Located in the landmark McGraw-Hill building in downtown Chicago, the hotel has launched a glamping experience that turns every hardship of camping into a luxury. It’s available only to guests of the hotel’s 16th-floor signature Gwen Luxe Suite, a two-bedroom penthouse that can only be booked by phone (call 312.645.1500 to reserve it) and features its own dining room, living room, and, most importantly, a 1,000-square-foot terrace. It is on that terrace—one of the largest in the city, with views of the Chicago River, Wrigley Building, and Magnificent Mile—where you can “rough it” with the hotel’s new Glamping Experience.
Available May to September, and starting at $4,000 per night, the experience transforms the Gwen Luxe Suite’s terrace into an al fresco wonderland. Inside a spacious Lotus Belle tent, mango wood-topped tables, hand-knitted seat cushions, an Indian braided jute rug, colorful textiles and glided quatrefoil lanterns surround a custom queen-size Black Pearl bed topped with Frette linens.
Elsewhere on the terrace (yes, it’s really that big), a gas-burning fire pit and comfortable couches set the stage for cocktails, followed by a four-course dinner crafted by the hotel’s chef, Matt Jergens. Dishes vary depending on what’s available in season, but don’t expect campfire stew: The gourmet selection can include caviar-and-kefir-topped naan, farm-fresh greens tossed in a dandelion vinaigrette, grilled snapper, and Valhrona chocolate crumble with brown-butter ice cream.
It’s the kind of camping experience that’s perfect for people who hate camping, complete with a concierge who will remain on call to take any requests during your urban safari. Still, there’s one tradition that this unconventional camp-out wouldn’t dare snub: Expect a s’mores turndown treat made with Mexican chocolate and homemade gold-leaf-garnished cayenne marshmallows every night before you zip up your tent and bid the Chicago skyline goodnight.