Half a block from Michigan Avenue and a mile from Navy Pier
The lobby ballroom maintains a splendid, jazz-age grandeur
Find some shoreline in the Midwest: Oak Street Beach is about two blocks away
Public transportation from the airport to the hotel is available via the city's L Train. From O'Hare, take the Blue Line to the Red Line; the closest stop is the Chicago Avenue stop. From Midway, take the Orange Line to the Red Line.
From lobby to penthouse, the Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago hotel is steeped in history. The lobby maintains its original 1927 opulence, with double-height ceilings, arched windows and wrought-iron balconies. Sneak a peek at the crystal ballroom, a splendid, barrel-vaulted hall dripping with gilding and crystal chandeliers. Another oak-paneled banquet hall on the 14th floor used to be a casino reputedly run by Al Capone's brother, and still has a secret escape stairwell to the street.
The rooms are clean, bright and contemporary, with smart TVs and coffee makers plus marble-tiled bathrooms with rainfall showers. Guests interested in the hotel's lurid history -- which includes a stint in the 1970s as Hugh Hefner's Playboy Towers -- can take one of the property's weekly tours. The in-lobby Martini Bar offers a 1920s-inspired cocktail menu with over 50 varieties of the namesake cocktail to choose from, plus a midday tea service.
The hotel is just around the corner from Michigan Avenue, which has some of the city's best shops, and Oak Street Beach is just a few blocks north. A view of Chicago's most iconic landmarks is steps away at 360 Chicago at the John Hancock Center, an observation deck with panoramic views of the skyline and Lake Michigan.