Chicago’s 74-story Water Tower Place has been a part of the Magnificent Mile skyscape since 1975. But this July marked something of a re-birth for the structure, thanks to a $100 million renovation of the property’s Ritz-Carlton hotel.
Located on the 15th through 30th floors of the landmark tower, the Ritz-Carlton, Chicago now boasts revived suites and a slew of new facilities and amenities, including a spa and a restaurant, making this the perfect time to re-discover a Gold Coast classic.
Led by the San Francisco–based design firm BAMO, the renovation has injected a contemporary spirit into the 42-year-old property with design touches like the lobby’s stunning Flying Wave “floating” sculpture and a permanent art collection that includes pieces by Ellsworth Kelly and Matt Devine. Each of the hotel’s 90 suites are also freshly redone with updated furnishings and modernized technology. All rooms boast views of Lake Michigan, the Navy Pier, or the city; the panoramas from the two-story Presidential Suite (outfitted with a spiral staircase and baby grand piano) and the two-bedroom Navy Pier Suite are particularly impressive.
Among the entirely new facilities is the 12th-floor Torali Italian-Steak, where Chef Gregory Elliot serves elevated Italian classics (don’t miss the homemade pastas) along with prime and dry-aged meats and wild fish and seafood. A cozy cocktail bar, an alfresco space serving shareable plates, and a casual café are also part of the new culinary offerings. Meanwhile, the new five-treatment-room spa is a tranquil oasis with blue-hued décor and therapies like the Indulgent Drench Body Experience and Hot River Stone Facial.
Offering a surprising dose of R&R—and sun and sand—for summer guests to the Windy City is the Ritz-Carlton’s new beach service at nearby Oak Street Beach. The hotel’s team of beach butlers can arrange VIP waterfront arrangements with loungers, umbrellas, beach towels, and chef-prepared picnic lunches. The hotel can also arrange a trip aboard Clicquot on the Water, Veuve Clicquot’s scenic two-hour river cruise on Lake Michigan.