By Emma Sarran Webster | November 29, 2017 | Lifestyle
'Tis the season for holiday travel, which may mean exotic getaways, new places to explore, trips back home, and quality time with family. But it also may mean long lines at airports, crowded planes and trains, epic Chicago traffic, and at least a few headaches.
So, if you made the decision to hunker down in the city this year, we certainly don’t blame you. But just because you’re not traveling anywhere doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to enjoy a special holiday treat, right? Take a few days to indulge in an ultra-luxe holiday staycation experience at one of these fantastically high-end Chicago hotels.
Book a Lake view guest room at the classically posh Park Hyatt and take in views of the historic Water Tower and Michigan Avenue’s glowing holiday lights while you enjoy your much-deserved “me time.” Treat yourself to an extravagant meal at NoMI Kitchen (don’t skip the seasonal desserts from pastry chef Greg Mosko), and get cozy with a cup of chef Greg’s Hot Chocolate at NoMI Lounge. When you’re ready to really take your relaxation to the max, head to NoMI Spa for a treatment (or a few—create your own package of three services with the NoMI Spa Tasting Menu). Want to take some of the magic home with you once your stay is over? The hotel’s just-launched Holiday Market runs Tuesday through Sunday from 12 to 8 p.m. and gives guests the chance to create a customized gift box of NoMI Kitchen sweets and treats. 800 N. Michigan, 312-335-1234
Escape the cold and hole up in The Talbott Hotel’s Gallery Room, sipping on a boozy hot chocolate (or two) from 20 East’s holiday hot chocolate bar. Something tells us once you’ve gotten comfy in one of the space’s cushy seats, you won’t want to leave— but when you do, you can continue your staycation with some rest and relaxation in your elegant room. Need a bit of a break from holiday cheer? The Talbott offers that, too. Book the “Holiday (Off)Season” package between Nov. 24 and Dec. 22, which includes a discounted stay at the boutique Gold Coast hotel, one morning of complimentary “breakfast-in-bed” room service, and a nightcap at 20 East, where Santa Hats are expressly forbidden. 20 E. Delaware Pl., 312-944-4970
Continue that joyful feeling from your trip to Chicago’s infamous Christkindlmarket with two Christkindlmarket mugs of your own (and two Baderbrau Holiday beers), courtesy of the Kimpton Gray Hotel’s “Christkindl at The Gray” package. Want to celebrate the season more before you head up to your perfectly stylish room? Stop by Boleo or Vol. 39 for some of their new Winter Warmer holiday cocktails. At Boleo, go for the Cold Little Heart, which is inspired by those rum cakes often made around the holidays. At Vol. 39, try the Pink Squirrel—an elevated hot chocolate drink that includes ingredients like white chocolate syrup, cherry bark vanilla bitters, hibiscus agave whipped cream, pink peppercorn, and more—or the Bangalore Hot Chocolate, a sweet-and-savory type drink that includes tomato powder, dark chocolate syrup, cinnamon, boozy marshmallow, and more. The next day, treat yourself to a little holiday gift through The Kimpton Gray’s new partnership with Trunk Club. The hotel curated an exclusive “Gray” trunk that only hotel guests can purchase. 122 W. Monroe St., 312-750-9012
The luxuriousness of a stay at the Waldorf begins the minute you step foot in its picturesque courtyard and take in the glittering lights on its 20-foot Christmas tree, and continues full-force from there. Book the Waldorf Winter package, and relax to your heart’s content while you warm up by your in-room fireplace. Extend the festivities with the Holiday Milk & Cookies service at Petit Margeaux, the hotel’s new French café, which includes an assortment of six holiday cookies (think: Linzer tart and sugar cookies) and two beverages (your choices are milk, hot chocolate, eggnog, or—for a $5 upcharge—boozy eggnog). Kids can use the provided craft supplies to make holiday cards while you nosh. Want an even cozier setting? Take it to go in your room. And then there’s the holiday spa treatment, a 24 Karat Gold Silkpeel Facial, which combines the Waldorf spa’s Silkpeel facial and 24 Karat Gold Crystal Collagen Mask for a truly indulgent 90-minute service. 11 E. Walton, 312-646-1300
Be among the first people to stay at the just-opened space, which debuted to guests this month. The 55-room boutique hotel is an expansion of the revamped Midtown Athletic Club, which recently underwent an $85 million renovation. The result? A 575,000-plus square-foot health-and-fitness property that makes for a pretty perfect getaway. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown (The Hotel sits right at the intersection of Bucktown, Lincoln Park, and Logan Square), relax in your impossibly chic contemporary room, and enjoy full access to the club. On the fitness front, you can practice yoga, play tennis, swim laps, take a group fitness class, and more. When you’re done, treat yourself to a luxe spa or salon (or both!) service, then grab a bite to eat at Chromium, the restaurant that offers contemporary and seasonally-inspired American fare. 2444 N. Elston Ave, 773-687-7600
Get super festive with Virgin Hotels’ “Hotel for the Holidays” package, which includes a stay in a cheerfully decked out suite, milk and cookies turndown service, a “wacky present,” a special bar cart, dinner at Commons Club, breakfast in bed, *and* VIP pet treatment if you have a four-legged friend in tow. Or, let loose with the “Naughty & Nice” package, which includes a minibar credit, a credit toward a boozy brunch at Miss Ricky’s, a hostess gift, and social hour in the Commons Club. And if you’re going out on the town for the night, the package also offers an Uber credit and a special call or text from hotel “elves” when you need a convenient excuse to leave the party and get back to your cozy room. 203 N. Wabash, 312-940-4400
Photography by Nicholas James (Talbott); by Michelle Banovic (Kimpton Gray); Huge Galdones (Waldorf Astoria); Anthony Tahlier (The Hotel at Midtown); courtesy Park Hyatt & Virgin Hotels