Top 5 Hotels with History from Michelin Travel Editors

Enjoy a look at these historic Chicago hotels, brought to you by the editors of the Michelin Guides!

Chicago has always been a magnet for visitors, from 1860, when Chicago became the center of the world’s largest railroad network, and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to today, when Chicago recently welcomed some 40-plus million domestic and international visitors. So it’s no surprise that the city is home to several hotels that have been accommodating guests for close to a century.

Here are 5 grande dames (in order of age) to seek out, dine in and even bed down in, if you want a special treat—you’ll see how each one has “kept her figure,” so to speak. As the Bard said, “Age cannot wither her.”

  1. Hotel Burnham: 1 W. Washington Street, Loop. 122 rooms. Designed by Daniel Burnham’s architectural firm in 1895, the historic Reliance Building now houses the fanciful Hotel Burnham, where original design elements blend with bold and colorful interior stylings. Located across from Macy’s, the hotel is within walking distance of theaters and the lakefront.
  2. The Drake Hotel: 140 E. Walton Pl., Magnificent Mile. 530 rooms. Since 1920, the Italian Renaissance-style limestone building at the top of the Magnificent Mile has been the address for visiting celebrities. Antique solid-brass candelabras and the original mahogany ceiling inset with hand-painted tiles set the tone in the lobby. Rooms, some overlooking Lake Michigan, combine floral fabrics with dark woods.
  3. Allerton Hotel: 701 N. Michigan Ave., Magnificent Mile. 443 rooms. The Allerton has served Chicago as a hotel since 1924, and a recent renovation nicely restores its original polish, inside and out. Guest rooms, outfitted with marble baths and upholstered headboards, glow with rich wall and fabric colors. Check out the view from the 25th-floor fitness center.
  4. Palmer House Hilton: 17 E. Monroe Street. 1,639 rooms. Erected in 1927, this Chicago landmark was designed by Holabird & Roche. Located in downtown Chicago, it is the fourth of this name founded by real estate mogul Potter Palmer. The luxurious interior features a grand Beaux-Arts second-floor lobby and the Empire Ballroom. In 2007 the hotel launched a comprehensive renovation program. Among the many amenities are a business center, beauty salon, gift shop, florist, pool and fitness room and a foreign exchange.
  5. InterContinental Chicago: 505 N. Michigan Ave., Magnificent Mile. 790 rooms. This Mag Mile classic began life as a men’s club in 1929 and still retains many of the club’s original embellishments. Egyptian, Renaissance and Middle Eastern motifs ornament the public spaces, while lavish majolica tile sets off the junior Olympic-size swimming pool. Redecorated rooms in the historic tower are furnished in smart European style; those in the main building tower sport a modern look.

Michelin publishes three guides to Chicago: the famous MICHELIN Guide, which is red in color and features restaurant and hotel ratings from Michelin’s anonymous inspectors; the Green Guide, for travelers planning a trip to Chicago; and the Must See guide, the pocket-sized guide that showcases the best each destination has to offer. To purchase these Michelin guides, visit here for the Green Guide, here for the MICHELIN Guide or join the conversation on Facebook

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