Nothing washes away the weary stain of travel like a well-put-together rez-de-chausée. From the moment I walk into the Swissôtel’s lobby (designed in homage to the building’s original architect, Chicago legend Harry Weese), I feel like I’m on holiday.
Giving my name at one of the sleek concierge consoles, I linger under the whimsical raindrop-inspired light sculptures. Bubbly Europop floats from the adjacent Amuse bar, where stylish travelers sip even more stylish cocktails.
A bouquet of narcissus embellishes the suite’s clean white lines, which are warmed by worn leather accents. The linens are the kind that brides register for with fingers crossed. And what better way to awaken than to sunlight streaming over a cobalt vista of Lake Michigan, framed by highrises on either side like a parted curtain.
I wondered, more than once, how so modern a hotel nevertheless conveys such grounded warmth. A visit to the hotel restaurant—1950s throwback the Palm—settled that question. It’s an old-school, unassuming service ethic that makes the Swissôtel more than a mere flash of stylish modernity.