Homegrown Inspiration at Loews Chicago Hotel

As many of you know, my dad spent more than forty years in the hospitality industry, as a hotel manager. I loved being the daughter of a hotel manager for many reasons, and I know that spending so much time as a hotel kid contributed greatly to who I am today (someone not fond of camping, for one thing! *insert rim shot here*). I even blogged about my childhood hotel history, if you’re interested in reading it. The links are at the bottom of this post.

Since I lived in hotels for months at a time when I was a kid, it’s understandable that I feel right at home in a hotel as an adult. I mean it; for me, walking into a hotel lobby is like going home. Weird? Maybe.

Anyway, I am always beyond appreciative of the work that is done when providing excellent customer service, keeping a property maintained and clean, and giving customers an unforgettable experience because I grew up seeing it from behind-the-scenes. Nowadays I look for every opportunity to experience new hotels, even in Chicago, which is only a thirty-five-minute drive from my house in the western suburbs. Staycations are awesome!

When Liz’s daughter first made plans to come and visit, she mentioned that she would love to stay overnight in the city. I was totally down with that. Then when Liz made her flight reservation, I knew she’d be all in on staying downtown too. Yee-hah! Mom, Daughter and Second/Substitute Mom (or honorary Aunt, whatevs) Weekend! I knew exactly where I wanted to book a room: the new-ish Loews Chicago Hotel.

It's pretty inside AND outside!
It’s pretty inside AND outside!

I first heard about the Loews Chicago Hotel from my friend MJ Tam, who is the “First Lady” of the hotel. I’ve been enjoying lots of social media sneak peeks from her since before the hotel was open for business. A couple of months ago I attended a recording of ChicagonistaLIVE! there and fell deeply in love, especially when I learned that when Loews builds a hotel, they use the city location to inspire the design.

If you know me, you know I AM Chicago. I LOVE Chicago. Anything that is inspired by this city of mine makes me very happy. The design elements in the Loews Chicago Hotel are exquisite, and exquisitely Chicago.

Railroad, uh, rails twisted into art create a beautiful fireplace frame in the lobby.
Railroad, uh, rails twisted into art create a beautiful fireplace frame in the lobby.
This wooden wall sculpture representing the skyline is something I'd love to have (in a smaller version) for my own family room wall. Seriously.
This wooden wall sculpture representing the skyline is something I’d love to have (in a smaller version) for my own family room wall. Seriously.
A flower motif inspired by architect Louis Sullivan can be found in the elevator bank and on the ceiling of the lobby, just to name two places.
A flower motif inspired by architect Louis Sullivan can be found in the elevator bank and on the ceiling of the lobby, just to name two places.
TThe lobby, with simple lines inspired by Mies van der Rohe and those Sullivan flowers, is a bright and beautiful meeting space from bottom to top!
The lobby, with simple lines inspired by Mies van der Rohe and those Sullivan flowers, is a bright and beautiful meeting space from bottom to top!
Even riding the elevator is a Chicago-centric experience; the walls are covered with the words from Carl Sandburg's poem 'Chicago'.
Even riding the elevator is a Chicago-centric experience; the walls are covered with the words from Carl Sandburg’s poem ‘Chicago’.

Check-in was a breeze, and once we made it to our room, we weren’t sure what to look at first.

Chicago map wallpaper on the accent wall in the guestroom bathroom! Cool, right??
Chicago map wallpaper on the accent wall in the guestroom bathroom! Cool, right??
Those beds though. OMG.
Those beds though. OMG.
Our view wasn't too shabby. (It was SPECTACULAR.) Navy Pier and Lake Michigan are out there, and to the right--not pictured--is the Chicago River.
Our view wasn’t too shabby. (It was SPECTACULAR.) Navy Pier and Lake Michigan are out there, and to the right–not pictured–is the Chicago River.

Liz originally wanted to take a selfie/ussie with the view in the background but the sun just wasn’t having it so we faced the window with lovely results. Thanks Loews and Liz, for one of my favorite pictures ever ever ever! (Yes, I’m giving Loews partial credit. Also Liz because filters.)

Love. That was a good day.
Love. That was a good day.

Just a few things I loved about the Loews Chicago Hotel experience, besides the design and the room:
1. Every single staff member we ran across greeted us, smiling.
2. Every time I called downstairs to ask questions I was greeted by my name on the phone. (I know this isn’t magic and it’s not a Loews exclusive, but I sure do love it because it makes me feel special!)
3. The entire property was super clean.
4. The location, in Streeterville, is FANTASTIC and we were able to walk to great places like Michigan Avenue, Millennium Park, and Buckingham Fountain for the light show:

Buckingham Fountain light show

We didn’t have a chance to hit Streeterville Social, the city’s largest outdoor rooftop terrace (on the third floor). NEXT TIME.

What we did have a chance to hit was the pool. We relaxed in it after dinner on our first day and, the following morning, got some laps in before getting started with the day’s activities. City pools are often an afterthought for travelers. Not in this case: it was on our to-do list!

We ended the first day and started the second day in the pool. I highly recommend it.
We ended the first day and started the second day in the pool. I highly recommend it.

One of the most important elements of a great hotel stay is the comfort level of the beds. The beds at Loews Chicago? Crazy-comfy. In fact, the beds provided me with one of my very favorite memories from the weekend. When we got into the beds, two of us may have started laughing and joyfully cursing/exclaiming how great the beds were, and one of us may have been doing a lot of shushing and saying things like “YOU GUYS, STOP! BE QUIET! I FEEL LIKE I’M THE MOTHER HERE!” I’ll let you use your imagination on that one to figure out the players. I know I won’t forget it for a long time. I’m still laughing, in fact. Oops, that’s a hint.

I am definitely returning to the Loews Chicago Hotel. I’m not sure when, but I’ll figure out something soon because I feel like this hotel needs me there. Besides, I didn’t even get to enjoy a meal at Rural Society (Iron Chef Jose Garces’ restaurant) or a treatment at the spa this time. Unfinished business, you know. If you’re traveling to Chicago anytime soon–or just need a little staycation–I encourage you to check in and check it out! (and then let me know what you think!)

Disclosure: While I did pay for our room with my own money, I received a discounted rate. All opinions and pictures are mine!

The Hotel Diaries: Part One
The Hotel Diaries: Part Two
The Hotel Diaries: Part Three
The Hotel Diaries: Part Four

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