Close by the financiers who dominate the LaSalle Street canyon and but a few stops away from the elevated train, one can find the comforts of the W Chicago City Center. It's your up-tempo home-away-home as you set out to explore some of the most unique facets that this section of the Loop has to offer the curious and engage visitors. It's perfect for a night away from other worries and you might find yourself staying a bit longer.
Take It To the Next Level
The W Chicago City Center represents the best of old and new as the well-known hotel brand took a historic building and it made their own via their usual up-to-date and elegant styling while maintaining the exquisite details from the Age of Gatsby.
After checking in, you can inquire of their "Whatever/Whenever" service, which can provide any number of amenities for a fee. Interested in seeing Derrick Rose in a Bulls game at the United Center? Sure. Want to see Brian Dennehy at the Goodman? Such drama can be arranged.
In terms of other amenities, they also welcome four-legged pets for a modest fee and the pampering is quite fine. Bipedal guests can also receive luxe treatment via their bevy of in-room spa services, which include aromassages and deep issue treatments.
As for the rooms, they have six classes of accommodations on offer, including their indulgent "Extreme Wow Suite," which includes an elaborate serpentine sofa, violet satellite chairs, and a 55-inch flat-screen TV, complete with surround system and many retro arcade games for a throwback entertainment experience.
If you're booked into a standard room (not that any room here is "standard") never fear: all of the rooms include the Bliss bath amenities, creative signs with inspirational messages, ergonomic chairs, and an oversized desk for those who might have to take a gander at spreadsheets or Hootsuite to stay on top of other matters.
A Million Dollars And Much More
Located just a few blocks south of the W is the marvelous Money Museum, which happens to be a public outreach initiative of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Even if you're not a policy wonk, T-bond enthusiast, or interest rate junkie, you'll find much to enjoy. You can start with a short introductory movie about the mission and activities of the Fed, then move on to check out their rather dramatic cube containing one million dollars, which is quite a sight. The whole museum can be seen in about 45 minutes and remember: they keep bankers' hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Bored of Trade? Never!
LaSalle Street is home to dozens of financial institutions and the most well-known by far is the stunning Chicago Board of Trade Building. If you don't have official business there (pork belly futures, anyone?) it can be tough to get the inside scoop on the inner workings of this mighty institution. So go ahead and plan ahead to take the Chicago Architecture Foundation's 90-minute tour of the building. It's only offered on select dates, so consult their calendar, and you'll be treated to an inside look at the trading floors, a clutch of newly renovated spaces and a cornucopia of architectural insights.
After your grand tour of financial landmarks, you'll want to check out IPO (Initial Public Offering, above), which is the W's own restaurant. The name pays homage to nearby fiduciary matters and you'll want to hang your hat here for dinner. The house charcuterie board is quite well-balanced in terms of the savory offerings, and the chicken liver pate stands out amidst the various flavors. In terms of mains, the farro risotto is recommended, as is the filet mignon. Across the way from IPO is the Living Room Bar, which features a range of cocktails. My nod here goes to the Lemongrass Drop, which offers that touch of Phuket flavor without even stepping on a jet plane.
Photos Courtesy of W Chicago City Center