The Windy City Westins of Chicago wrap you nightly in luxury in three convenient locations.


Clickphoto to book the WestinO'Hare

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The Westin O'Hare.

WESTIN O'HARE

After flying into O’Hare International, I found the Westin O’Hare to be one of the best locations around the airport, and only two blocks from the Blue Line “EL”subway train into the city, which is about 25 miles away.

The Westin O'Hare is the only four-star, four-diamond hotel that is just five minutes (and a complimentary shuttle ride) from O'Hare. The hotel is ideal for corporate meetings, special events, and social occasions because you don’t have to go into the city, just have the executives fly in from all points of the world, and confer in comfort on the VIP floor.




Meet at the Westin O'Hare.

United Airlines has a major hub at O’Hare and the Westin O’Hare features an on-site UA counter and a comprehensive Business Center, and and the Westin offers Guest Office rooms with teleconferencing, fax, internet and translation services and secretarial support. Check out their multi-screen sports bar, Teddy Rose, after a competitive game of racquet ball on the hotel’s courts.





Westin O'Hare's pool awaits guests.

A new feature at all three Windy City Westins is the innovative "WORKOUT", powered by Reebok Gym, which includes an expansive fitness center with cardiovascular machines and weights, racquetball and basketball courts, dry sauna, and indoor swimming pool.  There is a golf course nearby, so ask yor concierge to set up the tee times.

Within blocks of the Westin O’Hare are the Stephens Convention Center (formerly Rosemont Convention Center ), Allstate Arena, and Rosemont Theatre. The hotel is actually located in Rosemont, a burb of Chicago.




Your jet lag worries are over.

All 525 guest rooms (including 26 suites) boast the famous trademarked Westin Heavenly Bed and Bath , plus, there are in-room safes, mini bars, expansive work desks and ergonomic chairs, cordless speakerphones, and high speed Internet, and a whopping 42,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space. The largest meeting room is 12,000 sq. feet.

And to my delight, the Westin offered me free shuttle service for the two blocks to the El Train station for a comfortable ride into the city to check out the other two Windy City Westins.


Click to book the Westin River North

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The Westin River North.

WESTIN RIVER NORTH

Next stop on the Windy City Westin tour is the Westin River North, the premier hotel in one of the Chicago's most vibrant districts - Michigan Avenue — an area filled with art galleries, boutiques, cafes, and trendy nightclubs. This Westin is an uniquely personal hotel, committed to individual service with true Midwestern friendliness.

Just steps from the Westin River North's front door you'll find all the excitement of Michigan Avenue, with the Chicago House of Blues just across the street, and the famous Harry Carey sports bar on the corner of Illinois Street, where you can catch a free trolley to Navy Pier and Millennium Park.

The West River North is in the heart of the financial district, with the Loop and Michigan Avenue close by, with the Randolph Street Theater District a short cab ride away.  The marvelous location offers stunning skline view accommodations and great concierge service. For dining, the hotel’s upscale Celebrity Café is the consummate place for power breakfasts and lunches and I noticed local businesspersons hanging out there.




Suites for business.



Heavenly beds for dreaming.

Each of the 422 luxurious guest rooms and 17 suites would suits any refined business/leisure traveling style: large, marble bathroom, fax machine, three telephones with voice mail and dataports, television refreshment center, refrigerator, hair dryer and robe.  But what knocked me out was the tremendous views of the Chicago river from my suite. Later, the hotel concierge hooked me up with an architectural cruise with the Chicago River Line to view the variety, scope and scale of the city that invented the skyscraper.

Groups will enjoy the graceful beauty and service that have earned the Westin River North the Successful Meetings' Pinnacle Award.  The Grand Ballroom is a choice venue for receptions, spilling onto an outdoor terrace where I savor a magnificent view of the city.  All rooms have the Westin’s legendary Heavenly Beds and invigorating Heavenly Baths, two-line phones, data ports with high-speed Internet access, refreshment center, bathrobes, deluxe amenities.

The Westin River North is just minutes from Navy Pier (have your concierge hook up a Lake Michigan dinner cruise on The Odyssey, the largest dinner cruise in the USA).  The Westin River North is convenient to shopping along Michigan Avenue on the famous Magnificent Mile.




Workout In Westin's Reebok Gym.

This hotel’s Reebok Gym is open as for local memberships, with all the amenities of the other Westin Reebok gyms, which includes personal flat screen TVs, digital music, and pre-planned workouts.
featuring a comprehensive selection of state-of-the-art Life Fitness cardiovascular and strength-training equipment, the fitness center also provides personal training service, which is included in the price of membership, according to Marketing Manager Pam Vreeland, whom I have lunch with at the hotel.

Equipment at the health club includes Life Fitness treadmills, elliptical trainers, stairmasters, recumbent cycles, upright cycles, eight stations of strength equipment, and dumbbells. In addition, Reebok Core training equipment, including exercise balls, ab roller, and the balance board are available. Certified personal trainers also are on hand to provide health assessments, nutrition guidelines and individualized programs to ensure that workouts are safe, efficient and effective.




Westin River North supplies
state-of-the-art equipment.

Other membership benefits include freshly laundered exercise attire (shirts, shorts and socks), full towel service, private lockers, showers, and dry heat saunas. An array of grooming products and appliances are also available for members, and this includes shampoo, lotion, hair styling products, deodorant, mouthwash, shaving cream, razors, hair dryers and curling irons. Members also have access to professional massage therapy at the hotel. Among the services offered are The Westin Well-Being Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Westin WORKOUT Sports Massage, Hot Stone Therapy, Custom Well-Being Massage, and the Head, Shoulders and Back Massage.

And if that is not enough, the hotel provides Runner's World Maps of the neighborhood, outlining recommended 3- and 5-mile jogging, walking, bicycle routes..

For information about memberships to any of the Windy City Westin's health club, call 312/744-1900, ext. 41. The health club is open from 5:30 a.m.- 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, and from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The Westin Chicago River North just unveiled two new WestinWORKOUT guestrooms (at an additional charge) for work outs in the privacy of the room using a Reebok Tomahawk XL Indoor Cycle or Life Fitness Treadmill, Reebok Pilates/Yoga and Spinning DVDs, and a custom-designed fitness shelf that holds adjustable dumbbells, resistance tubing, a stability ball, yoga mat, and additional Reebok workout equipment, and a Rodale Press fitness library.

Whew, now after getting in shape I walk the one block to Harry Careys for a beer and chili to watch a baseball game with the locals.


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Astor Ballroom.



Ember Grille.



Hana Lounge.

Westin really want its visiting executive to be in shape! It offers 28,000 sq. feet of state-of-the-art meeting and event space, three ballrooms, including the exquisite Astor Ballroom, 18 meeting rooms and three conference parlors provide the ultimate in flexible function space. After that adrenaline pumping in your room, the other execs at your meeting will wonder why your have so much pep!

I enjoy lunch at the hotel's Ember Grille with Pam Vreeland, the PR executive for the three Windy City Westins (I know she must work out here, because she is certainly peppy.)

Any as an oxymoron to all this health consciousness, drink fine spirits and smoke imported cigars in the Hana Lounge, often with a twist of jazz, or we are now back again to health at the award-winning Kamehachi Sushi Bar.

The Westin River North is a powerhouse spot for doing business, with these major companies within blocks of the hotel: First Union Securities, Leo Burnett, and R.R. Donnelley, Illinois State Building-James Thompson, IBM, Oracle, Heller Financial, Arthur Andersen, A.T. Kearney, NBC Tower, Merrill Lynch, Chicago Board of Trade, Bloomberg Financial, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Ernst & Young, Towers Perrin. I certainly would have enjoyed Starwood's (Westin is a Starwood's luxury brand) Turbo Net High Speed Internet access if I could tear myself away from all this fitness stuff, but I did read the free newspaper and caught up with the movies on the cable telly.



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The Westin Michigan Avenue.

Click to Book The Westin Michigan Avenue

View Westin Michigan Avenue Video.

WESTIN MICHIGAN AVENUE

This is where the true wealth of Chicago resides.
The Westin Michigan Avenue is a cocoon of luxury in the most expensive real estate region of the city; close by is the Playboy Mansion and building, across the street is the magnificent John Hancock Tower, and I did take a "Terrace Tour" and gazed out upon the azure inland sea of Lake Michigan.

I was informed by a guide on a SeaDog fast boat Navy Pier cruise (you can walk) that the Water t ower Place ( great for shopping, or Bloomingdales is nearby) near the Westin Michigan Avenue is where Oprah Winfrey lives — on the top two floors!  This is indeed a city of grand design and vision, where billionaires choose to live and work.

The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago's offer 751  luxurious guestrooms and suites that are now all smokeless. Upon check in ask for a Lake view room or a conencting view room if with family, and many are handicapped accessible.  I really dug the ergonomic desk chair, I even used the video check out.





Peace after a day of Michigan Avenue shopping.



The hotel lobby is great for
planning tours in the neighborhood.

My guest room at Westin Michigan Avenue guest seems like a personal retreat, but with the comforts of home, plus with helpful technology, including voice mail messaging and movies at my convenience. There is a charge for the high apeed Internet access, which must be requested.

Refreshemnts from the fully-stocked min-bar could be cracked out but first its stint on the exercise cycle ensuite and then a roll on the yoga ball before settling in with, the remote control television (There's another oxymoron going on here.).

Back downstairs I noticed how many families (yes, Westin has cribs) were staying at the hotel (maybe because they allow small pets) as a base to discover the Lincoln Park Zoo (hey, its summer) just down Mich. Ave.; later I splash in the cooling waters of the Oakstreet Beach, reached by a Lake Shore Drive underpass.  I must say the sands were silkier than in the Caribbean, but more radiant, and locals were grabbing as much beach time as possible before the city’s awesome chilly winters rolled in off the Lake. 




The Grille On The Alley.

Back at the hotel i immerse myself in libatioins and great pub grub at Grille On the Alley, but I must warn you that the bartenders really know how to mix a mean Michigan Avenue Martini. The Grill on the Alley is Chicago's newest four-star restaurant, already esteemed for its expertly prepared American favorites and wide selection of martinis, single malt scotches, bourbons, and fine wines. When I was there it was elbow to elbow. The hotel has a Starbucks, but they are everywhere these days, so go to the second level to the wonderful Café a la Carte for light fare.

Chicago is certainly a city of "Big Shoulders", as stated by Carl Sandberg in "Chicago Poem", and the Windy City Westins have developed a superb shape up program to really enjoy it. Oprah should be working out here!

By Kriss Hammond, Editor, Jetsetters Magazine.