Staycation for the holidays

North Michigan Avenues Magnificent Mile twinkles after the Mickey and Minnie Mouse parade flicks the lights switch (City of Chicago photo)
North Michigan Avenues Magnificent Mile twinkles after the Mickey and Minnie Mouse parade flicks the lights switch (City of Chicago photo)

Shopping, shows, sights and lights, Chicago’s festival markets and moments seem to be descending at express-train speed. But instead of shouting “stop the train,” take control of the season with a “staycation” that balances shopping with spa time, festival watching with fitness-center wellness and special exhibits with special cocktails.

Several Chicago hotels are putting together packages that make staying downtown a fun alternative to insanely commuting to catch events. Because holiday gifts and sights stretch from Macy’s on State and the Art Institute of Chicago to Magnificent Mile and the Lincoln Park Zoo, a good plan is to make your holiday headquarters a hotel near Michigan Avenue.

A place that fits the spa, fitness, cocktail requirements, has rooms with great views and  holiday deals is the Peninsula Chicago on East Superior Street at North Michigan Avenue’s Mag Mile.

The Peninsula Chicago pool and Fitness Center have floor to ceiling views of the city (Peninsula photo)
The Peninsula Chicago pool and Fitness Center have floor to ceiling views of the city (Peninsula photo)

At the Peninsula Chicago, it only takes one ride up the elevator to the 19th floor to fall in love with the half-Olympic size pool edged floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on the Magnificent Mile, the Fitness Center with its all-glass city views and the comfy spa facilities there and up a level in the hotel’s Wellness Center. They offer perfect down-time relief.

At night, go to the Z Bar on the 6th floor for hand-crafted cocktails, gourmet cuisine and city lights. Listed in the 2019 Forbes Travel guide of World’s Best Hotel Bars, the Z Bar is chic and a relaxing place to wind down.

Peninsula Chicago Z Bar overlooks Michigan Avenue. (Peninsula photo)
Peninsula Chicago Z Bar overlooks Michigan Avenue. (Peninsula photo)

Among the the hotel’s Special Offers  are good room rates for Black Friday-Cyber Monday, a fun ZBar Ugly Sweater Party and a complimentary room upgrade.

Also check out the Peninsula’s Holiday Packages such as Holly Jolly Chicago which includes in-room holiday décor, a round of complimentary skating and drinks for two at the hotel’s Sky Rink, a MINI Cooper chauffeured drop-off ride to Christkindlmarket, time at the hotel’s Chocolate Bar for two Friday or Saturday evenings, daily American Breakfast and in-room holiday movie library.

The hotel is perfectly located for: the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Nov. 22-23, shopping at Water Tower and shopping the Mag Mile including the new, world’s largest Starbucks Roastery in the former Crate & Barrel building, seeing Lookingglass Theatre’s Jeff award winning “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” in the Historic Water Works, exploring the Driehaus Museum, an exceptional mansion that has Tiffany glass windows and lamps and going over to Navy Pier for its WinterWonderFest.

The hotel is also a short bus ride away from Lincoln Park’s ZooLights.

Peninsula lobby decked out for the holidays. (Peninsula photo)
Peninsula lobby decked out for the holidays. (Peninsula photo)

As to style, Peninsula Chicago is a 5-star luxury hotel that complements its North Michigan Avenue Magnificent Mile corner at 108 E. Superior St., Chicago, IL.

 

Author: Jodie

Longtime Chicago Tribune contributor for news and features. Travel writer for What's Happening, Great Lakes Boating, CBS Theater for Examiner and A&E for CBS

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