Ho­tel Spot­light

The Penin­sula Chicago high­lights the best of both the lo­cal com­mu­nity and its in­ter­na­tional her­itage.

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - What’s Inside - BY CHANEL SAMSON

A bustling metropolis of iconic ar­chi­tec­ture, sport leg­endry, and an es­tab­lished culi­nary “style,” Chicago is a mecca for city-lovers to ex­plore. The Penin­sula Chicago, with its in­ter­na­tional flair, oc­cu­pies cov­eted real es­tate along the Magnificent Mile, con­nect­ing you to ev­ery­thing you love about the Windy City.

The door­men in their stylish white uni­forms and caps will be the first of many dis­tinc­tions you will rec­og­nize as part of the Penin­sula ex­pe­ri­ence. The sec­ond will likely be The Lobby — not merely a “lobby”— but also a Miche­lin-star restau­rant decked out in gold re­lief and five-story floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows. There they serve the cel­e­brated Penin­sula Af­ter­noon Tea and a deca­dent choco­late buf­fet on Fri­day and Satur­day evenings.

Tak­ing up a full city block, the 339-room ho­tel boasts lux­u­ri­ously spa­cious ac­com­mo­da­tions from the 531-square-foot Su­pe­rior Room to the ex­clu­sive 3645-square-foot Penin­sula Suite com­plete with a baby grand piano and wrap-around ter­race. Cus­tom Pratesi linens atop king-sized beds in each room ex­ude el­e­gance down to the last thread and with decked­out tablet tech­nol­ogy at your bed­side; the most ex­er­tion you’ll ex­pe­ri­ence will be try­ing to jus­tify leav­ing your room.

As with all other Penin­sula prop­er­ties, the Penin­sula Chicago car­ries an air of Asian-lux­ury style and ser­vice that weds har­mo­niously with Chicagoan Mid­west­ern hos­pi­tal­ity. Sa­vor a bam­boo bas­ket of freshly steamed dim sum tra­di­tion­ally stuffed with bar­beque pork or shrimp while over­look­ing the city sky­line from the Shang­hai Ter­race, one of four sump­tu­ous din­ing op­tions — the in­ter­cul­tural mar­riage bears epi­curean de­light.

Ex­change the se­duc­tive ori­ent with rus­tic farm­house charm at Pierro Gourmet. The Euro­pean style café of­fers a more com­fort­ing fare — hearty home­made soups and an as­sort­ment of Parisian pas­tries — paired with the sights and sounds of posh and pul­sat­ing Rush Street takes you from a morn­ing café au lait to a crisp Sau­vi­gnon Blanc in the evening.

Carry temp­ta­tion past dusk up to the rooftop ter­race where the iconic view of Michi­gan Av­enue is per­haps best paired with suc­cu­lent foie gras bon bons or an ex­otic Shōjō cock­tail tinged with cherry blos­som and sake. Ei­ther choice is of­fered by the team of award win­ning chefs and mixol­o­gists at Z bar. The Penin­sula Chicago’s new­est lounge was de­signed for the wan­der­lust spirit with an im­mer­sive culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence with in­ter­na­tional flair.

On the 19th floor, nat­u­ral light floods through 20-foot tall win­dows re­flect­ing off the half-size Olympic swim­ming pool in spec­tral ha­los on the wa­ter’s sur­face. The pool area is just one compliment of the spa that also in­cludes a re­lax­ation lounge with fire­place, a fully equipped fit­ness cen­ter, and Sun Ter­race with chaises for one of the best views of the city.

If you do ven­ture out of this grace­ful haven to ex­plore the city, it would only be fit­ting to do so Penin­sula-style. Cap­i­tal­iz­ing on its ex­pe­di­ent lo­ca­tion, the Penin­sula Academy of­fers un­par­al­leled ac­cess to a num­ber of cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences through sev­eral pro­grams that cater to all ages. En­counter Chicago by he­li­copter, boat, and au­to­mo­bile with the Chicago By Air And Wa­ter pro­gram or score pre­miere seats to Broad­way’s sold- out shows with the Ex­cep­tional Seats To Pre­ferred Per­for­mances pro­gram. Nearly ev­ery pro­gram is chauf­feured by the ho­tel’s be­spoke BMW house car.

Though the lo­ca­tion alone would make any­one feel a part of this ex­pand­ing world­class city, it is the sim­ple el­e­gance, at­ten­tion to de­tail, fa­mil­iar­ity of the crisp white uni­forms, and at­ten­tive ser­vice that makes the Penin­sula Chicago the pre­mier choice in the sec­ond city. Penin­sula.com

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