Chicago and Los Angeles Are Top Urban Retreat Destinations

Los Angeles
For VIPs looking to head somewhere a little warmer as the colder months wind to an end, the all-suite Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills provides guests a residential feel, but in a central location, near plenty of Los Angeles attractions.

The hotel’s concierge team, which books a wide array of tailored experiences, has an additional Excursions Specialist. This is well-suited for family travel as they can provide lists of activities, kid-friendly restaurants and hangouts. Luxury travel advisors should contact Chief Concierge Christine Grimm ([email protected]) to cater to their clients’ wish lists.

The top digs include the Presidential Suite and the Royal Suite (the Icon Suite and Beverly Suite round out the options of residential-style suites). Each suite has a kitchenette, fireplace and multiple walkout balconies, and most have powder rooms with double vanities and separate bathtubs. The Presidential Suite has five French door balconies with views of the city, a full kitchen, one-of-a-kind crystal lighting fixtures, screening room, a study / library with a fireplace and a private spa treatment room. Private butler service can be requested.

Prior to arrival, the minibar can be stocked with an assortment of treats, ranging from California-based candy boutique Sugarfina to Dean & DeLuca to essential oil towelettes from Herban Essentials; the mobile collection from Minibar Products has a world travel adaptor and USB port.

Tip: Rooms with the best views are on floors 4-8. On the Burton Way side, guests can view the palm-tree lined street and downtown LA; opposite, guests can view Hollywood Hills (with some in sight of the Hollywood sign). For specific room requests, luxury advisors should contact Sophie Arista ([email protected]), director of travel industry, or Shaylyn Riley (shaylyn.riley@viceroyhotelsand, leisure sales manager.

For VIPs looking for more than just a view, Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills suggests they hit Rodeo Drive with a personal stylist. Other local attractions include Downtown LA, Santa Monica, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Broad and the Petersen Automotive Museum. And to get to those destinations, Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills can arrange luxury ground transportation, including Maserati service.

After a long day of shopping, VIPs should head to Avec Nous, the French bistro adjacent to the hotel. Recommended dishes include the foie gras; Niçoise salad; sea scallops with broccoli, turmeric gremolata and tapioca crips; and the Nous Burger with Angus beef, grilled eggplant and basil aioli, complete with a side of steak frites. On Mondays (for those long weekends), Avec Nous hosts a Wine Aficionado night with specialty wines. Contact the concierge for reservations.

Popular liquid dessert options from the bar are the Cocktail Avec Nous, a modern take on the Old Fashioned with bourbon, monks pepper and black aloe, and the Avec Nous French 75, made with gin, absinthe and Meyer lemon.

The Presidential Suite at Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills has 3,700 square feet of space and five French door balconies.

If you’re building a list of urban getaways, Chicago has all that there is to offer. The city has a wide variety of attractions, which includes shopping on Oak Street and The Magnificent Mile, Lookingglass Theatre, Museum of Contemporary Art, the Navy Pier, Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium & Grant Park, Second City, Water Tower Place, Oak Street Beach, The Willis Tower, Lincoln Park Zoo, and not to mention teams in all major professional sports (a visit to historic Wrigley Field, anyone?).

Travelers who wish to spend a weekend in Chicago should consider the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, where they won’t have a shortage of amenities or things to do.

First things first: The accommodations. Of the 215 guestrooms and suites, the most requested space is the one-bedroom Astoria Suite, which can be connected to the Gold Coast Suite for larger families or groups. The two-bedroom Grand Suite, and the one-bedroom Gold Coast Suite and Luxury Suite are also suitable for large families. The 3,600-square-foot Presidential Suite is the top accommodation at the property. All guestrooms have butler service, double sinks, sunken separate bathtubs and TVs built into the mirrors in the bathrooms. Views vary between Rush Street, Oak Street shopping district, western Chicago or eastern Lake Michigan.

Personal concierges are connected with guests prior to arrival, during their stay and as they leave. Being able to plan ahead and save time with the complimentary bag-packing service means VIPs can spend more time doing what they want. In a weekend getaway, time is the biggest factor.

Luxury ground service is arranged with Metropolitan Limousine for transportation to / from the airport; the Waldorf Astoria Chicago has a courtesy car for transportation in the area. VIPs can land a helicopter at Illinois Medical District (five miles). Chicago Executive, O’Hare and Midway Airports all service private jets.

Advisors looking to book VIP tours or reservations for travelers wishing to visit a museum, a sports arena, or go on a shopping spree, should contact Concierge Judson Corrie ([email protected]).

Back at the hotel, guests can enjoy the award-winning Waldorf Astoria Spa & Health Club. Note: The Health Club recently underwent a revitalization and now uses Woodway equipment. The spa is 14,000 square feet and has 12 treatment rooms, which should be booked one to two weeks in advance. The most popular treatments are the Silk Peel Facial and Signature Massage. Masseuses Alexis (Signature Massage, Ashiatsu Massage) and Kathy (Silk Peel Facial) are two of the most requested. The spa director is Kerri Strokes ([email protected]).

Note: While treatments are for guests who are 16 and over, Waldorf Astoria Chicago has a kid’s ice cream, manicure and pedicure for guests of all ages, so don’t fear taking the kids.

The Gold Coast Suite at Waldorf Astoria Chicago has a living room with dining table, queen-sized sofa bed and a fireplace.

In regards to dining, Waldorf Astoria Chicago will be welcoming a new award-winning French chef’s restaurant, located on the third floor. It will have a private dining room for group gatherings. Advisors are suggested to contact F&B Manager Batu Pektas ([email protected]), and should make arrangements at least one week out. Bernard’s Bar is a bourbon-focused setting that brings in both travelers and locals.

Loews Chicago Downtown Hotel
Have an A-lister who wants off-the-beaten-path private food tours or a wine pairing class? Perhaps a private helicopter tour of Chicago is more their style? If your VIP client is a baseball fan, send them on a behind-the-scenes tour of Wrigley Field.

Those are only a sample of the customized experiences the Loews Chicago Downtown Hotel has put together for travelers. Additional tours include interactive dining at chefs’ tables, individual tours of museums with a docent, and private chartered yacht tours on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Advisors looking to book a private tour for their clients should contact Chief Concierge Catherine Davids ([email protected]) or General Manager Christian Hansen ([email protected]).

It’s suggested travelers fly into O’Hare International Airport (18 miles) or Midway Airport (11 miles), from where they can take luxury transportation to the hotel. Experienced greeters will assist with luggage.

Guests who are interested in the top suite should book the Navy Pier Suite; however the Grand Corner Rooms are the most requested premium accommodations. The 1,643-square-foot Navy Pier Suite looks over Lake Michigan and includes a bedroom with master bathroom, living room, work-out room, separate guest bathroom, and a dining table and kitchenette. Views from the Grand Corner Rooms vary but are either of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, or the city’s skyline. Advisors with questions regarding guestrooms should contact Revenue Manager Anneliese Weyend ([email protected]).

The restaurant, Rural Society, underwent a facelift and now cranks out wood-fired dishes with Argentine cooking techniques. At least 24 hours notice is recommended for reservations. ETA, the bar, has a variety of food menu items, ranging from small bites to burgers and paninis to desserts. The setting is suitable for both travelers and locals, and the bar menu changes seasonally with a focus on fresh ingredients.

Following a day of private tours and drinks at ETA, travelers may need some R&R, which they can get at the spa. Single appointments can be booked one day in advance; weekend appointments, multiple appointments and groups should call at least four days in advance.

The most requested treatment is the 80-minute Streeterville Signature Massage, which promotes circulation with the power of peptides and antioxidants. Popular masseuses include Eric Starnes (Tension Relief Massage), Samantha Perez (Hydrating Butter Melt Body Treatment), Leah DeSimone (Magnificent Mile Signature Manicure & Pedicure) and Luda Mazurok (Calming Recovery Facial). Good to know: All classic manis and pedis can be customized for children, who get a gourmet milkshake or ice cream sundae.

Tip: All services conclude with a complimentary glass of Prosecco (for VIPs of age, of course). Spa Director Jason Chandler ([email protected] ) handles bookings.