The Blackstone Hotel
An Autograph Collection Hotel
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What it is
A storied, 335-room 1910 hideaway of presidents and luminaries set on Lake Michigan and Millenium Park.
What it isn't
Ye olde Chicago. The hotel is fresh from a top to tails renovation, with a gallery of contemporary art and a fiercely authentic Catalan restaurant.
What we think
Call it a Midwestern White House. At least a dozen U.S. Presidents have slept in this Beaux-Arts beauty, including Roosevelt, Hoover, Taft, Wilson, and a young John F. Kennedy, who was staying there when he first heard tell of the Cuban Missile Crisis. But don’t expect a creaky, historic pile. Quite the opposite: now owned by Marriott, with an injection of cool from a recent remodel, she is home to a Barcelona-inspired Catalan restaurant (order the Maine lobster paella), a 24-hour gym overlooking the lake, and highly Instagrammable common areas. Generously sized guest rooms (a minimum of 365 square feet) evoke the Windy City itself in a palette of black, white, steel and Tiffany blue, a nod to the lake beyond the windows. The 50-inch LED TV—with HBO and Netflix gratis—was made for a binge.
You're here because
Grandeur is your middle name, and the Blackstone maintains the Beaux-Arts loveliness that has beckoned for generations (note the fireplace roaring, like some presidential tirade, in the lobby).
You’ve been hunting for on-point Catalan food since you left Spain, and here at Mercat, you’ve finally found it: squid ink rice and pork loin paella; grilled iberico pork with cinnamon apple; black olive sponge cake and chardonnay wine glee. If you cover your ears, you’re not in Chicago at all—you’re back on the beach in Espana, sea wind in your hair, sea shrimp on your fork...
Restaurants & Bars
Mercat a la Planxa - Acclaimed Spanish dining.
Timothy's Hutch - Cocktails.
Market - Sit down or on the go.
Unbeatable. You’re directly across from Lake Michigan, two blocks from the Art Institute of Chicago, and two (in the opposite direction) from the 1921 Field Museum.