Category Archives: chicago hotels

The Renaissance Re-Brand: Luxury Savings & Romantic Escapes

Paris Arc de Triomphe Luxury Hotel RoomFinally!  Renaissance Hotels, part of the Marriott group, is celebrating the launch of two incredible new hotels and a whole new look for the Renaissance brand.

On September 17th, they’ll be holding a simultaneous launch event in NYC & Paris to celebrate the opening of Renaissance NY Hotel 57 and the Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe, along with 9 days of exclusive packages at Renaissance hotels around the world.

These amazing packages are for purchase and bid, offered at a savings of 50% off, and include things like a holiday package in both Paris and New York with NYE in Times Square, elephant trekking in Thailand, backstage access at Oprah, tracing your ancestry in Ireland, celebrity chef experiences, and riding on a float during Mardi Gras, “These fun, incredible deals,” as Elizabeth Caminiti, Marriott’s PR Manager for International Relations, says, “speak to what Renaissance is all about… incredible experiences and discovery.”

Sample packages:

Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel

Sweet Suite in Paris, offered at $2,500, includes:

Three nights in a luxurious suite, VIP welcome including a bottle of Champagne upon arrival, in-room Indonesian massage for two, private cooking lesson with chef of Makassar restaurant, exploring Paris’ hidden treasures with insider’s tour with hotel Concierge, two tickets to “The Lion King”, and, get this… an unlimited in-room mini-bar!

Must stay before December 30th

New Orleans Luxury HotelsRenaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette HotelMardi Gras Spectacular in the Big Easy auction package includes:

3 nights in deluxe suite, a tasting menu at the Chef’s Table in the kitchen at MiLa, an exclusive viewing of the parades on St. Charles Street’s Intercon Stage with Bourbon Street balcony passes, a ride in the Krewe of Endymion Parade, ending the evening at the Endymion Ball in the Louisiana Superdome with limo transport. Not to mention… a couples massage at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, dinner at Le Cote Brassierie at the Renaissance New Orleans Art Hotel with a parade view, the Krewe of Bacchus Parade, front row seats at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, and breakfast for two each morning plus brunch at the famous Brennan’s restaurant!

Package available February 12-15, 2010

Other packages include:

The Blackstone Renaissance Chicago HotelBE Blackstone VIPs – Auction Package

Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & SpaRomantic Bliss at Koh Samui is offered at $950

The Shelbourne Renaissance Dublin HotelRoots in the Old Country: An Irish Special is offered at $950

Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & SpaA Hollywood Red Carpet Treatment is offered at $900

La Concha Renaissance San Juan ResortLiving LA VIDA: San Juan Style is offered at $1350

Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach Resort & SpaSun and Fun, In Miami Beach is offered at $2,700

Chicago’s Best Eco-Boutique Hotel

We fell in love with Chicago when we went to see Cats at the Shubert Theater as a small kiddie. Deep-dish pizza, jazz, Carmine’s and good old Midwestern values… what’s not to love? So when we hunted around for the best boutique digs in Chi-Town, a little birdie alerted us to a European inspired hotel just a block off of Michigan Avenue. Unique among it’s competitors in that it’s still family-owned, The Talbott Hotel has all the sophisticated charm of a bygone era coupled with the modern conveniences of today.

A cozy wood-lined lobby, roaring fireplace, large rooms, plasma TV’s and superlative service make this property feel like you’re in an upscale English club. The best part? It’s just one of five hotels to receive Green Seal Certification by the City of Chicago in recognition of their commitment to “sustainability without compromise.” Their “greenficient” efforts stretch beyond the basics – it’s 100% carbon neutral. Having just completed a multi-million dollar refurbishment of all the hotel’s 149 rooms and suites, it’s the warm, luxurious base from which you can enjoy all of Chicago’s shopping, restaurants and entertainment.
Owner, Basil Kromelow, inherited the property when he and his dad Jack bought it together as Basil’s first project back in 1965. Apparently, Basil always wanted to own a boutique hotel so he converted the old apartment hotel into a luxury boutique hotel that reflected the boutique hotels he fell in love with across Europe as a kid. As such, many of the antiques inside are purchases from Kromelow’s own shopping trips to Europe. Still visible in the hotel, Basil even greets and interacts with guests, unlike far too many Blackberry-obsessed proprietors these days.

On the corner of Rush street, you’ll find famous restaurants like Gibsons ( and Carmine’s ( where we recommend the Baked Clams, Chicken Marsala, and Eight-Finger Cavatelli. No, we won’t tell you what it that is, you’ll just have to find out for yourself.

Guests also have free access to the 55,000 sq foot Equinox in the 900 North Michigan building just a block away. If that’s not swanky enough, those who participate in the Green program by selecting the “eco-mode” on their thermostats (which automatically adjusts the room temp when guests come and go, in addition to alerting housekeeping not to change sheets everyday), they’ll receive a 1 month carbon credit for their home to continue the Green lifestyle they embraced at the hotel.

If our staff wasn’t galavanting around the globe right at this very moment, we’d stop by again just to give Basil a big old Chicago bear hug.
Rates start at $179 (in low season)