This weekend we had the pleasure of staying at the new Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago (they have a Tumblr!) for a “staycation.” We played the role of tourists in our own city, sticking to spots near the hotel and relying on the concierge for tips.
The hotel itself opened last month and is housed in the awesome Aqua building in downtown Chicago. The place is beautiful - the lobby features a 50 foot fireplace and there’s a bar and lounge with drinks by Filini - the new upscale Italian spot attached to the hotel. The Aqua was designed so that each balcony has an optimal view - and ours did not disappoint with a view of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier.
When we arrived we hung out in the room and ate some of the bites that greeted us (cheese, pistachios, etc.) and drank some wine while checking out the 180 view of downtown and the lake. All of the furniture and electronics in the room looked like they had just been removed from their boxes (I suppose they were). I particularly liked the bathroom - it featured a big tub and a separate shower with a rain shower head; the bathrooms are huge.
Next we headed down to Filini for dinner. We splurged and got a variety of food to share: squid carpaccio, burrata, tocco fagioli bruschetta, risotto, grilled asparagus, and pollo. By the time we got to the (whole) chicken we were done for and had to bag most of it up. The risotto and chicken were the standouts.
The rest of the weekend we scoped out the surrounding area - bowling at Lucky Strike, lunch at Sweetwater (concierge’s card allowed us to bypass the wait), a wander around the Navy Pier and lake front area, and a walk (and skate) through Millennium Park. I wish we could have taken in one of the many museums in the area but we ran out of time.
Where we ended up spending most of our time was actually the hotel itself. Saturday night the bar had a pretty good scene (albeit more of a mid-30s crowd) and the bartenders pour the Manhattans strong. We took our drinks and spend some time checking out the hotel’s art gallery that abuts the bar.
If you’re in Chicago and looking for a luxurious place to sleep, eat, and play, I’d definitely give this my recommendation. The staff was friendly and the hotel and room were top notch.
NOTE: The cost of my lodging was covered by Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago, but these opinions are 100% my own. In other words, if my experience was bad I would have told you it was bad. This week I’m going to be posting some shots I photographed during my stay, hope you enjoy.