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rooms that are cleaned with special nonirritating pr oducts and come stocked with non-
feather duvets and pillows, plus hypoallergenic bath products on request.
Whether or not y ou stay here, the Ritz-Carlton is an elegant place for afternoon tea,
served at 2:30 and 4:30pm in the lobb y. At one end of the lobb y is the Greenhouse res-
taurant, designed with a glass roof and wall that seems to jut out over the city. The hotel's
excellent Sunday brunch includes a special buffet for childr en replete with M&Ms, mac
and cheese, chicken nuggets, and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
160 E. Pearson St., Chicago, IL 60611. & 800/621-6906 or 312/266-1000. Fax 312/266-1194. www.four 435 units . $495-$635 double; $710-$4,000 suit e. Weekend rates from $385. K ids 17 and
under stay free in parent's room. Rollaways and cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Valet parking $40 with in/
out privileges; self-park ing $32 with no in/out privileges . Subway/El: Red Line t o Chicago/State. Pets
accepted. Amenities: 2 r estaurants (F rench, American); 2 lounges; indoor pool; health club w/spa,
Jacuzzi, and sauna; childr en's programs; concierge; business c enter; 24-hr. room service; in-room mas-
sage; babysitting; laundry service; same-day dry cleaning; pr emier suites. In room: A/C, TV/VCR w/pay
movies, CD player, high-speed Internet access, minibar, hair dryer, iron, safe.
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Whether or not you stay here, you'll quickly
spot the Sofitel, thanks to its striking white stone-and-glass facade and geometric shape:
A narrow prism tower rising from a square base. Located 1 block west of the Magnificent
Mile, the S ofitel doesn't cater specifically to families, but ser vice is so accommodating
that you and your kids will be made to feel right at home. The place has a whimsical air
that will appeal to kids: L uminescent floor tiles in the lobb y change color in a nev er-
ending light sho w. The overall feel of the hotel is E uropean modern; most emplo yees
seem to hail fr om exotic French-speaking locales such as M orocco, giving the hotel an
international flair that y ou won't find in most of Chicago 's hotels. F oreign-language
magazines are scattered on tables thr oughout the lobb y. The hotel's bright, stylish Café
des Architects has become a favorite business lunch spot for locals.
Of the 415 rooms, 55 are suites that offer pullout sofas and striking vie ws of the lake
and city. (To comfortably fit a crib in the room, you'll want a suite.) Up to two children
can stay in a room for no extra charge—tr y a suite or a standar d room with two double
beds. And speaking of beds, they 're outfitted with fabulously fluffy and inviting duv ets.
Closets are spacious, and the bathtub is stocked with candles and fr esh flowers. Babysit-
ting services are available upon request, and little guests r eceive their own Sofitel teddy
20 E. Chestnut St. (at Wabash St.), Chicago, IL 60611. & 800/SOFITEL (763-4835) or 312/324-4000. F ax
312/324-4026. 415 units. $240-$555 double; $370-$685 suit e. Kids 17 and under sta y
free in parent's room. No rollaways; cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Valet parking $40. Subway/El: Red Line
to Chicago/Stat e. Small pets ac cepted. Amenities: Restaurant (F rench cafe); bar ; fitness c enter; c on-
cierge; business center; 24-hr. room service; babysitting; laundry service; same-day dry cleaning. In room:
A/C, TV w/pay movies, high-speed Internet access, minibar, hair dryer, iron, safe.
The Drake Hotel If ever the term “grande dame” fit a hotel, it fitsThe Drake.
Fronting East Lake Shore Drive with a prominent rooftop marquee that has a signatur e
on the city's skyline, the landmark building opened in 1920 and soon became one of the
city's finest hotels. Longtime Chicagoans still think of The Drake with possessive pride;
it's our version of New York's Plaza or Paris's Ritz.
For all its old-time glamour, the hotel seems a bit dated when compar ed to gleaming
newer upscale hotels such as the P ark Hyatt or the P eninsula (both r eviewed earlier in
this chapter), but this, of course, is par
t of The Drake's charm. The Drake w elcomes
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