Amer­i­can beauty

RITZ-CARL­TON, CHICAGO

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The ren­o­va­tion of Chicago’s Ritz-carl­ton marks some­thing of a home­com­ing for the land­mark. De­but­ing as a Four Sea­son­s­man­aged prop­erty in 1975, atop the then newly minted Wa­ter Tower Place, the ho­tel only be­came an of­fi­cial part of the Ritz­carl­ton group last year, for com­pli­cated own­er­ship rea­sons. San Fran­cisco de­sign stu­dio BAMO’S re­fur­bish­ment is a soigné take on mod­ern luxe, with lead designer Billy Quimby se­lect­ing sooth­ing pas­tel hues for the re­mod­elled bed­rooms. In­spired by the build­ing’s ex­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture, he has in­stalled rows of grey mar­ble col­umns and Amer­i­can wal­nut fins in the 12th-floor lobby, where a sparkling Lasvit in­stal­la­tion of hand-blown glass mim­ics Lake Michigan (the lat­ter pro­vides a brac­ing spec­ta­cle from the cor­ner gym). The over­all ef­fect bears all the hall­marks of a Ritz-carl­ton, but BAMO’S prin­ci­ple achieve­ment has been to chan­nel a quiet in­ti­macy in which Chicago’s spec­tac­u­lar aes­thetic of wa­ter, sky­scrapers and Michigan Av­enue dom­i­nates at ev­ery turn. Daven Wu 160 East Pear­son Street, tel: 1.312 266 1000, ritz­carl­ton.com. Rates: from $279

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