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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-08-2003, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
 
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advice on Chicago trip needed

Hey Folks,

As a favor to my wife for putting up with all of the riding this year, I'd like to take her for a nice weekend to the city (Chicago, that is).

I'm thinking nice hotel downtown, dinner, maybe a show of some type, maybe a little shopping. You know, the stuff women like. She wants to check out the city during the holiday season. We live up in Illinois vacation land (Wisconsin) so I don't know the city that well, but I have been there a couple of times.

Can any locals reccomend a nice place to stay, eat, go out, etc? I'm not talking Motel 6 and Taco Bell here, but I would like to save SOME tire money for next year.

I'd appreciate any and all suggestions.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 12:21 AM
 
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the mag mile, and eat at the cheesecake factory in the john hancock. Can't beat the atmosphere of the area during the Christmas season, and you've got all the shopping you could want within walking distance. If you want to go really crazy take a ride in on of the horse a bug thingies. I dont know about hotels, but the drake is right there if you're willing to pay for it.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 07:45 AM
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My suggestion (not that it means much) would be get reservations to the 95th. (its a restuarant on the 95 floor of the Hancock building) Yes its expensive but not as bad compared to some other restuarants down town. Its elegant and romantic as well. As far as a hotel you can always do the Sheraton. Its beautiful and you can get a room facing the river or lakefront as well.

Now if you want to have a fun weekend and not pay high prices i would suggest getting an overnight package for the Medeivel Times in Schaumburg. You get a nice hotel, the dinner at the Med. Times and its a BLAST if you have never done that. The next day you can go to the woodfield mall area and shop. (They love that shit too )

To really save you money for a nice time might i suggest looking on ebay for chicago dinner hotel coupons or something like that. I check all the time. You get stuff like buy 1 dinner recieve a second free and all that stuff. And its big restuarants and hotels as well. Like 50.00 off and it only costs you 20.00 to buy the coupon. Just a few ideas but 1 thing you can never go wrong with is the Sybaris!

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 08:25 AM
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If you stay in the Mile area and like Italian, there's always Spago for food. Top notch. Reservation highly recommended.

For German, there's Berghoff's and they serve their own beers. Their prices are reasonable, try the saurbraten and the potato pancakes and the red cabbage. Lot's of good stuff.
There's almost always a line and they do not take reservations.

Dave
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 08:46 AM
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The Palmer House is a great hotel. Then the magnificent mile for shopping. I just ate on the 95th floor of the Hancock last week and it was good. The atmosphere is incredible there.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 08:47 AM
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The nice thing about staying downtown is that you'll never be bored. I agree with the Sheraton if you're on a budget (the Chicago Inn on Ohio is probably the cheapest). If not, the Drake, or Palmer House would make a nice memory. For things to do, whether you have dinner or not, be sure to get up to the 95th (Signature Room) for a cocktail. The view is great, and the atmosphere is top-shelf (besides, it'll save you a trip to the Sears Tower).

The nightlife is easy. Check out www.metromix.com for all the info you could possibly want. Don't forget to swing by Skate on State for some more holiday cheer.

Have fun! Let us know if you're looking for something specific.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
 
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Talking

Thanks for the tips! All great info!

The Sheraton looks pretty nice, and for around 100 bills it's reasonable. The Drake is nice too, but was almost double. Seems like they are both in the vicinity of where you wanna be.

The restaurant ideas sound good too.

Are there any theaters around there? She's been bugging me to go to something like the Nutcracker for years. That would get me some big-time points.

Any other reccomendations, keep 'em coming.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by celery27
Thanks for the tips! All great info!

The Sheraton looks pretty nice, and for around 100 bills it's reasonable. The Drake is nice too, but was almost double. Seems like they are both in the vicinity of where you wanna be.

The restaurant ideas sound good too.

Are there any theaters around there? She's been bugging me to go to something like the Nutcracker for years. That would get me some big-time points.

Any other reccomendations, keep 'em coming.
I don't know much about the theatres except you should buy tickets in advance. Seats fill in a hurry.

As far as the Drake. Ask them how much it is to upgrade to an executive swuite. The rooms are nicer and you get access to a bar at night where you can make your own drinks and have snacks. You also get breakfast in the morning. Sometimes during holiday seasons they have trouble filling those rooms and give good deals. Good enough that it's cheaper to upgrade and drink free all night and get breakfast than it is to go out on the town and do it.

Brian (F.K.A. Crazy)

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 12:47 PM
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If spending a little money is no big deal go to the Park Hyatt, it's a European style boutique hotel that caters to your every need. It is located in Water Tower Place, best location you can have. To eat you have NoMi in the hotel, it's good but your choices are limitless in that area. I would go to Spago as someone mentioned before. Go to the art museum!!!

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 12:56 PM
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Maggiano's is good Italian food also.

For shows...check out Second City if you like comedy. Is Blue Man Group still at Briar street Theater?

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 01:19 PM
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Should be a ton of shows to catch. I believe Blue Man is still showing...but unless you had tickets two months ago you're screwed.

Still, all the major playhouses are right downtown, so get a shedule off metromix and grab something that might sound fun. You can also swing by the opera house, I believe they have orchestra's playing holiday songs every weekend? Just a thought.

If the weather's nice, and you get tired of walking the mag mile, you can also shoot up to Lincoln Park Zoo and catch the lights. Plenty of places to eat near there as well.

<---- Patrick

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by celery27
Thanks for the tips! All great info!

The Sheraton looks pretty nice, and for around 100 bills it's reasonable. The Drake is nice too, but was almost double. Seems like they are both in the vicinity of where you wanna be.

The restaurant ideas sound good too.

Are there any theaters around there? She's been bugging me to go to something like the Nutcracker for years. That would get me some big-time points.

Any other reccomendations, keep 'em coming.
Conrad Hilton & towers rooms are about $160

Try checking w/ The Schubert Theater for events, + the Italian Village (restaurant) is within a block away (btw much better than Maggiano's/ "Trendy" restaurants)

Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of shit. Look, it's like they say, if you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains. Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, "What do you really want?"
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 03:36 PM
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Here are some of my recommendations...

Hotel 71: http://www.hotel71chicago.com/ I've never stayed here, but it always looked cool to me. A little different than the norm, and pretty affordable.

Swissotel: http://www.swissotel.com/ms-basics.asp?id=3 Once again, I have never stayed here, but I have a friend that always does and she recommends it highly.

Millenium Knickerbocker: [I can't find a homepage, but expedia has plenty of details/pics] A little north, but hella nice for the price.

Trying going through one of the big online discout sites. www.expedia.com www.orbitz.com www.travelocity

Good luck!

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Volkl42


Trying going through one of the big online discout sites. www.expedia.com www.orbitz.com www.travelocity

Good luck!

If you decide to go the online route use ONLY www.orbitz.com. They are by far the best out there!!!

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Orbitz, huh? I have used Expedia in the past with good success also. What gives Orbitz the edge?

Someone at work recommended "W Hotel". Nice, but $!$!.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by celery27
Orbitz, huh? I have used Expedia in the past with good success also. What gives Orbitz the edge?

Someone at work recommended "W Hotel". Nice, but $!$!.
Always call the Hotel Direct and try dealing with them. The way the industry is right now they are starting to have the most bargaining power again.

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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-09-2003, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by celery27
Orbitz, huh? I have used Expedia in the past with good success also. What gives Orbitz the edge?

Sorry, but it was just a shameless plug for my company. Orbitz does have great deals, but its they have an edge in customer service. There are actual air traffic controllers working there forecasting weather and air traffic related delays at 60 airports around the country.

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to some good suggestions my wife and I had a good time in Chicago last weekend.

We stayed at the Sheraton which is a nice place. I told the guy at the desk it was our anniversary so he upgraded us for free to a suite (pretty sweet) that overlooked the river, Lake Michigan, and the city.

Friday eve we checked out Navy Pier and then ate at Shula's Steakhouse in the hotel, but that turned out to be a mistake. The steak was OK (I've had much better), but the place was totally overpriced. I walked out of there with a $120 tab for 2 steaks, two sides, and one drink & tip. Damn!

Sat. we shopped Mich. ave (not my idea of a good time, but still was neat), and in the evening we ate dinner at a nice Italian place called Cantare, reccommended to us by the hotel concierge. The place was nice and the food was pretty good. I've been to Italy a couple times so I know good Italian. After we went up to the lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock for some drinks. Got a window seat, and it was a great atmosphere.

In all it was a nice time. I was a bit pissed when we left and I went to pick up the car and got hit with a $64 parking bill that I wasn't expecting. Oh well, welcome to the big city, expect to pay. I guess I'm more used to traveling for work where they pick up the expenses and I don't ever have to think about it.

Thanks again for your suggestions.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-22-2003, 03:23 PM
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-24-2003, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Labdog
My suggestion (not that it means much) the 95th. (its a restuarant on the 95 floor of the Hancock building)
As far as a hotel you can always do the Sheraton. Its beautiful and you can get a room facing the river or lakefront as well.
WooHoo!! 2 ain't bad!!

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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-04-2004, 01:23 PM
 
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Hey try the Fitzpatrick HOtel, right on the mag mile, very nice very reasonable, have the man at the front desk make you express reservations at Gibsons Steak HOuse, and definately go to the Signature Room, can't beat the view anywhere. Dont go to Navy Pier, it's for tourists and it really SUCKS, if you must go there take a cab....However with so many other attratctions, such as The Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, Field Musuem, Mag Mile, Etc......why go to navy pier....
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 04:17 PM
 
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My wife works at the Museum of Science and Industry, so I guess I should give them a plug.
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