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The Peninsula Chicago: Jewel in the windy city's Magnificent Mile crown

The Peninsula Chicago: Jewel in the windy city's Magnificent Mile crown

| @indiablooms | 18 May 2024, 08:31 pm

On a spring morning this year when Chicago was bracing for waves of celebratory crowds in the streets for its annual big, green St. Patrick's Day, I woke up to a quiet, sublime morning in a hotel suite overlooking Michigan Avenue. 

The dawn had broken and far away smoke was billowing out of a skyscraper against a magnificent morning sky.

Despite my love for mountains, beaches and sylvan landscapes like any other nature-loving person, I cannot hide the fact that I am a city slicker. But even in that urban chaos, I love the peaceful morning glow trickling in through the jagged skylines.

My perfect morning view from The Peninsula suite.My perfect morning view from The Peninsula suite.

As I woke up to embrace that perfect morning in this lovely room of The Peninsula Chicago, I realised how comfortably I slept the previous night in the warmth of a hotel suite that oozed the immaculate, rejuvenating  "life is good" vibe.

This is my second stay in The Peninsula Chicago and I was wondering how I would feel when the next day I would be checking out. Perhaps console myself  saying "all good things come to an end".

Set in the heart of the “Magnificent Mile" in downtown Chicago, on the doorstep of the windy city's premier business and shopping district, the hotel is a gold standard in comfort and hospitality. 

The Peninsula shines for a host of reasons- from its location, luxurious touch screen tablet technology rooms, chic marble bathrooms, gourmet food and the courteousness of the staff who form the backbone of any hotel irrespective of its material appeal.

Located at 108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611, the hotel is a crowning glory of The Magnificent Mile.Located at 108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611, the hotel is a crowning glory of The Magnificent Mile.

The rooms:

The Peninsula Chicago has 339 luxurious and spacious guestrooms and suites furnished in a magnificent classical style, including the 3,000 sq. ft. Peninsula Suite with its own 2,000 sq. ft. private terrace.

Every suite is classic and upscale in The Peninsula Chicago.Every suite is classic and upscale in The Peninsula Chicago.

Each guestroom and suite are equipped with a state-of-the-art electronic system that allows guests to control guestroom features with the touch of a button.

The touchscreen tablet technology helps you navigate the room and services.The touchscreen tablet technology helps you navigate the room and services.

Well, technology apart, you cannot discount the candy floss feeling of staying in rooms with beautiful walls featuring chrysanthemum, the official flower of Chicago. These walls, the hotel reveals, are created by artist David Qian. The hand-embroidered silk art wall anchors each suite.

The Peninsula Chicago has 339 luxurious and spacious guestrooms and suites.The Peninsula Chicago has 339 luxurious and spacious guestrooms and suites.

So while the Tablet technology at the hotel is available in 11 languages and with touches you can control the lighting, room temperature, TV and more,  the suites in their living areas have pullout sofa-beds separate from the bedroom, making them ideal for families.

The cozy bed of The Peninsula for a good nightThe cozy bed of The Peninsula for a good night's sleep.

All guestrooms and suites at The Peninsula Chicago have marble bathrooms with separate shower and soaking tub, television, and hands-free telephone and radio, mood lighting and spa music.

The marble bathroom of The Peninsula Chicago.The marble bathroom of The Peninsula Chicago.

They have an executive desk with printer scanner and fax and window-side dining table for two, custom Pratesi linens,  individual thermostat controls, extra-plush bathrobes. 

Beautiful walls of the rooms feature chrysanthemum, the official flower of Chicago.Beautiful walls of the rooms feature chrysanthemum, the official flower of Chicago.


The Lobby: With magnificent sunlight streaming through 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows, The Lobby is an impressive dining destination, featuring all-day dining of contemporary American cuisine.  You can sit by the window of The Lobby overlooking the terrace and have a hearty meal. Your breakfast is also served here.

For a truly traditional teatime, The Lobby serves Afternoon Tea on weekends, featuring extraordinary and rare teas from around the world along with sweet accompaniments. Live music provides the perfect backdrop.

Shanghai Terrace: Shanghai Terrace, where one can savor an Asian-inspired lunch or dinner, offers Cantonese delicacies amidst a 1930s supper club décor. You can also sit outside with cocktails and small bites on The Terrace (during summers especially) with spectacular skyline views and the Magnificent Mile. The menu boasts of a blend of traditional dishes and creative rendition of classics.

The seductive setting of Shanghai Terrace invites you to savour distinctive Chinese cuisine prepared by Chef de Cuisine Elmo Han. Consistently honored with Forbes Travel Guide Four Stars Award, Shanghai Terrace features a menu of Chinese cuisine highlighting contemporary interpretations of Shanghainese, Cantonese, and Sichuanese classics, with a modern twist. 

Food, glorious food served by Shanghai Terrace.Food, glorious food served by Shanghai Terrace.

Pierrot Gourmet: Do not miss this European-style café with alfresco dining in the summer. Pierrot Gourmet is the perfect spot for light fare for breakfast and lunch. The menu includes freshly baked quiches, signature tartines and flatbreads, rotisserie chicken, soups and salads, plus unique coffees and an extensive selection of wines by the glass. Pierrot Gourmet offers a variety of items perfect for take-home.

Z Bar: Set above Chicago’s iconic Michigan Avenue, Z Bar presents beautiful city views, an array of globally inspired cocktails, boldly flavored food, and the latest tunes from around the world. Included in the Forbes Travel Guide Verified List of World's Best Hotel Bars for 2019, Z Bar embodies the jet-setter’s search for surprise, adventure and luxury.

Z Bar presents beautiful city views.Z Bar presents beautiful city views.

Besides all the inviting options for dining, you can always settle for an indulgent room service. Available 24-hours daily, for those desiring to dine in the privacy of one’s room, the hotel's room service is an experience in itself. During this stay, I enjoyed my breakfast both days in the room served royally by the room service staff.


At The Peninsula Chicago, keeping fit is also about working on your cardio and enjoying a panoramic view of the pulsating city outside through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Needless to say, The Peninsula fitness centre is state-of-the art along with a nice swimming pool which the hotel advertises as "half Olympic size".

At the fitness centre you can use the very modern training equipment complete with personal televisions or choose from complimentary fitness classes.

The fitness center was recently upgraded with new TechnoGym weight equipment, new flooring throughout the fitness and yoga studio and new Barre in the studio.

The Peninsula Spa as it is called is spread over a 15,000 square foot area.  Guests can indulge in a wide range of relaxing and rejuvenating beauty therapies, inventive spa cuisine, the latest exercise equipment, and a variety of fitness classes.

Besides the relaxing pool (25 meter) there is a sun deck. Treatments feature products by French-based Biologique Recherche, Subtle Energies from Australia and ANTARA Organics, a CBD line.


A post shared by Sujoy Dhar (@sujoydhar1)

In 2022, Peninsula Hotels launched ‘Life, Lived, Best,’ a program offering experiences in physical fitness, mental health, and nutrition. Access to The Peninsula Spa is complimentary to all hotel guests. Membership to The Spa is also available.

The Peninsula Sky Rink

The Peninsula Sky Rink is a 2,100 sq ft (200 sq m) hybrid rink. This is the only hotel skating rink in Chicago and debuted in December 2012. Surrounded by Chicago’s skyscrapers and twinkling lights, the rink is tucked into a pine tree winter wonderland and bathed in festive music and snowflake lighting.

According to The Magnificent Mile, the skating rink’s outdoor menu features a selection of hot beverages and snacks including hot chocolate, hot cider, hot dogs, and other treats.

As I checked out, I knew I would return to this property someday.As I checked out, I knew I would return to this property someday.

The Peninsula Chicago is an experience to be lived. You check out of the hotel, but it really does not check out from your Chicago memories.

(Images by the author and The Peninsula Media Team)

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