Stay in the Loop at Pendry Chicago, set in one of the grandest buildings in town: the art deco Carbide & Carbon building, designed by the fraternal architects of Flatiron in NYC fame. The supersize structure, which some say resembles a champagne bottle thanks to its mix of green granite and gold leaf, still has the directory where the original office numbers were displayed, an old-school US Mail letterbox and chute, and staggeringly high ceilings. It may be in an urban jungle, but there’s a beach just a block away, care of the sandy shores of Lake Michigan.
Double rooms from £149.41 ($189), including tax at 17.4 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional resort fee of $41.00 per room per night on check-in.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast.
Several of the room categories have ADA-approved options available, with sensory notifications and emergency alarms, lowered features and accessible bathrooms.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, gym with Peloton bikes, shoeshine service, bicycles to borrow, morning coffee cart in the lobby. In rooms: free bottled water, Vittoria coffee machine, MiN NYC bath products, smart TV, Bluetooth speaker and minibar.
Our favourite rooms
For the best skyline views from the loftiest position, book a room within Pendry Chicago’s tower. If you want to work out but don’t fancy the lakefront trail, go for a Pendry Suite, which has its own Peloton bike and a view of the water, as well as practically an entire floor to itself.
When it’s not windy, Chicago actually has rather nice summers – and it may be a big (and often blustery) city, but there are beaches along the lake where you’ll feel far, far away from an urban jungle.
Pets are welcome for a $125 fee, which includes an Orvis for Pendry bed, homemade treats and a doggy dining menu – and a portion of it is donated to Paws Chicago. See more pet-friendly hotels in Chicago.
All ages are welcome at Pendry Chicago. There are rooms with sofa-beds and two queens. Little Smiths are greeted with a soft toy at check-in, and organic baby bath products and strollers are available on request.
Bath products are in refillable, full-size bottles, the espresso capsules are recyclable, plastic bags and boxes are swapped out for paper ones, the lights switch off when no motion is detected and the hotel has bicycles that you can borrow for a greener way to get around the city. There’s also a herb garden on the rooftop.
Up on the roof, or at one of the red banquettes in Venteux so you can people-watch from your secluded semi-circle.
Flapper girls and newsboy boys.
Venteux imports a classic French brasserie to the streets of Chicago, with indoor and outdoor seating, floor-to-ceiling windows and every gourmet Gallic dish you can think of, from steak frites to onion soup, escargot and roast duck. It also has a raw bar for caviar and fruits de mer if you’re feeling fancy. Breakfast is served either in your room or in the restaurant’s pistachio-hued pâtisserie/café area; brunch is in the main dining room.
The hotel’s very blueprint might be a naughty nod to Prohibition, but you’re never far from an Old Fashion in these Twenties. Guests can keep cosy by the double-sided fireplace while admiring the artworks at Bar Pendry or brave the elements up on the rooftop at Château Carbide. The latter keeps up with the seasons, with fire pits for the sharp Chicago winters and sunloungers in summer. And the former ensures Prohibition is well and truly a thing of the past with its boozy afternoon teas every Sunday from 11am to 3pm. Bar Pendry calls time at midnight (1am on Friday and Saturday); Château Carbide shutters up at 11pm (midnight on Friday and Saturday).
Food is available from 7am until 9pm Tuesday to Thursday (10pm on Friday and Saturday), with happy hour from 4pm to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday, and brunch between 10am and 3pm at weekends. Service stops at 4pm on Sunday and Monday.
In-room dining is available from 6am to 11am for breakfast and all-day until 11pm. A late-night menu can be ordered from between 11pm and 6am.
You’ll find Pendry Chicago in the city’s central Loop district, a block from the river and close to both Millennium and Grant Park.
Both Midway and O’Hare airports are nearby – the journey to and from can take half an hour on a good day (an hour on a bad one). The hotel can arrange transfers on request.
You’ll be able to walk pretty much everywhere, including over to Magnificent Mile, but if you’d rather get around on the L, the nearest Chicago Transit Authority stop is State & Lake.
If you’re coming by car, download the SpotHero app in advance and let it guide you to nearby parking. Valet parking is available at various local garages for $76 a night.
Worth getting out of bed for
Pendry Chicago is in the Loop, literally and because it’s well-connected, close to everywhere you could possibly want to go in the Windy City. The river is a block away, as are lakefront jogging trails and beaches, which may come as a surprise. Green spaces close by include Grant Park and Millennium Park, which host film nights and alfresco orchestras in summer – the latter’s JayPritzker Pavilion is where to head for some high-brow action. If you’re hoping to catch an NFL game while you’re in town, the Chicago Bears’ stadium is a couple of miles south. Or head to Magnificent Mile, which starts at the river, and see if it’s as grand as it makes out.
For an old-school Italian, look no further than Volare on Grand Avenue; or for pizza and pasta with a mostly modern but just slightly mediaeval décor, try Siena Tavern. River North’s finest Mexican fare can be found at Mercadito; or take your tastebuds further afield (all the way to Japan) at Roka Akor. And for classic Stateside seafood, head to Eddie V’s, or – a Chicago institution for almost four decades now – Shaw’s Crab House.
Cocktails, coffee and everything in between await at Beatrix in River North. Or keep pretending it’s the 1920s instead of the 2020s at the Untitled Supper Club, which claims to have the biggest selection of American whiskies in the world.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this luxury hotel in Illinois and unpacked their deep-dish pizzas and flavoured popcorn, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Pendry Chicago…
In what was once the Carbide & Carbon building, created by the Burnham Bros in 1929, Pendry Chicago is bridging the gap between old-school luxury and on-trend boutique hotel. As with its sister properties across America, the hotel is a hub for hospitality, community and good design, with artworks by artists based all over the country and beyond. There’s an impressive collection, with the showstopper being the light installation in the lobby by the Dutch artist Arnout Meijer.
The monolithic building, which looks like a champagne bottle if you squint (a cheeky nod to Prohibition, using black marble green granite and gold leaf), was once the HQ for a company producing batteries, cellophane wrap and antifreeze. Energizer and Co moved out and the Hard Rock Hotel moved in, before it joined the Montage fold in 2020. It now has a rooftop terrace, a fancy French restaurant and a bar where you can drink as much bourbon as you like. One thing’s for sure: it’s way more exciting than the petrochemical industry.