There is nothing like a thoughtful GM to make the gal feel half her age and twice as invigorated. Marlene Poynder arrived at Waldorf Astoria Chicago in September 2015 and soon found she needed to authorise the purchase of a third SilkPeel machine for her spa. Two machines were just not enough for this luxury hotel’s pamper-seeking spa enthusiasts, and Kathy, the Irish beauty who heads the spa, admits that sometimes even three machines are not enough. To all you uninitiated, SilkPeel is like a dental polishing machine that whirrs over your skin with finest real-diamond heads which also, let us call a spade a spade, hoover up anything on the skin that should not be there.
The result is exactly as Kathy, and SilkPeel advertizing, say. The skin feel fresh and plump, and you feel seven feet tall and ready to face the world. This whole wellness complex is amazing – it is next to the indoor pool, and the Matrix gym, which is shared with the residents who live above the hotel. It even has spoons of nuts and dried fruits, set as an art work, in case you are hungry. The hotel is a bit of a nibble-haven, actually. Marlene Poynder is putting in all kinds of little touches that I do not remember from my earlier visit. Now, outside in the main courtyard off East Walton Street, there are casual café tables under bright orange Veuve Clicquot umbrellas.
Big wrought iron gates – hopefully not as over the top as those at the Hyde Park Corner entrance to London’s Hyde Park – will enable the courtyard to be closed off, at times, for private parties (already celebrities love the privacy of this hotel, the only luxury establishment in town which is not reached directly from the street). The hotel is owned by Laurence Geller, who is taking standards, and potential revenue, up. 26 two-bedroomed suites have been bisected, to give an additional 26 rooms, and management offices have already been turned into sensationally elegant meeting rooms, most with big windows.
There will a new restaurant, as of spring 2017, but Marlene Poynder is not at this stage revealing more. Suspense always leads to a need to return, especially when the location is so attractive. Every weekend this luxury hotel is full, with what Americans call the drive market, sometimes coming from four hours away or more. They come for Chicago’s truly well-named Magnificent Mile retailing, and for entertainment, and sometimes for sports events: this city offers the Chicago Bears (football), Chicago Cubs or White Sox (baseball) or Chicago Bulls (basketball) and if there is a home game rooms are sold out far far ahead. The knowledgeable also head here for another SilkPeel – have one every two weeks, Kathy had suggested. NOW SEE THE VIDEO BELOW