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Discover The Peninsula Chicago
20 Sep. 2022
20 Sep. 2022
The exotic Grande Dame of the Windy City
An address that has become part of the high life of the city, Lartisien invites you to explore the Peninsula Chicago, where Asian aesthetics blends with Midwestern warmth.
Located at the intersection of East Superior Street and North Michigan Avenue, the Peninsula Chicago is bang in the middle of where all the excitement of Chicago takes place. The hotel is a short 20-minute drive from the Chicago O’Hare Airport and 30-minute from Chicago Midway International Airport, with limousine transfers available.
It’s surrounded by touristy spots such as Millennium Park (where guests can find the famous “The Bean” sculpture) and the Magnificent Mile where the likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton and others have set up shops. More importantly, the hotel is only 5 minutes from Chicago’s most famous deep-dish pizza joint, Giordano’s, which is an absolute must-try whenever one visits the city.
Taking inspiration from the brand’s flagship address in Hong Kong, the Peninsula Chicago was designed by the firm Elkus/Manfredi. Boasting an Art Deco exterior that feels important and formal but also inviting, the hotel fits right along the Chicago cityscape while also managing to command attention.
With a façade that presents a rich cream colour, accented with subdued gold and dark brown, the hotels feels like it has been there forever, while never even coming close to feeling dated, which is a testament to the timeless architecture. However, what catch the attention of guests and passers-by are the two solemn Chinese lion statues guarding the front entrance, a traditional element of many Asian addresses.
Inside is where the hotel truly demarcates itself and earns its many praises as being one of the most beautiful addresses in the city. Gold light showers from every corner and from behind every wall, casting a beautiful, warm light on the entire two-story lobby, and common areas. The architectural glass wall by Paul Housberg, which contrasts the two heavy-set velvet lounge chairs set in front of it, immediately infuses the place with a sense of color and aesthetic that is further reinforced by the presence of more artwork works and installations by artists such as Martha Diamond, Ju Ming, Sol Le Witt, and Le Corbusier
It is evident from a quick look around that one of the biggest influences of the design comes to the Far East, with countless subtle nods to classic Asian aesthetics and preferences. From the glossy porcelain vases that house delicate home greenery, to ornate light fixtures and decorated chairs in the restaurants, paintings of golden dragons on the walls, and the gorgeous floral arrangements by Kehoe Designs, the Peninsula Chicago feels delightfully exotic while never familiar.
Spacious and calming are the two words that immediately come to mind when entering any of the 339 rooms or suites at The Peninsula Chicago. Even the entry-level room, the Superior Room, starts at 531 square-feet, making the accommodations one of the most spacious in all of Chicago.
Offering king beds, a stunning view of Superior Street, and an array of amenities to make the stay so much more comfortable, the rooms (designed by Bill Rooney Studio) blend French Art Deco with a more contemporary flair. With a palette of stark white and cream, the details and accents of the rooms pop. From the dark Macassar wood and bronze of the furniture, the gorgeous, handcrafted Chrysanthemum paintings by David Qian, the fresh flowers, to those deep blue curtains that tie everything together.
The bathrooms, are perhaps even cozier than the bedrooms. With a deep soaking marble tub, and shower, television, and mood lighting, the bathroom almost feels like a miniature spa..
Dining at The Peninsula is an international affair to say the least. While each of the four restaurants and bars of the hotel has a specialty for which it is popular with the chic crowds of Chicago, The Lobby’s famous brunch is loved by all. The setting is a high-ceilinged hall with 20-feet high windows that bathe the cream interiors in golden sunlight. When that’s not the case, it is the gorgeous sculptural chandeliers and the upside-down domed lights that give off the right kind of mood.
Overseen by the Cordon Bleu-trained Baasim Zafar, Executive Chef at the Peninsula Chicago since 2019, the hotel boasts an eclectic selection of dining options. Choose from the Chinese menu of the Shanghai Terrace to the Bistrot-style of Pierrot Gourmet to the contemporary American signature drinks and snacks at Z Bar.
The Shanghai Terrace is especially noteworthy for its stunning décor with a warm setting that recalls 1930 supper clubs. With plenty of fresh flowers, beautiful paintings on the wall, the menu designed by Chef Elmo Han, introduces guests to Shanghainese, Cantonese, and Sichuanese specialties. The Dim Sums were truly spectacular, with the Barbeque Pork Bun and the Crab Siewmai with Fish Roe being scene-stealers.
One of our favorite spots, had to be the Z Bar with its frankly unique menu of signature cocktails (the Old Fashioned was delicious)! The breathtaking rooftop setting provides an unbeatable view of the Chicago skyline. The atmosphere is electric but no matter what celebrity and their entourage are downing shots at the bar, the sight of the city at night always remains the star of the show.
Located on the 19th and 20th floor of the hotel, the Peninsula Spa delights guests with a stunning décor and a view of the city that takes their breath away. The 15,000-square-feet spa offers a full range of Ayurvedic treatments and massages inspired by the wellness secrets of the East, which guests can enjoy in the 8 treatment rooms available, 2 of which are complete treatments suites. The Hot Stone Massage is one of the signature treatments, while the 4-hands massage Purva Karma sees two therapists completely dedicated to fixing whatever body aches one may have with the use of Ayurvedic herbs. The spa also boats collaborations with Biologique Recherche and Subtle Energies.
Alongside the treatment rooms, the guests are treated to a fully-equipped fitness centre, a relaxation room with dim lights, an ultra-plush bed, a fireplace, a half-Olympic swimming pool with an exterior sun deck, a Eucalyptus Steam Room in each locker room, and more!
To provide their guests with a full experience of the Windy City, the hotel also organizes various tours for their residents. These include the Private Architectural Boat Cruise where guests are welcomed on the Lady Grebe, a 48-feet yacht, to cruise along the Chicago River and enjoy the beautiful cityscape.
The Peninsula, Chicago
Address: 108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611, United States
Opening period: All year