health club; hot tub; sauna; children's programs; concierge; business services; limited room service; babysit-
ting; laundry room; dry cleaning. In room: A/C, TV w/pay movies, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron, high-speed
Homewood Suites An excellent choice for families, this hotel offers a
handy location and fresh, clean rooms with some nice extras. Because all of the
rooms are suites with full kitchens, you can prepare your own meals, and there's
plenty of room for everyone to spread out. Housed just off the Mag Mile in a
sleek tower above retail shops, offices, and a health club—and adjacent to ESPN
Zone—the hotel's design aesthetic is best described as “Italian Renaissance meets
Crate & Barrel.” Distressed-leather sofas, Mediterranean stone tile, wrought-
iron chandeliers, and beaded lampshades adorn its sixth-floor lobby.
Rooms—one- and two-bedroom suites and a handful of double-double
suites, which can connect to king suites—feature velvet sofas that are all sleep-
ers, and the beds have big, thick mattresses. Each comes with a full kitchen, a
dining-room table that doubles as a workspace, and decent-size bathrooms. The
hotel provides a complimentary buffet breakfast and beverages and hors d'oeu-
vres every evening; there is also a free grocery-shopping service and free access to
an excellent health club next door.
40 E. Grand Ave. (at Wabash St.), Chicago, IL 60611. & 800/CALL-HOME or 312/644-2222. Fax 312/644-
7777. www.homewoodsuiteschicago.com. $99-$249 for a 2-room suite. Kids under 18 stay free in parent's
room. Rollaways and cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Valet parking $32 with in/out privileges. Subway/El: Red
Line to Grand/State. Amenities: Fitness room w/small pool and nice views of the city; concierge; business
services; babysitting; laundry machines on all floors; dry cleaning. In room: A/C, TV w/pay movies, fully
equipped kitchen, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron.
Westin Chicago Michigan Avenue Located across the street from the
John Hancock Center, this hotel is right on the Magnificent Mile, steps from
Bloomingdale's and Water Tower Place. In past years the Westin looked a bit
shabby, but renovations have spruced up the lobby, fitness center, and guest
rooms. Newly renovated rooms feature a marble foyer, expanded bathroom, and
new furnishings and carpeting.
This hotel offers the Westin Kids Club for kids 12 and under. Other notable
family amenities are the many baby and toddler accessories available to guests,
from bottle warmers and cribs to night lights and electrical outlet covers. Kids
are greeted with Westin Kids Club sports bottles or sippy cups, which are filled
with complimentary beverages at meals. Also available are coloring books, bath-
tub toys, and a story line on the hotel phone that plays age-appropriate bedtime
stories when you dial a four-digit number. The hotel restaurant will make sure
kids' meals are ready when you arrive if you call in advance and special menus
are available through room service, too. Older kids can while away the hours
with in-room PlayStations.
The Grill on the Alley has been winning great reviews and offers American
cuisine in a contemporary atmosphere. You'll be comfortable bringing the kids
here, and the kids' menu features pastas and burgers. A lobby cafe is a good stop
for breakfast. The small fitness center is open to kids and includes free weights,
treadmills, lifecycles, and Stairmasters, and men's and women's locker rooms fea-
909 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. & 800/228-3000 or 312/943-7200. Fax 312/397-5580. www.
westinmichiganave.com. 751 units. $179-$250 double; $600-$800 suite. Kids 18 and under stay free in par-
ent's room. Rollaways $25/night and cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Valet parking with in/out privileges $33.
Bus: No. 151 to Delaware St. Pets accepted with $25 fee. Amenities: Restaurant (American); cafe; health
club; sauna; children's programs; 24-hr. room service. In room:A/C, TV w/video games, minibar, coffeemaker,
hair dryer, iron, high-speed Internet access.