Living in Chicago I rarely spend the night in hotels in the city, but recently I attended a wedding downtown and turned the event into a lovely staycation. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago is conveniently located in the Water Tower building attached to the Water Tower Place mall. The hotel is perfect for anyone visiting the city looking to do some shopping on the historic Magnificent Mile or searching for fine dining in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago.
Booking the hotel was quite simple. I used Marriott.com to ensure my elite benefits would be acknowledged. I also was able to use a corporate discount when booking which made the price quite reasonable. I checked American Express’ Fine Hotels & Resorts to see if there were any special offers at the time of booking and did not notice any. At the time of posting there were not special offers either. Once my booking was confirmed the stay appeared in the Marriott app and also on the Ritz-Carlton app, but using both proved to be redundant.
The lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Chicago is located on the 12 floor of the Water Tower building. Guests can access the lobby elevator through the main entrance located on E. Pearson St. or from Chestnut St. Surprisingly the downstairs lobby located on Pearson St. is very underwhelming, but the lobby located on the 12th floor makes up for it. The lobby feels spacious due to its high ceilings and a wall of windows located on the far side of the lobby. Checking into the hotel was simple and within minutes I was in my city view room on the 29th floor of the hotel. The views of downtown Chicago and Navy Pier were spectacular! Lake views were going for over $50+ more a night than a city view on the weekend of my stay and did not seem worth the added cost.
The standard City View King Bed room was wonderful. Large windows lined the exterior walls offering incredible views of Chicago. The room itself was very spacious and featured a chaise lounge chair, desk/chair, 32″ television, and the famous Ritz-Carlton King bed. The bathroom was also surprisingly spacious for a standard room. The bathroom was outfitted with two sinks and a separate room for the shower and toilet. Included were various amenities from the Asprey London Purple Water collection. The shampoo and conditioner were underwhelming, but the body lotion smelled fantastic. By far the most surprising feature of the room was the quality of the blackout shades. When fully closed virtually no light entered the room. A much appreciated feature after a wedding weekend.
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago occupies floors 12-30 of the Water Tower building. Most floors offer exceptional views of Chicago and Lake Michigan. Dining and entertainment options include “Deca Restaurant + Bar” and “The Dec Rooftop Lounge + Bar.” Sadly, the “rooftop” is only located on the 12th floor of the hotel so travelers looking for a rooftop experience may enjoy either the LondonHouse or Trump hotel. Both offer stunning views of Chicago from a much higher elevation.
Consistent with Ritz-Carlton properties the Chicago hotel offers a full service Spa on the 11th floor of the property. I did not visit the stay during my stay so I am unable to give a full review.
One of the best features of the hotel is the Sunrise Rooftop Yoga offered at 8am Friday through Sunday. For just $25, hotel guests can take in the city from the 75 story roof. The session offers not only relaxing yoga, but includes 360 views of downtown Chicago. It is roughly the same cost of visiting the Willis Tower Skydeck or the John Hancock signature room, but is much better for you.
I am not sure if my Marriott elite status meant anything this stay, but the room I was in was much larger than rooms I have been in previously at this property. The hotel is very nice, but seems dated when compared to more modern hotels in the area. If I did not have allegiance to Marriott rewards I would have looked at other hotels in the area for the price, but I was overall very satisfied with my stay and would recommend the hotel to anyone looking to stay in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago.