which was really thoughtful. The lobby is on the 12th floor which is different but it’s really nice and well decorated. The views from the rooms are amazing! The room itself is pretty average but I prefer the Ritz resorts anyways. All and all would definitely stay and recommend to others, thanks for a nice stay!