All photos courtesy The Peninsula Chicago 


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Since its opening in 2001, The Peninsula Chicago has been reliably ranked as one of the top luxury hotels in a city that knows hospitality. The mothership of the Peninsula hotel line, the Hong Kong Peninsula, opened in December 1928 with the vision of “unsurpassed luxury and warmth.”

The Peninsula Hotel Group has had eight decades to get it right, and their Chicago property fulfils their vision. The hotel is located one block off the city’s ‘Magnificent Mile’, a wonderful shopping and dining district, and is just a block from the historic Water Tower.


The Peninsula Chicago lobby
The Peninsula Chicago simply oozes opulence


Walking into the hotel feels anticlimactic since guests go to the second floor to check in.  At the end of a hallway, the two-story tearoom and restaurant opens up on the right, check-in is on the left, and the concierge is straight ahead. Dramatic flower arrangements punctuate the understated décor.


It’s Time for Afternoon Tea


A superior room, done in pale yet warm beiges and gold tones met all of an indulgent traveler’s check-offs. Great bed – check. Marble bathroom with separate shower and tub – check. Great Jacuzzi – check, check. Seriously, this was a very nice tub with room for two. And while bathing, you can watch the inset TV on the wall at the foot of the tub. This is the height of indulgence – a bubble bath and your favorite show.


the Peninsula Chicago Princess For A Day
Combine a classy “Princess for a day” experience with an afternoon tea


Teatime is at 4 pm, naturally. An upgrade to the usual fare, the Royal Tea comes with a glass of champagne, caviar, and extra savories and sweets. Since they didn’t have the champagne that was advertised, the waiter kindly provided an entire bottle of a very nice French bubbly.

For afternoon tea at The Peninsula Chicago, the soaring two-story dining room was filled with tables of guests from two to eight people, all sipping tea and other beverages in a most civilized manner. And what a selection of morsels: plain scones, cinnamon orange scones, lemon cornmeal savarin, coconut passion fruit cookies, rose hip shortbread, orange curd tarts, key lime and graham chiboust, chocolate caramel mousse cake, curried chicken salad, spice-scented crepes, grilled vegetables, lemon caper hummus, black olive tapenade, smoked salmon, citrus dill cream cheese, pan de mie, roasted cauliflower, gruyere cheese… and a lovely bottomless cup of jasmine tea.


Spa Time, My Time


Now it was time for a massage in the Peninsula Spa by ESPA on the hotel’s seventh floor. As an alternative, guests can choose the very nicely outfitted gym with an indoor pool and hot tub on the same floor as the gym. The locker rooms include both wet and dry saunas.


The Peninsula Chicago Spa Pool
The amenities at The Peninsula Chicago are world-class


With such a large teatime meal, a drink and appetizer seemed like the right evening choice, rather than having a full meal at either of the hotel’s well-respected restaurants, Avenues and the Shanghai Terrace. The Bar is a cozy wood-paneled room with a nice fireplace, which is especially nice when the wind and snow blow outside.

On the first floor of the hotel is another charming restaurant, Pierrot Gourmet. It was billed as a European-style café with selections ranging from very unique sandwiches, soups, and pizzas, to a few more complete entrées. Breakfast is a particularly terrific choice at the café. If you’re thirsty, the wine list offers a selection of wines by the glass, flights, and tastings in the afternoon. For a more casual eating option, Pierrott Gourmet is a nice addition to the Peninsula experience.


What You Need To Know


Whatever your reason for visiting Chicago, a little of the Peninsula glow surrounds guests as they venture out to see more of the Windy City.

LuxuryUnitedStates Recommends: To learn more, including details of rates and availability – as well as to make reservations – visit The Peninsula Chicago.

For ideas and inspiration regarding other great places to stay in Chicago, visit our affiliate partner here.




Contributor Ali Webb took her first airplane trip when she was six weeks old and has been traveling ever since. Born and raised in California, she is frequently published as The Indulgent Traveler. 


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