the Magnificent Mile
Magnificent Mile is the name given to the stretch along Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street. The Magnificent Mile offers over 3.1 million square feet of retail space, 460 stores, 275 restaurants, 51 hotels, 2 unique museums and a variety of sightseeing and entertainment attractions to more than 22 million visitors each year. Recent enhancements to the Magnificent Mile include additional trees and flower-filled medians that reflect the changing seasons. These aesthetic enhancements complement the unique architectural beauty famous to Chicago.
Some of Chicago's top retail establishments are found on the Magnificent Mile, including department stores such as Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Marshall Field's and Lord & Taylor and boutiques such as Cartier, Herm?s, Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry and Tiffany & Co. The Magnificent Mile also features critically-acclaimed restaurants such as The Signature Room at The 95th, Spiaggia, Tru, The Pump Room, Lawry's The Prime Rib, Spago and many other dining options. You'll also find luxurious accommodations at four and five-star hotels such as The Peninsula Chicago, Park Hyatt Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Ritz-Carlton Chicago and Le Meridien Chicago.
While the warmer months allow for beautiful landscaping and flowers, the holiday season is also special, with the lighted trees lining the streets, retailers' decorated windows and horse-drawn carriages trotting down the street.
Seems to be an amazing hotel!
Let me first say something- I did not stay at this hotel. I did come here everyday for breakfast in the morning, and drinks and desserts at night. I hung out in the lobby a lot and checked out the pool and spa as well. Even though I paid $300 for a junior suite at The Westin next door (which was very nice) I wish I had stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago for $439 a night(thats what the front desk attendent told me). I traveled to Chicago back in June to watch the Red Sox play the Cubs, and this is where the Red Sox were staying- and it is up and away from the craziness (good for them). Anyway, The Ritz-Carlton had an amazing lobby with comfortable furniture, marble floors, attractice chandeliers etc. It was so clean too(including the main bathrooms in the hotel). The breakfast restaurant was incredible- the best service and food! And I also dined at The Greenhouse Lounge off the lobby and in the Trianon Cigar and dessert lounge. Both were great with unbelieveable service and the after dinner drinks and desserts I have to say were delicious! For any price under $500 or so this is an outstanding hotel. I also visited the Four Seasons next door which seemedc to be a little nicer and more expensive than he ritz-Carlton (also a bit more snotty). If you are looking for a descent comfortable hotel with a nice lobby and location, the Westin Michigan Ave. is the place to be, if you want a high-end upscale luxury hotel up and away from the craziness pick the Ritz-Carlton, if you want an amazing rediculoous expensive hotel (like $600-700 a night and you are a snob)then stay at The Four Seasons.
Expected more....needs renovating
My problem with the Peninsula and the Ritz Carleton is that I keep comparing the hotels to grandness of the Four Seasons Chicago. If the Four Seasoins didn't exist I would say they were just fine hotels.
Yes-the FS is showing it's age here and there but it's aging like a fine wine. The people that built the Four Seasons built a hotel that they would be proud of. It's everywhere. Even in the bathroom doors with 8 panel wood heavy doors.
The Peninsula has extreme almost psychic customer service but the hotels are just not the quality of the Four Seasons.
The Ritz needs renovating. We stayed in one of the large suites. King bed corner location. Paid under $800.00 a night. We love wine and the hotel did not feel like I would get the table service to compliment a great bottle. Amazing to me too. The hotel is loaded with wall paper and feels like the 1980's. The sound system in the suites is outdated. Forget Plasma. Forget great sound system. Not here. Standard tub. No sound in the bathroom. I even missed the greeting that you get from the FS guys outside when you pull your car up. They will stop all traffic in thier cute little suits to get you in.
I have tried to get into the Ritz for years now and always heard that it is the best but I feel let down by the other trip advisor people. This was our twenty fifth anniversary and we should have stayed at the FS.
Sorry for bursting your bubble-but if we don't get the word out they will not improve this hotel.
Some positives: Great room service-A+ all the way. The beds are cuddly...
Side note: The Four Seasons treated my hyper active kids like they owned the joint at Chistmas of 2000. They were spoiled in millions of ways.
Having just stayed at the Park Hyatt in Los Angeles, I knew when arriving at the Ritz that I was truly in a five-star hotel, not one with 5-star pretentions like the Park Hyatt. The lobby is spectacular and the rooms were large and luxurious.
Wonderful service even for the kids!
We stayed at this Ritz about 6 years ago when our eldest child was only a year old, and we loved it then. But now that we have three girls, ages 7 years, 4 years and 5 months, we love it even more! And it's because they actually pay attention to the needs of the children and the family.
The hotel provides you with a real crib that has actual, nice bedding (not just a pack and play); DVD players are free of charge to your room on request; milk and juice boxes were waiting iin the room for the kids on check-in, as well as a basket of diapers, wipes, baby shampoo and soap. At check-in, the kids were allowed to pick out a toy from a red wagon of goodies (my girls chose crayons and coloring books).
The Ritz Kids program also allowed them to sign up for a cookie-making session in the kitchen with the executive chef. Afterwards, the kitchen staff bakes them and delivers them to your room. If you have some downtime, there is a library of DVDs and books that you can borrow from the hotel.
If your girls are into the American Girl dolls, the store is just a little over a block away (very short walk). Our girls of course brought their dolls with them to the restaurant for meals, and to our surprise (though we really shouldn't have been surprised, considering the outstanding service), they brought out little high chairs designed for the dolls.
The staff is very friendly, attentive, and the hotel is well-appointed and clean. Plus having the Water Tower mall connected to the hotel makes it easy to stroll around with the baby if you want to kill time and the weather outside is yucky.
Would definitely stay here again and recommend it to anybody!
Always love to return to the Ritz
I have to say...I love staying here. Over the years they have been consistent with the top notch service.
The beds are fantastic and the room darkening curtains are a wonderful way to sleep in!
Location couldn't be better and if you haven't eaten at the restaurant, you are really missing out.
Sure, it's not budget prices but you get what you pay for and this place is worth paying for 100%. We'll return year after year!
Chicago in December
"Daley Center Tree"
This tree stands in the Daley Plaza (one block west of the State Street Marshall Fields store), and it is stunning every year. This is the 2004 edition, which I think is especially beautiful. It's actually made up of MANY live trees, and it smells great!
"A magical time to stroll downtown..."
This is the gigantic, live tree at the base of the Hancock Building on Michigan Avenue. It has the most lights of any tree I've seen, and it smells wonderful!
"Ritz Carlton, Chicago"
Most of us could never afford to stay at the Ritz (adjoining Water Tower Place shopping center), but anyone can go in and look! Sometimes they have a beautiful giant gingerbread house in the lobby, with a great Christmas tree and a little train going around. Even if they don't, though, it's a very elegant place and fun to stroll through after shopping at Water Tower.
"Marshall Fields on State Street"
This is the famous Marshall Fields store on State Street, which is legendary for its great Christmas decorations, including these trumpets and lights along the outside. They also have a beautifully-decorated, giant tree in the Walnut Room, under which you can have a delicious lunch or dinner. It's a yearly tradition for a lot of Chicago residents, and a great thing for a visitor to do if you're here around that time.
"The tree in the Walnut Room, Marshall Fields"
This is a view of the top of the tree in the middle of the Walnut Room at Marshall Fields on State Street (don't confuse this with the Marshall Fields store on Michigan--it doesn't have this!). The floor above the Walnut Room gives you a bird's eye view of the tree and all the contented eaters underneath it.
"Highland Park town square"
This is Highland Park, a north suburban town on the shore of Lake Michigan and just off US 41. It's generally pretty wealthy, and it has a beautiful town square on Central Street. The square was even more beautiful this holiday season, when they decked out the trees with all red, white, and blue lights in remembrance of September 11th.
This is one of the few buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire, and it's the center of the shopping district on North Michigan Avenue. It's always looking good around Christmastime!
"Model Train Set in the Hancock Tower"
This display of model train extravagance is a yearly tradition in the basement of the Hancock Building on Michigan Avenue. You don't have to be a model train enthusiast to appreciate the great work that goes into this holiday display!