cleaning. In room: A/C, TV w/pay movies and video games, dataport, minibar, fridge, coffeemaker, hair dryer,
iron, safe, CD player, high-speed Internet access.
Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Another historic hotel that's under-
gone a face-lift, the Knickerbocker looks spiffy from the lobby but retains a
shabby-chic feel on the guest floors. The epitome of Jazz Age indulgence when
built in 1927 as the Davis, the Knickerbocker has since undergone more trans-
formations than Madonna. During the Capone era it was rumored to have
shady underworld connections. In the 1970s Hugh Hefner turned it into the
gaudy Playboy Towers and invited the leisure-suit set to a perpetual disco
inferno on the hotel's famed illuminated ballroom floor. By the time the 1980s
rolled around, the Knickerbocker had been through the ringer.
But thanks to a $20 million renovation, the Knickerbocker once more exudes
vintage charm. Weekends are popular with families, thanks to the hotel's superb
location a block from Oak Street Beach and across the street from The Drake.
You'll be in the heart of Magnificent Mile shopping, and walking distance from
the American Girl Place.
The rooms aren't especially spacious, but they are warm and comfortable.
Bathrooms are small but nicely done. One caveat: Views are often rather dis-
mal, but you can catch a glimpse of the lake in all rooms ending in 18, and cor-
ner rooms (ending in 17, 28, or 35) look onto Michigan Avenue. Families might
consider staying on the Club level, which features upgraded rooms and a private
lounge with complimentary breakfast, coffee, munchies, and board games. If
you tell the staff that you'll be traveling with kids, they will provide some fam-
ily-friendly amenities such as milk and cookies at turndown, and the pay-per-
view movies always feature a children's program.
163 E. Walton Place ( 1 ⁄ 2 block east of Michigan Ave.), Chicago, IL 60611. & 800/621-8140 or 312/751-8100.
Fax 312/751-9663. www.milleniumhotels.com. 305 units. $129-$299 double; $285-$1,000 suite. Kids under
17 stay free in parent's room. Rollaways $20/night; cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Valet parking $35 with in/out
privileges; self-parking $24 with in/out privileges. Subway/El: Red Line to Chicago/State. Amenities: Restau-
rant; bar; exercise room; concierge; business center; 24-hr. room service; babysitting; laundry service; dry clean-
ing; club-level rooms. In room: A/C, TV w/pay movies, fax, dataport, minibar, coffeemaker, hair dryer, iron.
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers Here's a beautifully situated hotel,
perched on the riverfront with a view of the lake. Families will appreciate being
only a short walk away from Navy Pier and steps from Michigan Avenue, with
all its shopping and entertainment, and buses to whisk you to the Museum
Campus. You'll also be close to walking paths along the river and lakefront, and
near the Michigan Avenue Bridge leading to Millennium Park.
You can request a room with views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan, or
the city skyline, and suites are available. The indoor pool and sun deck on the
seventh floor has wraparound views; the pool has recently been renovated.
There's a charge for using the fully equipped health club, with treadmills, life-
cycles, elliptical cross trainers, life steps, and weight training, plus a sauna and
massage therapy. If parents want to spend time on their own, babysitting serv-
ices are available through the concierge.
The hotel boasts five restaurants and lounges, including Shula's Steakhouse.
For families wanting a quick bite, there's also a snack bar and cafe.
301 E. North Water St., Chicago, IL 60611. & 877/242-2558 or 312/464-1000. Fax 312/464-9140. www.
sheratonchicago.com. 1,209 units. $299 double; from $450 suite. Kids under 18 stay free in parent's room.
Rollaways $25/night; cribs free. AE, DC, DISC, MC, V. Valet parking $34 with in/out privileges. Bus: 151 to
Michigan Ave. Bridge; walk east. Amenities: 3 restaurants and lounges; indoor pool; health club; sauna; busi-
ness center; 24-hr. room service; massage. In room:A/C, TV w/ video games, dataport, minibar, coffeemaker,
hair dryer, iron, safe.