Hotel of the Moment: Thompson Chicago Provides A-Listers Sanctum in the Windy City
Chicago's Gold Coast is experiencing a new rush with the Thompson Chicago. Opened last December, the boutique (the latest from the Thompson Hotel Group) has bestowed a hipster shakedown to the upscale neighborhood, luring the entertainment set with stylish quarters and modern elegance. While the city has seen a slate of new hotel openings in the past year (The Godfrey, Trump, Public, Langham), Thompson Chicago sets out to encourage guests with music, art and design, pandering to the emerging millennial traveler. Notable names including young celebrities have been checking in, among them Gabourey Sibide, Jake Dylan, Nick Jonas, Fiona Apple and Nate Berkus.
Thompson Chicago, which took over the former Sutton Place hotel, is ideally located in the heart of the Gold Coast, just steps from Michigan Avenue and the boutiques of Oak Street. The property's industrial-chic facelift by acclaimed British designer Tara Bernerd now features bold interiors and rich accents with natural resources like concrete, brick and wood. The sleek, community-inspired lobby is chockfull of contemporary art and paintings by emerging artists, thanks to the curation of Bill Powers, a judge of Bravo's Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. All 247 rooms feature various artwork in spacious layouts with floor-to-ceiling windows, many flaunting terrific views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. Guests staying in penthouses nab private outdoor terraces, a rarity in Chicago.
Nico Osteria, Thompson Chicago's signature restaurant, features authentic Italian and seafood by local hero and executive chef Paul Kahan. The busy restaurant -- Kahan's first in a hotel -- has been a welcome addition to the neighborhood's terrific culinary scene. Guests splurge on handmade pastas, whole market fish and some unassuming menu items like madai snapper crudo. The bar next door, Salone Nico, is dark and sexy, inspired by traditional Italian bars with a heavy penchant for vermouth.
Rooms start at $229 per night for a superior king and $2,500 per night for a penthouse.