The Drake ChicagoFor over 35 years, I have walked by, walked in, searched online and dreamed of staying in a more than average suite at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. As I am not reversing in age, but actually moving along it quite steadily, it was time to fulfill this dream and make a run at this hotel.
Flying into Chicago at a very early morning flight, I had arranged a car, because well, I don't travel light anymore and there isn't a good public transport option to the Gold Coast edifice that is The Drake. After a helluva traffic-packed ride from O'Hare to downtown, I arrived before 9am and well, it's a popular property so my Gold Coast suite was not ready (for reference 3pm is check in time here). I proceeded to work in the lobby and the coffee shop on the ground floor until my room was ready around 2. Then, I went up to the room and finished my day.
The RoomThe Gold Coast Suite, a massive room on the end of one of the wings, overlooking the Gold Coast and Lake Michigan. A very desirable view in this city.
Food and DrinkThree dining establishments and two bars, I don't think things are mundane here. The expectations set by guests and history keep these places polished and well serviced.
Event SpacesMany event spaces scattered throughout the first few floors. Imposing, glamorous, beautiful. I just need a reason to hold an event here now.
AmenitiesSurprisingly large gym, shops on the arcade level (including an art gallery). You don't really have to leave the hotel, but being on the Magnificent Mile and by Oak Street stores (Chicago's Beverly Hills) you'll probably go out anyways.
SummaryThe jewel of Chicago, astounding rooms and spaces. While she is starting to wear down, she is still an amazing property and a fair bargain on room rates at many times of the year. I am finding I have fulfilled a lifegoal in my stay in a very memorable suite.
Also, if you are going to spend time with friends, everyone in Chicago knows where to go when you tell them to 'Meet me at the Drake'.
Tips: Try to get away from the elevators, and if you can a non-Michigan Avenue facing room (unless it's the Michigan suite, then by all means). The road is intensely busy 24/7.