Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, having a fun hotel to call home at the end of the day makes all the difference. In Chicago, there are countless options to choose from, but if cupcakes, hula hoops and pineapples (not necessarily in that order) make you smile, checking in to The Alise Chicago is a must.
Located in the Reliance Building, a National Historic Landmark, The Alise has 122 rooms, but it has the feel of a smaller, intimate hotel. The lobby is small, but whimsical, specially-commissioned art pieces (including a shimmery glass pineapple behind the front desk) add pops of color in just the right places. Much of the lobby space is dedicated to the Atwood Restaurant. Along with serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant offers a full bar and happy hour service, so the space seems to always be bustling.
I stayed in an Executive King Suite on the corner of the fourth floor, with a view of Washington and States Streets, and straight shot down to Millennium Park. The sleeping arrangements are the most noticeable difference between guest rooms at The Alise and other hotels. Inspired by European hotels, each bed comes with two individually folded duvets. The so-called The Naked Experience™, replaces the need for the expected top sheet and blanket. You may be skeptical at first, but give it a try and chances are you’ll be hooked. If sleeping “Naked” isn’t your thing, you’ll find a top sheet and blanket ready and waiting in the closet.
Beds are also topped with Dash, the hotel’s stuffed dog mascot. Give him a squeeze and he’ll bark back. If puppy love sets in, you can take him home for $25 and feel good about it. A portion of Dash’s adoption fees is donated to local animal shelters and humane societies.
For a city hotel room, Executive King Suites are generous with space. The living room area has a small sleeper sofa, desk with easily accessible electric plugs, dresser, television, refrigerator and coffee and tea supplies. A set of French style doors separates the living area from the bedroom, where along with a king bed, there is another dresser and television. If you’re traveling with a night owl, early riser, or kids, being able to close the doors and create two separate, private spaces is a perk not common in city properties.
Even if you’re not the fitness center type, the colorful hula hoops that are standard equipment in the small gym, have a way of inspiring you to work up a sweat. Calories burned also mean you shouldn’t feel guilty if you happen to stroll through the lobby during The Alise’s take on happy hour. Pineapple cupcakes and coffee can make for a nice afternoon pick-me-up.
Some of the Windy City’s most loved attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, home of the “The Bean,” (aka Cloud Gate) and Michigan Avenue shopping are an easy walk away.
Guests traveling with their dogs are welcome at The Alise. Two dogs (without any weight restrictions) are allowed at one time. The hotel supplies a number of goodies including a dog bed, water bowl and treats to help the whole family settle in. A $25 daily pet fee applies.
Wi-Fi is complimentary and valet parking is available for a fee. The Alise Chicago is a smoke-free environment. Room rates range from $129 in low season, to $399 during high season. You can compare rates and make a reservation through Travelocity or Expedia.
Review and photos by Dana Rebmann. Her stay was hosted by The Alise Chicago, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.