Recently I had the privilege of touring the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel, a beautiful historic luxury hotel located on South Michigan Avenue here in Chicago. The beaux-arts hotel, designed by Marshall & Fox and opened in April of 1910, has attracted celebrities, socialites, infamous icons, and political powerhouses. It is nicknamed the “Hotel of Presidents” because it has been visited by 12 U.S. Presidents! In addition to being frequented by leaders of the free world, notable guests include the Astors, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, and such notable talents as Lena Horne, Nat King Cole and Rudolph Valentino. Lucky Luciano and Al Capone also visited frequently! As a lover of history, I could not wait to check it out.
When you walk in, you are greeted by a dark, yet warmly decorated lobby. I loved the purple accents and the ornate molding!
Next I went up to the Smoke-Filled Room, which lent its name to a political expression as the scene of Warren G. Harding’s nomination brokered by cigar-puffing party leaders during the 1920 Republican convention. It is no longer filled-with smoke as smoking in historical hotel rooms is understandably frowned upon.
Finally, I was able to check out the Ballroom. What a beautiful space! The details were absolutely incredible.
The hotel is taking part in the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial by offering the “Historic Blackstone Architecture Biennial Package”, which not only includes accommodations in a gorgeous Lake View room, featuring unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and breakfast for two at Mercat a La Planxa, it also includes an exclusive tour of the hotel! The package is available from October 3- January 3, 2016, and starts at $189 per night. Such a good deal! Definitely worth a visit if you’re coming to Chicago, or if you’re just looking for a fun staycation.