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Swissôtel in Chicago


323 East Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago IL 60601-9722 USA

Tel: +1 312 565 0565 Fax: +1 312 268 8252 chicago@swissotel.com

Sometimes a hotel is just a hotel, and then other times a hotel is a ôtel! Of my many trips to Chicago, that which I took in November of 2008 was the most memorable. I had just spent nearly a year working night and day for the Obama for America campaign and Nov 4 was to be the night all of the hard work came to fruition.

We all know what happened on that fateful night; Barack Obama was elected to the first of his 2 terms as President of the United States. It was a night filled with up’s and down’s, magic, and tears. But, a pleasant and welcomed bonus came with the trip. I was booked to stay at the Swissôtel at E Wacker on the waterfront. I hadn’t done any advance research on the hotel because the name suggested high-end accomodations and it was booked for me.

After a bit of a hellacious trip from Las Vegas to Chicago, I pulled up to the hotel at 4:00am the day of my reservation. That’s where the reg flag start flying for us pro travelers, huh? Check-in was scheduled for 11 hours later at 3:00pm, and I was sure I would be sleeping seated on a couch in the lobby. However, this was the first of many positives … the front desk spent over half an hour working diligently to get me into a room upon arrival. Maybe it was my extreme 5 o’clock shadow, or perhaps it was the fact that I was falling asleep standing up, but either way they made it work! Man, was I pumped to sleep!

The concierge took my bags, the valet checked my vehicle, and up I went to the 22nd floor for the beautiful hotel to a Pinnacle Lakeview room. As soon as I open the door I knew as exhausted as I was, I wouldn’t fall asleep immediately.

THE VIEW First, the obvious … with a room called the Pinnacle Lakeview, you know that there’s going to be quite the view from the 22nd floor. It did not disappoint. Take a look for yourself.

Of course, it was dark when I arrived but the view at night is just as spectacular with all of the lights. The really amazing part for me was that the windows were spotless. I guess they know their currency.

THE MAIN ROOM You’d swear Mr Clean was in charge of the maid service at Swissôtel. Everything was spotless. As a huge germaphobe I can dirt in a snow storm but the staff at this hotel really do an amazing job. The sheets on the bed were without major creases or wrinkles (sorry, I jumped on the bed before taking the pic below 😜), the surfaces shined and were dust free. Even the vents on the back of the TV were spotless!

PRO TIP: If you really want to see how clean a room is all the time, check the back of the TV. If there’s dust build up then you know that you got lucky. If there isn’t, it means the room is regularly cleaned with the small details in mind. It also speaks volumes about the air system. The room wasn’t huge by any means but felt spacious, and considering I’m 6’4” and 220 lbs, that says a lot. When I finally did fall asleep, I crashed HARD! I have no idea what kind of mattresses they have but had it not been for my alarm I’m pretty sure I would have slept through the day.

WASHROOM Anyone that knows me knows I don’t do baths. For the most part, I’m too damn big for the tubs I find and the concept as a whole doesn’t sit well with me, however I was told by several people that the tub was luxurious so this is me passing along that third party intel.

The rest of the washroom was really nice. I love floor to ceiling glass showers. I may not be old but there’s something so freeing about just walking into a shower, rather than stepping over a porcelain wall.

The suite itself was top shelf, grade-A superb! It was a little slice of heaven on my first trip to Chicago.


  • Google Maps says the walk from the hotel to Grant Park (a must see in Chi Town) is 24 minutes but I was there within 15 minutes during a very busy time for the city. So, it’s ideally placed if you want to check out the main sites of the city.

  • The entrance way and foyer feel like something out of a movie. The architecture at Swissôtel is really something to marvel at.

  • Room Service: I had a pasta dish and it was as good as any pasta I’ve had at an Italian restaurant. I really enjoyed all of the food I ate at the hotel.

  • Parks, the Arts Centre, and Millennium Park are all close by. The airport is within 20 miles/32 kms as well.

  • The 42nd floor features an observation deck of sorts. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better view of Chicago.

The Hidden Gem Highlight: Even if you don’t work out, go to the gym on the Penthouse level. The views are great and something about seeing that view inspires a better work out. Couple that with their spa and you’ll feel positively uplifted!

As I wasn’t travel blogging when I stayed at this hotel I didn’t get any video, however http://www.luxuryfred.com/ did grab some video so here you go. Side note, I really want to stay here again so I’ll update this blog eventually with a video of my own!

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