Chicago

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The Peninsula

Address: 108 E. Superior St.

Neighborhood: Magnificent Mile

City: Chicago

Phone: 312-337-2888

Website: www.chicago.peninsula.com

Expert Review

The Pen is that rare luxury hotel that is frequented by world travelers and locals alike. You'll see couples on dates in the gold-domed lobby, sampling decadent desserts or catching a jazz performance, and local power brokers sipping finely crafted cocktails at the bar. The superior rooms are the largest anywhere in the city, and are decked out in a chic, classical style suffused in soothing colors and soft linens. Most rooms offer stupendous city views, a comfortable sitting area with an overstuffed sofa and coffee table, and over-the-shoulder lighting for bedtime reading. All units have marble bathrooms that come with a separate shower and tub, a hands-free phone, TV, and mist-free mirrors. Plus, the property is parked in the center of the city's prime shopping district.

The hotel's numerous accolades have noted its smart blend of contemporary and classic styles; its state-of-the-art electronic system (which allows guests to control the temperature, lights, and even the curtains from the comfort of their own bed); its posh spa (also one of the country's best); and its terrific dining establishments - including contemporary and Asian cuisine, and a European bakery - which offer unrivaled sophistication. Best season for value: spring. 2008 Smart Luxury Award winner

Great Value Alternative: City Suites has Art Deco rooms close to Wrigley Field and the best nightlife in the city. www.cityinns.com

Tags: luxury | expensive | editor pick | smart splurge | swimming pool | smart luxury winner

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