65 E. Harrison St. (at S. Wabash Ave.), Chicago, IL 60605. & 888/515-6375 or 312/427-8000. Fax
312/427-8261. www.travelodge.com. 250 units. $105-$165 double. Kids 17 and under stay free in parent's
room. Rollaways $10/night; cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Indoor garage parking $15 car or small van,
includes 1 in/out per day at no charge. Subway/El: Red Line to State/Harrison. Amenities: 2 restaurants. In
room: A/C, TV w/pay movies, fax, dataport, minibar, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron.
3 Near North & the Magnificent Mile
Along the Magnificent Mile—a stretch of Michigan Avenue running north of
the Chicago River to Oak Street—you'll find most of the city's premium hotels.
The location can't be beat.
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago A fabulous pool and indulgences for
kids make this hotel a thumbs-up for families in search of luxury. Consistently
voted one of the top hotels in the world by frequent travelers, the Four Seasons
occupies a rarefied aerie between the 30th and 46th floors above the Mag Mile's
most upscale vertical mall. The overall look is that of an English country manor
rather than a glitzy getaway, but the real attraction here is the service, not the
decor. Rooms have English furnishings, custom-woven carpets and tapestries,
and dark wood armoires. Each has windows that open to let in the fresh air.
Bathrooms boast such indulgences as a lighted makeup mirror, oversize towels
and robes, scales, and Bulgari toiletries.
Kid-friendly services include little robes, balloon animals, video games, a spe-
cial room-service menu, and milk and cookies. Ask about the “Kids for All Sea-
sons” weekend package, which includes small gifts and discounts from kids'
retailers. With the package, children under 12 eat free from the kids' room-serv-
ice menu—and receive a complimentary gift from the ice cream man. Yes, it's
true—as a special treat for wee ones, the hotel has an ice cream man who will visit
your room and let kids choose an ice cream and toppings, including Oreo pieces,
gummy bears, M&Ms, sprinkles, freshly whipped cream, and chocolate sauce
and caramel sauce. Most indulgent of all, however, are the twin beds—so soft that
the hotel's gift shop sells about a hundred of them each year for $1,200 a piece.
An 18-foot-high white marble fountain marks the entrance to the opulent
Seasons Restaurant (the hotel's other restaurant, The Café, offers kids' menus).
I'd recommend that families make reservations for the Sunday brunch at Sea-
sons, which takes place from 10:30am to 1:30pm. Children are welcome to join
the fun in their own section of the restaurant, where a Harry Potter castle houses
arts and crafts. The activities are supervised by a babysitter, and you can enjoy
the best brunch in Chicago while your kids are within view. Kids can join you
to eat, then run off to enjoy their own experience in the castle. Bon appétit!
120 E. Delaware Place (at Michigan Ave.), Chicago, IL 60611. & 800/332-3442 or 312/280-8800. Fax 312/
280-1748. www.fourseasons.com. 343 units. $435-$535 double; $585-$3,500 suite. Weekend rates from
$305. Kids under 18 stay free in parent's room. Rollaways and cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Valet parking
$36 with in/out privileges; self-parking $26. Subway/El: Red Line to Chicago/State. Pets accepted. Amenities:
2 restaurants; lounge; indoor pool (unrestricted access for kids); fitness center; concierge; business center; 24-
hr. room service; babysitting; laundry service; 24-hr. dry cleaning. In room: A/C, TV/VCR w/pay movies and Nin-
tendo, minibar, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron, high-speed Internet access.
Park Hyatt Chicago For those in search of chic modern luxury, the
Park Hyatt is the coolest hotel in town. The hotel occupies one of the most
desirable spots on North Michigan Avenue, overlooking Water Tower Square,
and the best rooms are those that face east, overlooking the bustle of Michigan
Avenue and the lake in the distance.