Most people don't know that I lived in Chicago for a year back in 2008, and this is my first time back since then. I forgot how much culture and life there is here, and how cold it gets! March is definitely not the ideal time to visit, but honestly, on day 4, we've already acclimated to the weather - it even snowed a bit today! Magic.
Kimpton is one of my favorite hotel groups in the States, and luckily, I had the pleasure of staying at the Gray in Chicago (and their newest location, in LA: La Peer, look out for a blog post on that coming soon!). Each of Kimpton's hotels is unique, reflective of the city and neighborhood it's in, and incredibly luxurious, with signature accents like a gorgeous tub and shower combo.
We arrived on Friday evening to a sweet note and and even sweeter snack tray (I told them that we don't drink alcohol, otherwise that would've certainly been a champagne bottle). The rooms are large and luxurious, with gray and white accents, marble bathrooms, and beautiful Chicago city views (it's located in the middle of downtown, near the Magnificent Mile and Millennium Park).
The rest of the hotel feels like you're in a mobster movie, but in the best way possible - think old-school luxury like wooden floors, leather and velvet, a wall of spirits separating parts of the "Living Room" (a space to relax and where happy hour happens every night). There's sweet little accents like a table made out of steel butterflies, floor-to-ceiling windows, and beautiful vases and sculptures.
We also had the chance to dine at the roof-top restaurant - Boleo - a charming and eccentric Peruvian and Argentinian inspired rooftop bar and lounge. The space had a fun tropical feel to it, with a live DJ, live palms, and neon pineapples adorning the walls (a-hem, blogger heaven). The food was delicious - Latin-style shared plates, so we tried practically everything on the menu. I recommend the Hongos, Ceviche de Meagre, and Arroz Chaufa. Oh, and don't forget the Yaquitas (Yucca fries!).
All in all, we couldn't have asked for a more welcoming, comfortable and beautiful place to spend our first few days in Chicago. We literally didn't have to leave the hotel - with a gorgeous, relaxing room, 2 restaurants, a bar, and 2 cafes all in the building, you can hide away here all winter long.
Thanks Kimpton! We can't wait to return.
Julia O Test is a lifestyle blogger and photographer based in San Francisco.