Park Hyatt Chicago is the city’s luxury hotel for art-lovers, and the gal is always so happy to see the Mieko Yukib head in the ground floor lobby (Ms Yukib also did the whimsical animal gargoyles in elevators in Park Hyatt Tokyo). These two hotels, incidentally, are tall, narrow sculptures in their own right although the Tokyo hotel is the top 12 floors of a 52-floor Shinjuku building, and Park Hyatt Chicago occupies up to the 19th floor of a 67-floor structure. Both hotels have gorgeous bedrooms, with lots of art, and books, and memorable views of the city around: in the 198-room Park Hyatt Chicago, favourite rooms face east, over the Water Tower to Lake Michigan.
Chicago is renowned for some pretty unfriendly winter weather but in summer it is gorgeous. The city moves outside, quite literally. I have always loved Park Hyatt Chicago’s seventh floor: here you find the 24/7 LifeFitness gym, and the indoor pool, and NoMi restaurant, its front cantilevered out from the otherwise-vertical east exterior facet, over the city’s signature Water Tower, constructed 1867. Here on the seventh floor, also, is NoMi garden terrace, gathering place of Chicago’s savvy cognoscenti on warm evenings. But I was meeting up with two dear Hyatt friends and their wives, and we dined in comparative peace inside.
NoMi has from its start been more healthy than the American par and tonight, as if in honour of that other Park Hyatt beauty in Tokyo, we started with a gigantic platter of sashimi and sushi. I was told that the neighbouring table was taken by locals who dine here at least once a week: to have a hotel restaurant that is comfort-eating rather than anniversary-dining in the minds of outside customers is a sure-fire sign of business success, which is what every hotelier aspires to but may not achieve. Park Hyatts often get it right – I think, in alphabetical order, of Bangkok, Chennai, Paris and Sydney, as well as Tokyo.
This particular Park Hyatt has many other stand-out points. Its lobby is like a club room, with morning-long coffee and 24/7 coldd rinks, and books and more books. There is a 2016 Nancie King Mertzpastel likeness of the hotel’s pug, Parker, with former GM Walter Brindell, who adopted the dog from a rescue centre (a similar good deed has resulted in Mr Walker, a golden lab who is hotel ambassador for Park Hyatt Melbourne). The lobby also leads directly into an enticing Canada Goose store, whose windows are currently decorated by whimsical Roman street artist Alice Pasquini. Head across Chicago Avenue and you are in Ralph Lauren, do a U-turn and you are in Uniqlo. See why this luxury hotel is such a good base? NOW SEE SUITE 1603, AND TAKE A RIVER WALK