Reviews & Photos
October 18 2016
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The Ritz-Carlton Chicago - A Four Seasons Hotel
160 E Pearson Street,
Our visit to the Ritz-Carlton Chicago was nothing short of extraordinary. But the real highlight is how they treat their youngest visitors like VIP.
Located in downtown Chicago right off of the shopping mecca of Michigan Avenue, The Ritz is actually connected to the Water Tower Place. John Hancock's 360 Observatory and Museum of Contemporary Art is just a few steps away. You'll never go hungry - there's tons of restaurants closeby. Valet parking a pricy (everywhere in Chicago is).
From the moment we walked in, we were treated to a five-star experience. The lobby is one of the most luxurious we've seen. People were friendly and unpretentious. My kids were especially surprised to have a red wagon welcome them with their choice of toy. The pool and fitness area are on the 11th floor.
The (recently renovated) luxurious double bed room had a separate living room separated by French Doors. We were lucky to stay in a corner suite with views of John Hancock and the lake on one side and the original Water Tower on the other side. It was hard to tear us away from the beds as they were super comfortable . The master bathroom had marble strewn about complete with toiletries. We loved having luxurious standing shower and double vanity sink. The only bummer is that the Internet is $15.
The Ritz offers a great kids program. From the moment, we walked in we were greeted with friendly service. The kids were totally psyched to grab a toy from their cool red Radio Flyer wagon. We also surprised to find a set of DVD players (don't usually see this) and we totally forgot to bring movies. No worries, I called down the front desk and in a few minutes later the bellman had a book of kid-friendly DVDs we could borrow. The best part - no doubt - was getting a treat from the candy cart. I'm talking about a bag full of candy of your choice. Think gummies, jelly beans, M&Ms, and so much more! It was definitely the highlight of the day.
What a fantastic stay for both parents and kids. For access to shopping, 360 Chicago, and the museum, The Ritz Carlton Chicago is hard to beat.
February 29 2016
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Le Meridien Chicago - Oakbrook Center
2100 Spring Road,
Oak Brook, Illinois
"Great hotel with an awesome spa"
Our recent travels brought us to Le Meridien Chicago - Oakbrook Center. We've never been to a Le Meridien property before and was pleasantly surprised.
Location: The hotel is located in the affluent suburb of Oak Brook, and the only hotel on the grounds of Oakbrook Center, the fabulous outdoor shopping mall. Just cross the parking lot and you're there.
Hotel: Parking is free and plentiful. Valet parking is available (but no reason you would need it). When we first walked in, we were greeted by the very friendly front desk staff. I couldn't help notice the colorful mural along the wall. A perfect spot for Instagram pictures, I might add.
Service/Staff: We were greeted with a warm welcome from the front desk and delicious Chicago Mix popcorn. I also had the pleasure of meeting the general manager, Frank, and he went above and beyond by bringing our family cookies, milk, and their famous eclairs.
Room: We stayed in a double guest bedroom and found that the rooms were spacious enough for the kids to play around. I absolutely loved the local Chicago art in the room. Their love of Chicago was also seen in the bathroom with the cool Ferris wheel wallpaper. Another great perk staying at Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook is complimentary access to the Elmhurst Art Museum.
Unfortunately, the hotel doesn't have a pool. A bummer for the kids but they were kept pretty busy in the room. There is also a mid-size fitness room located on the 10th floor. The hotel offers free wi-fi for Starwood members (free to join). We were happy to find that guests were able to borrow DVD players - a must for our movie-loving family.
The highlight of the stay was no doubt having my very own private spa suite with heated tile bed, deep soaking tub, and steam shower. Pure heaven!
We had Club lounge access and had to pass through their tapas restaurant, El Tapeo. It seemed kind of odd to be passing through the restaurant to reach the Club Lounge, but in doing so the opportunity to scope out the food being served. It looked delicious! But it seemed like it would be best enjoyed by adults-only. Or really behaved kids. Their lounge/hub Longitude 87 seemed like a great place to grab tea and their popular eclair - a must try in my opinion.
While not exactly the most family-friendly hotel, we still enjoyed our stay at Le Meridien and would recommend it to anybody looking for a great hotel with close access to shopping and an excuse to get pampered.
Disclosure: This review is based on a complimentary stay at the Le Meridien Chicago Oakbrook Center. I received no other compensation and the opinions I express are entirely my own.
November 28 2015
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St. Nick's Restaurant
91 W. Christmas Blvd.,
"Decent buffet, great place to see Santa"
Located at Santa's Lodge, St. Nick's Lodge was a decent place to grab dinner, but the true fun was gettig to see Santa!
We visited during Santa's Christmas Celebration and noticed the big man himself was going to be visiting during dinner time. The food was setup buffet style and we did have plenty to choose from, especially when it came to dessert. The best part was getting hot chocolate. The kids were surprised to have Santa stop by and say hi. We then had a chance to say hi to him personally later on during the night after reading a Christmas story.
Bottom Line: Seeing Santa is awesome, but getting a chance to chat with him both during dinner AND also afterwards in Santa's sleigh was indeed memorable.
October 16 2015
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The Langham Chicago
330 North Wabash Avenue,
"Family friendly luxury at its finest"
After seeing this hotel as #1 hotel on Tripadvisor, I just had to see it for myself. It's luxury at its finest, and family-friendly to boot!
Located in downtown Chicago right by the Chicago River, the Langham Chicago was just a short walk to the main shopping hub, the Mag Mile AND also State Street's shopping. Other cultural attractions such as Millenium Park and the Art Institute isn't too far away either.
From the moment we walked in, we were treated to a five-star experience. People were friendly and unpretentios. Art lovers will appreciate the mix of art located throughout by famous artists and budding artists. We were happy to hear that they had a pool. The twinkling lights above the pool added to the cool factor. While the kids enjoyed swimming around, I visited the spa room and absolutely loved having access to the steam room and relaxation room.
We fell in love with our luxurious king size room with separate living room with sleeper sofa. It was hard to tear us away from the beds as they were super comfortable . The master bathroom had marble strewn about complete with Chuan Spa toiletries. We loved having the oversized tub and separate shower.
Our room had access to the private Langham Club Lounge - well worth it in my opinion! Not only did we get a private checkin, but we had complimentary breakfast with hold and cold foods, hor deuvres, afternoon tea. All of this was enough to satisfy our bellies.In fact, we didn't really need to go out to eat.
The Langham offers tons for kids including a kids backpack with signature plaid teddy bear upon check-in. The kids absolutely loved having access to a kids' playroom, and found everything to keep our kids busy -- tons of toys, puzzles, coloring books, Lincoln Logs, chalkboard and dry erase wall, video games, rocking horses. It was especially convenient having a bathroom with changing table and stool for the sink. Had we discovered this sooner, we could have stayed here the entire day. What would make this room even better? A couch so that mom or dad can relax as well! Another pretty fun feature is their cinema suite with theater style seats and kid-friendly movies.
They have a Mediterannean restaurant, Travelle, and also Pavilion that serves tea during the afternoon, and becomes an ice cream parlour in the evening. We did take advantage of having dessert one evening and was spoiled with huge sundaes with homemade ice cream. Definitely a must try for ice cream lovers!
What a fantastic stay for both parents and kids. The Langham definitely tops our list for favorite hotels in Chicago. If you're looking to be pampered, make Langham the top of your list.
October 06 2015
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SpringHill Suites by Marriott Cheyenne
416 W Fox Farm Rd,
Our travels brought us to Cheyenne for an overnight stay, and we were happy to stay at SpringHill Suites again. Perfect for families!
We had a comfortable night's stay in a double queen suite. It was spacious enough for our family of five with a sleeper sofa, desk, sink area with mini fridge and microwave. As minor as it may seem, one of our favorite aspects of our room included the dimmer above our beds. It made for the perfect night light. As a tech-lovin' family, one problem that we've encountered at other hotels was not enough plugs and outlets. Not so at this hotel. We were happy to find extra plugs located right on the nightstands. The bathroom was just the right size and having Paul Mitchell toiletries was a plus.
Although we didn't get a chance to use it, there was a pool and hot tub. Fitness lovers would appreciate the fitness room open 24 hours. High speed internet is free, as well as the breakfast though it was only available until 9:00 -a.m. which was a bit inconvenient for us late risers.
We've grown to love the Springhill Suites brand, and the Cheyenne location didn't disappoint. If we are ever in the area again, I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again, but possibly wake up a little earlier for breakfast.
Disclosure: This is based on a complimentary stay at the Springhill Suites Cheyenne. I received no other compensation besides the hotel stay. The hotel did not state any requirements that I express a particular point of view. All opinions are my own.