A luxe metropolis legend reborn: My two nights on the renovated Park Hyatt Chicago

Let’s simply face it: Sooner or later, all of us have cause to slink as much as the cosmetics counter for a bit anti-aging miracle. Extremely-luxury inns aren’t any completely different.

The Park Hyatt Chicago — which opened in 1980 and was the primary property on this specific luxurious model — underwent its personal transformation earlier this 12 months, which brightened the place up and modernized the visitor rooms. Consider it as an actual property model of a really costly La Mer face masks.

Pores and skin tonic jokes apart, the renovation of this specific property is a crucial sign of the place the Park Hyatt model generally could possibly be headed.

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Critics say that Park Hyatts may be in all places, from uber-luxurious properties to people who appear to overlook the mark of what a top-tier lodge must be. However the Park Hyatt Chicago’s new look is a crucial step ahead for a model that more and more faces competitors within the ultra-luxury lane from entrants just like the over-the-top Aman New York and trendier, members-only-style inns just like the Ned NoMad (although these two manufacturers have but to infiltrate Chicago).

Is the Park Hyatt in Chicago on the Aman degree of opulence, or does it have the Ned’s fashion-forward sensibilities? Nearly definitely not. However that doesn’t need to be a foul factor, particularly when it means stays may be booked with factors whereas nonetheless offering friends with an extra-elevated expertise.

There are additionally methods the Park Hyatt Chicago may nonetheless enhance to make this a close-to-perfect lodge in the midst of a preferred metropolis. Listed below are my takeaways from two nights on the Park Hyatt Chicago.



By no means is that this a discount lodge: Nightly money charges hovered across the $625 mark for the standard, 450-square-foot visitor room with a king-size mattress once I appeared to e-book a two-night keep final month. Charges shortly jumped (nicely) over the $1,000 mark for suites, and I’m seeing north of $3,000 for suites on sure nights this fall.

However the factors redemption fee got here to 25,000 factors an evening for the room (Hyatt waives taxes and charges on award bookings). The Park Hyatt Chicago is a Class 6 World of Hyatt Lodge, which means off-peak room nights can go for as little as 21,000 factors an evening and soar as excessive as 29,000 factors for redemption on peak nights. On the time of my reserving, there was additionally a cut up cash-points fee supply of 12,500 factors plus $275 per night time.

I don’t have Hyatt standing, however I’m fortunate TPG government editor Scott Mayerowitz generously booked my keep along with his Hyatt Globalist standing with me as his Visitor of Honor. That meant the reservation was in my identify, however I obtained to get pleasure from his Diamond advantages whereas nonetheless incomes the nights in my very own quest for Hyatt elite standing.

Not solely did this make for a robust factors redemption, but it surely additionally led to me getting an improve to a one-bedroom suite that was going for a bit greater than $1,200 an evening upon my arrival (extra on that under). This additionally meant I used to be capable of get pleasure from Globalist facilities like free breakfast every day and a 4 p.m. checkout based mostly on availability (although, once I requested this, the entrance desk advised me they may solely go as late as 2 p.m.).


As beforehand talked about, the Park Hyatt Chicago was the primary for the Park Hyatt model. The lodge is situated by the historic Chicago Water Tower (one of many few constructions within the space to outlive the Nice Chicago Fireplace of 1871) simply off Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, or Michigan Avenue.

Its Northern Michigan Avenue handle performs an vital (some would possibly say repetitive) position within the naming of its facilities, as NoMI (get it?) is the identify of the restaurant, terrace restaurant, spa and health amenities on the lodge.

The lodge is nestled amongst a few of Chicago’s toniest addresses: The Peninsula Chicago lodge is throughout the road whereas 875 North Michigan Avenue (previously and higher generally known as the John Hancock Middle) is steps away. Glitzy buying with manufacturers like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus, to call a number of, abound on close by Michigan Avenue and Oak Avenue.


I took the metro from Chicago’s O’Hare Worldwide Airport (ORD) to the Chicago CTA station two blocks from the lodge. It clocked in at simply over an hour when you factored within the switch from the Blue Line to the Crimson Line.

It’s a couple of 35-minute drive with site visitors from O’Hare, with Uber fare round $45 in the perfect of circumstances. I used to be getting surge pricing on prime of seeing worse site visitors circumstances than ordinary, so the metro appeared like a no brainer to me. It is about the identical time-frame for driving in from Halfway.

For these driving to the Park Hyatt on non-award journey, the lodge gives in a single day valet parking for $78 an evening — a fairly hefty value for the comfort of on-site, in a single day parking. These touring with Globalist standing on an award reserving do get free parking with their free night time, which could be a main price financial savings. Given the proximity of the metro cease a number of blocks away, I might reasonably save the cash throughout non-award journey for a pleasant dinner out within the close by River North neighborhood.


I arrived on the lodge about an hour earlier than check-in formally started at 3 p.m. (I used to be secretly hoping this wouldn’t be a problem, as I used to be on deadline for different TPG assignments and wished to take a seat all the way down to work in my room as shortly as attainable). As I walked as much as the entrance door, porters opened it for me and supplied to hold my bag to the entrance desk.

The foyer is a stunner and cut up into two distinct areas: a cozier, dimly lit part that feels extra like a library, with cream-colored couches and built-in bookshelves; and a way more expansive, high-ceilinged space with lighter-tiled columns. Each of those areas had the identical structure previous to the renovation, however older pictures of the foyer present the open-concept space was beforehand darker with black columns; the lighter touches right this moment make it appear considerably bigger than earlier than.


The entrance desk attendant in addition to a close-by concierge each supplied smiles and had been fast to say there was no drawback arriving a bit early for my reservation. As quickly because the check-in attendant famous I used to be touring as a Visitor of Honor on a Hyatt Globalist account, he stated he was capable of improve me to a one-bedroom suite

Whereas he was taking time to see if the room had been serviced by housekeeping and was prepared (it was), he made a degree of noting the lodge’s current renovation and the way the colours of the rooms had been meant to mirror the assorted colours of Chicago.

Quickly after, he handed two room keys my manner and despatched me on my manner as much as the 12th flooring (the porter supplied to deliver my baggage up, however this wasn’t obligatory).

The room

I hopped off the elevator and noticed that my room was simply across the nook. I used to be a bit apprehensive, as I could be a gentle sleeper and elevator bells and whooshing all night time can preserve me up. But it surely seems the Park Hyatt staff had soundproofing in thoughts when designing the rooms, as I couldn’t hear a factor exterior my room at some point of my keep.

There was no have to fact-check how intensive this renovation went, as I may nonetheless scent the contemporary paint and normal “new-ness” (or… “renovated-ness”?) of all of it, from the wooden of the furnishings and closets to the plushness nonetheless felt within the carpets and rugs all through the suite and within the hallways.

Pictures I discovered on-line of visitor rooms pre-renovation present flooring with dated tiling and worn-out carpets. It appeared as if the furnishings and fixtures in lots of rooms closely leaned on leather-based, chrome and darker upholstery. I might say the brand new look is sort of the improve.


I used to be solely presupposed to have a daily visitor room, and this was extra like a glamorous one-bedroom residence within the coronary heart of downtown Chicago. There was a full toilet with a walk-in bathe off the lobby instantly as I walked in and a big front room. The separate bed room together with a dressing space and en-suite toilet had been separated from the lounge by a sliding wood door. However the showstopper for me was the big soaking tub within the grasp toilet.


This toilet may both be walled off from the bed room or opened up because of a big sliding wood door that delineated the 2 areas. I am usually averse to open-concept bogs, however the sliding door made it really feel fairly luxurious to soak within the tub whereas music from the tv within the bed room performed at night time (Anybody keep in mind how Oprah as soon as stated her largest extravagance was having a bathtub carved within the type of her personal physique? I really feel like this tub may be as shut as I’ll ever get to an extravagance like that of Mama O’s).

For these questioning, even the visitor room I initially booked got here with a soaking tub together with a separate walk-in bathe.


The suite definitely felt cozy however not over-decorated. There was a big, cream-colored sectional sofa within the residing space with two chairs surrounding a form of nested espresso desk. A grey, patterned rug tied all these items collectively.

Wooden flooring ran all through the suite and there was some gentle wooden paneling on sure sections of the partitions. The lounge and bed room had cozy built-in window seats, which additionally had electrical shops embedded in them (There have been electrical shops extensively out there all through all the suite — a plus for somebody like me who’s perpetually in want of a contemporary cost for a telephone, watch, iPad, and many others.).

A big, wood chest dominated one facet of the lounge in entrance of a patterned, mirrored wall. This piece of furnishings housed all the things from the minibar to the ice bucket, wine glasses, espresso cups and Nespresso machine with out seeming too cluttered.

As for the “Chicago colours” I might been advised about, name me artistically dense, but it surely appeared like simply plenty of grays, beiges and blond wooden to me.


I later realized — and located after nearer remark — the cream tones had been impressed by sandstone buildings throughout the town just like the Park Tower during which the lodge is situated. The grey tones had been meant as a nod to the metal of different skyscrapers, and the pale inexperienced hues paid homage to the town’s many parks. Design agency Anderson/Miller oversaw the visitor room renovations, which included new fixtures and furnishings in addition to wall decor and flooring.

The toilet off the lounge had a glassed-in bathe (full with Le Labo bathtub merchandise) and bathroom with a heated seat and bidet. The en-suite toilet had an identical bathe and bathroom characteristic in addition to the soaking tub (which additionally included bathtub salts).

As you might recall, my recreation of amassing good lodge toiletries seems to have its days numbered, as lodge firms around the globe transfer towards extra sustainable practices, together with putting off mini bottles of cleaning soap and shampoo in favor of enormous wall-mounted dispensers that may be refilled. The Park Hyatt didn’t have wall-mounted merchandise, however every toilet had giant bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bathe gel that clearly weren’t meant to be taken residence. There was additionally a mini bottle of bathe gel by the bathtub that served as a makeshift bubble bathtub for my nightly ritual of a glass of pink wine and some chapters of studying whereas having a soak.

There have been smaller bottles of lotion and bar cleaning soap that do occur to look beautiful in my visitor toilet. Sorry, Hyatt. It’s a foul behavior that’s onerous to interrupt.

A dressing space off the lavatory included a backlit mirror, built-in cabinets (which additionally included Park Hyatt-branded slippers) to stow baggage and a closet with robes in addition to a bag for laundry providers.

Followers of the film “The Vacation” would possibly recall how Kate Winslet’s character slept like a child at Cameron Diaz’s Los Angeles mansion throughout their home swap because of {the electrical} blackout shades within the bed room. I channeled my interior Kate on the Park Hyatt because of blackout shades conveniently activated by the contact of a button on both facet of the mattress. These additionally managed the lights and will draw sheer shades in case I nonetheless wished to let in some pure gentle.

The mattress itself was terribly comfy and comfortable with out being overdone with pillows or any of the opposite decor objects designers generally throw onto a mattress to make it appear ultra-luxe. This relative minimalism of the suite made for a snug keep — and made it tough to hop off the bed every morning.

My room wasn’t an accessible room, however the doorways and entryways had been very huge and there have been buttons all through the suite that managed lights and blinds.

The lodge has a Gold Coast suite with two queen beds and an accessible rain bathe in addition to accessible visitor rooms with a king-size beds and roll-in rain showers. The general public areas are additionally accessible, together with the loading zone and eating places.

Meals and beverage

Room service was up first virtually instantly after check-in as I used to be on deadline and famished. I ordered a pesto rooster sandwich that got here with a salad for $25 together with an iced tea and a Food regimen Pepsi.

I’ve waited upwards of an hour for room service at some inns, so it was a pleasant shock when my late lunch arrived in lower than half an hour — and that somebody got here by to gather my dishes about an hour later with out me even requesting it. Not that rooster pesto sandwiches are a large check of 1’s culinary expertise, however the rooster was juicy, and all the things tasted contemporary and hit the spot.


Later that night time, TPG’s different senior lodge reporter, Tanner Saunders, joined me for drinks at NoMI Backyard after which dinner at NoMI Kitchen on the seventh flooring. It was a terrific place throughout a summer season night to take a seat exterior for a cocktail and atone for lodge gossip. There was a bustling bar space the place we had been capable of snag a desk whereas loads of well-dressed youthful people mingled in seating areas or at umbrella-shaded tables on the out of doors terrace overlooking Chicago skyscrapers.

Seeing that Tanner and I are each followers of spicy margaritas, we ordered a $22 Ardour & Paradise — Maestro Dobel silver tequila, Chinola passionfruit liqueur, sriracha, lime and tograshi. It was definitely a fairly drink, however we had been offered on the promise of warmth that simply by no means got here in our respective glasses. If something, it felt like ingesting juice reasonably than a smoky margarita.

As soon as we headed inside for dinner at NoMI Kitchen, it was instantly clear which a part of the NoMI advanced is for energy meals.

The expansive restaurant was adorned with darkish wooden panels and tables. There have been smooth, black leather-based chairs (displaying the Park Hyatt Chicago staff is not totally over the leather-based and chrome look beforehand seen in visitor rooms upstairs) and pops of lighter hues within the type of grey rugs and floor-to-ceiling home windows overlooking the Chicago Water Tower and Lake Michigan, which was extra simply considered at breakfast than over dinner.


We began with a $30 octopus carpaccio and $28 rillettes comprised of duck confit and Duroc pork that had been served with sourdough to unfold the shredded meat over. The octopus was definitely the lighter, contemporary choice of the 2 and got here adorned with mache greens and seasoned with pepper and a tart (however not overly so) sauce to complete issues off. The rillette, nevertheless, was like high-end consolation meals with every satisfying chew of meaty unfold on the crusty, thick sourdough.

Shifting on to our essential programs, we definitely ate nicely however rang up fairly a tab. The scrumptious scallops served over roasted corn, squash, tomato and pesto clocked in at $56 — expensive for 4 scallops (although nonetheless lower than the Park Hyatt’s in a single day parking fee). I may be a bit biased hailing from coastal Massachusetts, the place scallops aren’t so costly at even very high-end eating places. It was definitely a scrumptious, refined dish, but it surely was onerous to get my head across the pricing.

The pork chop was even costlier at $60. The presentation was extra elegant than the scallops, with cipollini onions, asparagus and child carrots, and drizzled with a inexperienced garlic beurre blanc. Nonetheless, as somebody who unwinds after work by testing out new recipes it was a bit jaw-dropping to see a pork chop price a lot, even at a elaborate restaurant like NoMI. Painful pricing apart, the pork chops had been scrumptious, although I anticipated extra pizazz on the facet than carrots and asparagus.

Issues weren’t totally absurd on the pricing entrance at NoMI, nevertheless. After we homed in on a James Bond vibe by ordering vesper martinis (gin, vodka and Lillet — shaken not stirred), I used to be shocked to see these had been $19 — definitely not an affordable cocktail, however I’ve additionally seen these go for nicely over $25 at lodge bars nowhere close to as fancy as NoMI.

Dinner service was completely high quality — no one was overly pushy so far as meals or drinks go. The one factor that did appear virtually like a culinary non sequitur is how NoMI — billed as “fashionable American delicacies rooted in French strategies” — additionally has a sushi providing.

Whereas I later realized that is technically supplied from a separate, equally named entity referred to as the NoMI Lounge, it was nonetheless included on the NoMI Kitchen menu (albeit on a separate web page). After I dabbled in some nigiri ($8 for a chunk of tuna and $6 for salmon) later in my keep whereas having an after-work drink at NoMI Backyard, I wasn’t blown away by it.

What I was blown away by was the compressed watermelon salad, which featured contemporary, juicy cubes of watermelon drizzled in a cider Dijon French dressing with avocado mousse, frisee and feta. At $18, it isn’t the most cost effective salad in Chicago by any means, but it surely was a pleasant deal with on a heat summer season day whereas eating al fresco.


Because of being a Visitor of Honor on a Hyatt Globalist account, I obtained free breakfast every morning in NoMI. This was an enormous financial savings throughout my keep, because the eggs shakshuka I obtained on my first morning went for $26 whereas the avocado toast on the second morning of my keep was $19. Need bacon or sausage on the facet? That’ll be an additional $8. The identical value goes for including a poached egg to avocado toast. For reference, the common price for a dozen eggs within the U.S. is $3.12, in keeping with the Federal Reserve Financial institution of St. Louis.

To be truthful, breakfast was in all probability my favourite meal throughout my keep. The morning crew at NoMI was extremely pleasant and attentive, from remembering on the second morning that I had juice and occasional the day earlier than to by no means letting my espresso cup go empty. (Let’s simply say I used to be additional perky throughout a convention I used to be attending whereas on the town.) The tomato sauce within the shakshuka had an ideal degree of spice whereas the avocado toast was a contemporary begin to the day because of the capers, seasonal greens, cucumber and lemon additionally added atop a thick slice of multigrain bread.

A buddy who was passing by Chicago every week later and in search of a spot to do brunch knew I had eaten at NoMI a number of instances and requested if she ought to make a reservation because it stored popping up in her search. Whereas I liked every breakfast, I supplied this caveat: It’s a scrumptious approach to begin the day — but in addition costly contemplating what you will get at completely good eating places close by.

Judging by the seems to be of the fabulously dressed people round me every morning, I feel I’m within the minority of those that shared that concern.


Together with the number of NoMI-branded meals and bar choices, a spa and health facility additionally fall underneath the NoMI moniker. That is the place I feel the Park Hyatt staff ought to look to distinguish the merchandise a bit if and once they deal with a extra intensive renovation of the seventh flooring — what I name NoMI-palooza — of the Park Hyatt Chicago

Step off the elevator, and also you’ll discover NoMI Kitchen, Lounge and Backyard all inside eyesight and tended to by very pleasant staff members on the host stand. However the place it will get a bit complicated is that is additionally the place you go to entry the NoMI Spa, which incorporates the health heart and a three-lane indoor lap pool.

It was a bit awkward happening at 5:30 p.m. in the future in my health club garments to work out and attempt to discover the health club amid a throng of glitzily dressed people en path to joyful hour at NoMI Backyard (apologies to the joyful hour crowd for my intrusion). The signage wasn’t the perfect, however fortunately one of many hostesses pointed me in the fitting route.

The health heart was very good by lodge health club requirements: A Peloton, free weights, varied energy coaching machines, ellipticals, treadmills, a rowing machine and a slew of different health gear had been out there to be used. The health club additionally included headphones for anybody who forgot theirs and dry hand towels in addition to cool, damp towels for a refresh after a grueling cardio session. My solely gripe was that the health club was so well-stocked it virtually felt a bit congested with a lot gear in not sufficient area.

Whereas I didn’t get any spa remedies, the wellness facility was quiet regardless of being so near NoMI’s restaurant and bar combine. The indoor pool was additionally very stress-free and featured a number of sitting areas across the water for many who simply wished to unwind and skim.

My favourite amenity on the Park Hyatt Chicago, nevertheless, had nothing to do with a therapeutic massage or nice meal.

I had seen a number of canine beds in varied elements of the foyer however by no means noticed whom they belonged to till my second night time on the lodge.

Parker, a one-eyed pug the Park Hyatt staff adopted again in 2016, is the VIP resident of the lodge. Consider him like a four-legged Eloise on the Plaza, er, Park Hyatt.

Parker is one pleasant little man and will get five-star therapy by the Park Hyatt employees, from walks and treats to a whopping 5 canine beds, all for him. Think about him a paws-itive addition to the luxurious visitor expertise — I used to be clearly offered after he stored coming again for pats on the pinnacle.

My husband, additionally named Parker, might have been a bit jealous that I discovered such a pleasant, same-named buddy throughout my travels. He’ll recover from it.



Given all of the pullbacks in lodge service and worker counts through the pandemic, some would possibly say the mark of a real luxurious lodge keep is solely having impeccable service. The Park Hyatt Chicago excels right here.

Everybody was very pleasant with out being overbearing. Bellmen exterior in addition to entrance desk attendants all the time supplied up a honest “Welcome again!” once I went by the entrance door and again as much as my room.

Nightly turndown service was a deal with (and likewise lastly taught me the right way to use all the sunshine and curtain buttons in my room) whereas every day housekeeping was very attentive. I used one Nespresso pod and an espresso cup from the bureau and seen each had been replenished after the room was serviced — so had been the tiny bars of Le Labo that I used to be fast to stash in my carry-on.

Room service, as talked about, arrived shortly. Service at NoMI even managed to play to every venue, with service within the Backyard being extra relaxed (although no much less attentive) than inside on the extra formal Kitchen. These working the host stand had been a specific delight, because the dialog was virtually familial by the point I lastly checked out — after 4 journeys to NoMI within the identify of analysis, you would possibly say they had been my new Chicago-based greatest buddies by the point of my departure.

Total impression


The Park Hyatt Chicago isn’t more likely to be on anybody’s dream trip listing in comparison with different properties within the model’s community just like the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, however that is one luxurious metropolis lodge that must be in your radar in case you’re contemplating a visit to the Windy Metropolis.

The employees is without doubt one of the lodge’s greatest property, and the current renovation delivered freshened-up suites and visitor rooms with a tasteful design that every one made the excessive price ticket really feel price it.

Possibly it’s as a result of I’m nonetheless simply so joyful to as soon as once more be out on the open highway and pleasant skies after being locked down for thus lengthy through the pandemic — or perhaps it’s as a result of I used to be capable of unwind in a bubble bathtub with a glass of pink wine in the midst of a sprawling suite — however both manner, the Park Hyatt Chicago nonetheless has me smiling a number of weeks after checkout.

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