Archive for category Chicago

Where to Stay for the Chicago International Car Show

Chicago International Car ShowWhile Detroit is known as The Motor City, engines will be revving full throttle in Chicago from February 9th -18th. The Chicago Auto Show showcases the newest, best, and brightest in the automotive world, offering car lovers the chance to get up close and personal with the latest models, classic cars, and cutting-edge prototypes from the world’s auto manufacturers. The Chicago Auto Show is the largest event of its kind in North America. Automakers often reveal their latest ideas here — from redesigns to concept cars and beyond. Nearly 1,000 cars, trucks, SUVs and more will be on display in over 1 million square feet of display space at McCormick Place. Looking for a reason to get dressed up? The Chicago Auto Show’s First Look for Charity event happens February 8th, and is a black-tie affair set among some of the hottest wheels in the world. Enjoy live entertainment, food, and drinks — and maybe even win a new car. Best of all, you’ll be helping support numerous local charities.

Our Luxury Hotel Experts Recommend

The Park Hyatt Chicago

Hotel Palomar Chicago

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower


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Chicago Restaurant Week 2013

Chef BlogChicago has long held the reputation of being a foodie town — from casual eateries to upscale dining, it’s a city that feeds visitors well. Want to see what all the hype is about first-hand? There isn’t a better time to taste the town than during Chicago Restaurant Week. From February 1-10, 2013 over 250 Windy City eateries will offer diners the chance to taste their culinary creations for a fraction of the regular price. Participating restaurants offer special prix fixe menus (often multi-course) for either lunch or dinner ($22 for the former or $33-$44 for the latter). From homestyle Italian to upscale French cuisine to sushi, curry and beyond, Chicago Restaurant Week has something for even the pickiest palate. Reservations aren’t required, but are certainly recommended. For a list of participating restaurants or to make reservations online, check out

Our Luxury Hotel Experts Recommend:

PUBLIC Chicago

theWit Hotel Chicago

Trump International Chicago

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Chicago architecture, nautical style

Chicago’s iconic skyline is counted among one of the world’s most recognizable. High-rise buildings have been defined (and redefined) in Chicago―it really is the birthplace of the skyscraper. The Chicago River, snaking through the heart of the city, is the perfect place to experience architecture in a truly special fashion.

Take in some of the world’s most striking skyscrapers while learning about the evolution of Chicago’s architectural styles and the famous turn-of-the-century Chicago School. Throughout the years, most of the world’s most prominent building designers have worked in Chicago―it’s the most important city in North America when it comes to built landscapes and architecture.

Dozens of Chicago’s most notable buildings are nestled along the banks of the Chicago River, which weaves through downtown from Lake Michigan. This makes a boat tour of the city’s architecture an ideal way to learn the stories of the city. Float under moveable bridges along the river as you crane your neck and look skyward. Get up close to jaw-dropping buildings like the John Hancock Center, the AON Center, the Trump Tower and the Willis Tower, the tallest building in the United States. Seeing truly is believing.
Our Hotel Experts recommend:

Public Chicago, The Peninsula Chicago, and The Park Hyatt Chicago.

See all of our Chicago Luxury Hotels.

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June 8-10, 2012 at Millennium Park

Renowned as the largest free blues event in the world, the Chicago Blues Festival returns to Grant Park this June for three days of blues bliss. Whether you’re a blues aficionado or just a music lover, Chicago is the place to be from June 8 to June 10. Upwards of 500,000 blues fans are anticipated for this celebration of blues past and present, offering proof that Chicago is truly the “Blues Capital of the World.”

Headliners for this year’s Festival include Texas Johnny Brown on June 8, and Floyd Taylor on June 9. On Friday June 8, at the Petrillo Music Shell, blues fans will be treated to a centennial celebration of Lightnin’ Hopkins. The Houston blues legend died in 1982 and fellow Houston bluesman Texas Johnny Brown will commemorate him with his soulful guitar stylings. Chicago-born Floyd Taylor is the son of R&B great Johnnie Taylor and spent years learning his craft from his father. Taylor pays tribute to his father, who died in 2000, and other bluesmen.

Chicago’s own Mavis Staples is set to close the festival on Sunday, June 10. More than sixty years after she began singing with the Staple Singers, Mavis is still going strong. In 2011, she won the Grammy for “Best Americana Album.” The living Gospel and Blues legend is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Before Mavis Staples performs on Sunday, festival goers will be treated to a tribute to the Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor, who died in June of 2009. A select group of Blues women will perform in her honour, including Melvia “Chick” Rodgers, Jackie Scott, Deitra Farr and Nora Jean Brusco.

The performance stages include the Petrillo Music Shell, the Bud Light Crossroads Stage, Mississippi Juke Joint, and the Pepsi Front.

The 29th Annual Chicago Blues Festival is presented by the City of Chicago and produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. FREE Admission • Grant Park • June 8, 9 & 10, 2012. For more information call (312) 744-3316.

Live in luxury at these fine hotels,

The lavish Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago is North America’s second tallest building. This 5 star tower on the Chicago River features easy access to The Loop, financial centers and is within walking distance to exclusive shopping on Michigan Avenue, and Millenium Park where the festivities will take place. Expect unprecendented views, spacious rooms, and an attention to detail. You won’t be dissapointed! Enjoy a free upgrade on us!

The Fairmont Chicago, overlooking Millennium Park and Chicago’s lakefront, is a 4.5 star luxury hotel located in the Grant Park neighborhood of downtown Chicago. This AAA Four Diamond Millennium Park hotel is walking distance to the Loop, theater district and the Art Institute of Chicago. A $50 million dollar renovation completed in 2008 has distinguished this downtown Chicago luxury hotel as a prestigious address. 

The Allegro Chicago, a Kimpton Hotel, features a convenient location in the Chicago Theater District near entertainment and shopping venues on State Street and the Magnificent Mile. A sparkling renovation unveils thoughtfully-designed guestrooms and suites and a colorful lobby await you. Enjoy a complimentary wine recepetion every night of your stay!


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 April 12-15, 2012

Movies and music have always shared a symbiotic relationship. Songs inspire movies; movies inspire songs. You can’t help but connect some songs to some movies—think of the magical union of “As Time Goes By” and Casablanca, Whitney Houston’s sublime “I Will Always Love You” in The Bodyguard, or the haunting trumpet of The Godfather. The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival seamlessly blends the two mediums together into one splendid weekend of shows, screenings, and discussions about how both arts influence each other.

From April 12 to 15 the music mecca neighborhood, Wicker Park, will be home to movie and music lovers from around the world. The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival brings together movies about music, movies for music, movies of music, and movies capturing music as it is made. Four days of movie screenings, panel chats, workshops, and other programs unite professionals and devotees alike. Premieres by new and established film and video directors, as well as retrospectives, classic films and videos will fill the days; genre-bending musical performances will rule the night at participating venues around Chicago.

An independent film festival organized by filmmakers and musicians, the mission of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival is to highlight the crossover of film and song, and to shed light on the interconnectedness of all people through the lens of music and moving image, both recorded and performed live.

All of the featured films feature music in some way: short and long-form documentaries and narrative fiction; concert films; animation; and music videos; along with related performances and concerts, and art exhibits, presented at historic and famous venues around Chicago. Queens of Country starring Lizzy Caplan (pictured above) will be one of many films that will have its Chicago premiere during the festival. Operating as a nonprofit organization, the Festival provides a platform for filmmakers and musicians to present their vision, and for like-minded artists, directors, producers, fans, and aficionados to come together for a celebration of movies, music, and great times in the great city of Chicago. | 773-234-CIMM(2466)


The PUBLIC Chicgao, created by hotelier Ian Schrager, is an entirely new class of hotel. Its fundamental attributes are innovative, sophisticated, authentic style; personalized, empathetic ‘essential’ service; lasting comfort with complete functionality, all provided for an affordable price and tremendous value. Book with us and receive a complimentary room upgrade!

The legendary Drake Hotel boasts a former guest list that includes The Royal Family, Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Hugh Hefner, Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland, just to name a few. Overlooking Lake Michigan, and close to the weekend’s events along with Magnificent Mile, many of the city’s most notable attractions are conveniently located just minutes away.

Located in the prosperous Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, the 5 star Waldorf Astoria Chicago combines the classic glamour of the 1920’s and 1930’s with interiors that showcase a modern, sophisticated urban sensibility. The hotel’s downtown location near Michigan Avenue and Oak Street Beach provides guests with easy access to Chicago’s most famed attractions and landmarks. Book with us and receive a complimentary upgrade when booking a suite for 2012.

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Customer demand from the business class and upscale clientele, along with fierce competition, has forced hotels to adapt and customize their accommodations and services to satisfy this niche market. A number of Chicago boutique hotels have taken these measures to detailed and wonderful extremes, offering creatively-themed and fully accessorized stays in their luxury suites.

Relax Zen-like in the heart of Chicago at Dana Hotel & Spa. The Nirvana Suite features Italian rainfall fixtures, highest quality bath and beauty products, imported Italian linens, and in-room Kinesis Heritage fitness equipment. A spacious lounge area, hardwood floors and urban vantages capture the feel of genuine city residency. Located in Chicago’s River North, the largest concentration of art galleries in the US outside of Manhattan, and near the Magnificent Mile. 660 North State Street  Chicago, IL

After a $25+ million renovation, Sax Hotel Chicago unveiled a fresh Presidential Suite last month. As well as being revamped in rich colours and fabrics, the suites are wired to the max: flat-screens, surround sound audio, X Box 360 Elite gaming, Microsoft Zune MP3 and laptops. The 16th floor Presidential Suite boasts 65’ plasma screens, and a LifeWare home-automation system—connected through a Windows Vista Media Center PC. Steps away from the Chicago River in Marina City with access to six choice restaurants, a 25,000 square foot fitness facility, the 10 Pin upscale bowling lounge, and the House of Blues music venue. 333 North Dearborn Street  Chicago, IL

Hard Rock Hotel Chicago offers uniquely themed rooms in the heart of downtown Chicago. Stretching 40 stories tall near the Magnificent Mile, guests enjoy a music-rich vibe within the walls of the iconic Carbide & Carbon building, a Burnham masterpiece of green terra cotta and black granite. Spice up your stay with the Kandi Koated Nights Room Package. Choose from a list of intimate items from Kandi Burruss’s pleasure line, Bedroom Kandi. 230 N Michigan Ave  Chicago, IL 60601

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March 4th, 2012

At a mass meeting at Chicago’s Saloon Building on January 23, 1837, a charter was stamped for approval and sent to the legislature. There, on March 4, 1837, after certain amendments, Chicago officially became a city. Population, 4,170.

The City of Big Shoulders (Chi-town, Hog Butcher for the World, White City, Windy City, Paris on the Prairie) has come a long way since 1837—establishing itself as one of the most dynamic metropolises in the world, with a rich and contentious past, an alluring present, and a bright future. This year marks Chicago’s 175th birthday and a bash on March 4 at the Chicago History Museum will kick-off a year long round of celebrations.


Muddy Waters said that going to Chicago “was like going out of the world.” Junior Wells called it “the crossroads of the world.” And while both Bluesmen may have had a point, the truth is that more than 30,000 million people from around the U.S. and the world visit Chicago each year, drawn to its splendid architecture, food, entertainment, and its distinct urban buzz and swag. If you’ve been there, you know the score. If not, there’s no better time to explore the city with more nicknames than any other.

Chicago History Museum’s March 4 birthday party will include music from The Tony De Rosario Trio and The Chicago Children’s Choir. Vinnie and Michelle Garcia, of the Bleeding Heart Bakery, will design and dole out a commemorative cake. Free admission from 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. The festivities will also feature readings from Chicago students about the city’s founder, Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, and award-winning clown Smarty Pants recreating Chicago sites and historical figures in balloons. The North and Clark Café, in the museum lobby, will sell commemorative hot dogs for $1.75.

Beginning at 3:30 p.m. the Museum’s auditorium will host a 4-Star Panel talk exploring Chicago’s identity through its architecture, food, literature arts, and its neighborhoods. 

The Chicago History Museum 1601 N. Clark Street. 312.642.4600

WHERE TO STAY: The Drake Hotel. This 4.5 star hotel overlooking Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile is located within Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood; many of the city’s most notable attractions are conveniently located just minutes away. The Drake Hotel was named to Travel + Leisure’s 2011 T+L 500 list of top-rated hotels around the globe in January 2011.

Hotel Allegro, a Kimpton Hotel, features a convenient location in the Chicago Theater District near entertainment and shopping venues on State Street and the Magnificent Mile. A sparkling renovation unveils thoughtfully-designed guestrooms and suites and a colorful lobby highlighting burnt oranges, ruby reds, and vibrant greens offset with soothing tones of gray and blue. Enjoy a complimentary wine reception every evening!

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower provides 4 star luxury accommodations in the heart of downtown Chicago near the city’s water tower. Within walking distance to prestigious Magnificent Mile shopping, fashionable Oak Street Beach, and restaurants, rides and exhibitions at Navy Pier, the location is ideal for both business and leisure travelers.

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