What’s a visit to the World’s Greatest Airport mean? Well, perhaps you’re waking up early to get on that flight to see your son graduate from college on the West Coast. Or maybe you find that you need to stay an extra day to finish up some work whilst meeting with collegial colleagues in the Loop. If you need to be close by for a quick departure, I'd recommend a stay at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare.
WHERE TO STAY NEAR THE AIRPORTHyatt Regency O’Hare hotel is only two miles from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Gracefully positioned near the Rosemont Blue Line CTA stop, you can make your way via a short jaunt down River Road to their main entrance. Or take the dedicated 24-hour, complimentary shuttle that runs directly between the airport and hotel.
It is hard—no, it is impossible—to miss this most distinct hostelry. Imagined by neofuturistic architect John Portman in 1971, it has remained an icon since it went up over 40 years ago. With its brutal exterior, its very form suggests the world of mid-century modernism.
As you make your way gracefully up the escalators to the check-in desk, you must look up, up, and up. Amidst this atrium you stand, surrounded by grey forms that suggest a monumentality of purpose, with rooms tucked away, just beyond the reach of the hallways. And wait: on the bottom of the elevators ascended up and down you will see psychedelic forms, swirling with their neon green and curious reds. It is a sight to behold and young children will be entranced.
The rooms are, quite predictably, lovely and well-appointed. They are shielded from airport noise quite effectively, but I’d ask for a room where you can see the planes go by as the sun says goodnight. It’s a wonderful way to unwind and relax. There’s even a speciality deluxe suite with stunning view of the Loop and beyond. Of course, true plane-spotting fans will want to go all in for the private balcony and opportunities to photograph 777s, 737s, 747, and other such soaring equipment.
WHERE TO EATOf course, you might feel peckish, so why not check out one of the Hyatt Regency's onsite restaurants? The O’H American Grill is the place to catch up with masters of the universe as they talk about the latest Wall Street scuttlebutt or just watch the Big Game. On the other side of the lobby, you’ll find the Red Bar & Lounge, which is the down-tempo place to have a bit of sashimi and chill. It’s a great place to people-watch and the decor has a contemporary feel that responds well to the atrium and its surroundings.
THINGS TO DO NEAR THE HOTEL
If you do have extra time, you might wander down the road to the most curious Donald E. Stephens Museum of Hummels. Started by the legendary Rosemont mayor, it now contains hundreds of these porcelein figurines displayed in a series of elaborate galleries.
If Hummels don’t do it for you, I can recommend a trip to the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, which feature dozens of shopping opportunities. It is the only two-level indoor discount outlet mall in the Chicagoland area and it offers over 130 designer brands and retail stores.
Whatever you do, take your time to look out on River Road and to look up in the sky. Hundreds of planes soar overhead throughout the day and they offer a rather lovely bit of backdrop to your stay here at the airport. Enjoy and I’m guessing we’ll see you again here soon.