Chicago: The Robey
Built into a triangular, former Art Deco office tower in Wicker Park, The Robey is perfect for the hipster in all of us.
A retro feel sets the scene right at the front desk and carries on up to the rooftop bar and wraparound terrace, complete with a stunning view of downtown and an up-close look of the building’s spire. Cue the Instagram.
Vibe: With its abundance of restaurants, lounges and private spaces, The Robey is a social hub. It honours its past with preserved Deco features (including bronze elevators) with minimalist Mid-Century touches at every turn, all gold metal trim and frosted glass.
Rooms: The 69 tower rooms feel like the former offices they once were, with that opaque wire glass, industrial colours, hardwood floors, simple furnishings. Big windows let in a ton of light, so motorized blackout drapes are very welcome. Twenty multi-bed Annex Loft rooms in an adjoining warehouse building from 1905 offer up industrial style and boutique finishes, perfect for families and the budget-conscious.
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F&B: Where to begin here. Café Robey on the main floor has a neighbourhood open-kitchen restaurant feel, doing American comfort food up extremely well. Have the duck hash for breakfast. We saw a man having bourbon for breakfast, but maybe don’t do that. A big, soothing lounge on the second floor is part work space, part bar. The indoor-outdoor Cabana Club on the 6th floor is a hot weekend ticket, offering 180-degree views of town, a small food menu and a big cocktail list. And the UP Room is the 13th-floor rooftop cocktail bar with exclusive access for guests at happy hour. The view is insane. So is the flight of mezcals.
Extras: Free bicycles! Free water and beers in the room.
Off-Site: Wicker Park has its own little high-street shopping bit, with little eateries scattered throughout. Vintage-wear worshippers scour the second-hand stores here and then stick around for tacos afterward. Go for a big walk along The 606: elevated parkland on what was once the Bloomingdale rail line, its story similar to that of New York’s High Line. When the sun sets, the nearby Logan Square area is littered with action.