When I first arrive in Chicago for my two-night stay at the Alise Chicagol, I am struck with a bit of homesick. After all, I lived in Chicago for 10 years. I lived and worked and played in the Windy City and I remember the location of the hotel on Washington Street. The property is not only in walking distance to everything downtown, but it is also a historical landmark in Chicago – the building was constructed in 1895.
Part of the Kimpton Hotel group, The Alise Chicago is located in the historic Reliance Building and last year the property unveiled refreshed guest rooms and lobby space as part of a $4.1 million renovation. The chic restaurant on the ground floor, Atwood also got a refresher, completing the historic vibe with a modern twist aesthetic. The renovation team did a great job of adding modern elements, while preserving the integrity and history of the place.
In the hotel rooms there is a warm feeling of wood paired with a neutral palette, plenty of space to move around, and the views are amazing. As for the restaurant, Atwood, the kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Brian Millman and the bartender is Ray Anguiano. The Alise also offers a nice wine hour for guests to sit and relax while enjoying the public space on the ground floor. I enjoyed a few glasses before heading over to the Goodman Theater on Dearborn Street, walking distance of course.
The Goodman is the kind of theater where you will always find a show that is worth experiencing.In fact, the Goodman has been a Chicago icon for the past 90 years bringing in some of the biggest stars on the Chicago stage. The theater has also recently expanded with a $15 million expansion effort. While visiting, check out the nearby Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park.
Take the time to get to know some of the amazing work in the city at locations like the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Expect to spend at least half a day at each museum for the best experience. Another must is the Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tour. I had taken this tour a few times, but it the remarkable architecture of this city never ceases to surprise me.
Some of the standout buildings of the boat tour on the Chicago River include 600 West Chicago Avenue, the Merchandise Mart, Marina City, Lake Point Tower, Wrigley Building, Trump International Hotel and Tower, Boeing Headquarters and 333 West Wacker Drive. These are just a few of the high-rises that make Chicago the city that it is today. The boat tour takes a diverse look at everything from Chicago’s early warehouses from the 1900s all the way through to the art deco, post modern and contemporary.
Chicago is a city with much to offer, it’s perfect for a week or a weekend – either way, you will certainly return again and again to discover what is going on.