Loews Chicago

THE HOTEL: One of the city’s newest hotels is located less than a mile from the city centre and 0.2 miles from the main business centre. With 400 rooms and suites, it sits away from the city’s main road arteries, but shopping, museums, boat tours, and the shores of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier (the Midwest’s top visitor attraction) are an easy walk away. Two CTA stations, Washington and Clarke/Lake, are a 10-minute taxi or Uber ride away from the hotel. Both stations are on the Blue Line which serves O’Hare Airport. The train takes around 35 minutes.

I arrived during a rare spring blizzard and arrived with hair full of snow and fingers that didn’t feel my own. A porter rushed to take my bags to the check-in desk where I was offered a welcome hot chocolate. I was processed and escorted to the elevators in a matter of minutes.

THE ROOM: Long and rectangular, the room was extremely spacious. It was contemporary, uncluttered and full of soft beiges, grey and ivory tones. Floor-to-ceiling windows offered rather drab local views. There were numerous power outlets, a Keunig coffee maker and speedy wifi. The bathroom was large, with plenty of counter space. It was also extremely quiet, which suggests excellent soundproofing.

THE FACILITIES: Streeterville Social Bistro is a fabulous rooftop restaurant and bar that draws a local crowd. Its food is on the gourmet side and there’s an excellent – but pricey – cocktail list and craft beer selection. There’s also a restaurant and Starbucks in the hotel lobby and a spa and a fitness centre with a 75ft pool. There’s a Whole Foods store across the road and a Target just round the corner. The hotel boasts more than 30,000ft2 of meeting and event space, including 11 meeting rooms, and two meeting planners. The ETA + Restaurant and Bar has two private dining rooms.

THE VERDICT:The Loews Chicago impresses the moment you walk into its expansive and elegant lobby – which is saying something in a city bursting with impressive architecture. The rooms are super-comfortable, although if I ever return I would select a room with a lake view instead.

THE DETAILS: 455 North Park Drive, Chicago, 6061, USA. Tel: 312 840 6600. Rates start from around $160 a night for a midweek stay. loewshotels.com

Reviewed by Steve Hartridge (2019)