Friday, July 30, 2010

Palomar Chicago — hotel delight

This week, I've been enjoy­ing my first Chicago break ensconced in the Palo­mar, a Kimp­ton Hotel. Led here by reviews at Tri­pAd­vi­sor, and hav­ing stayed in Kimp­ton prop­er­ties before, I felt Palo­mar would be a solid choice and meet my design expec­ta­tions.  I'm happy to report, I was right on both counts. Who can resist a hotel with leop­ard and zebra bathrobes? 

The hotel is in a great loca­tion, two blocks from Michi­gan Avenue. Being so new, sev­eral taxi dri­vers were unfa­mil­iar with it, so be sure to keep the address on hand when you visit.  The lobby is small but invit­ing. The recep­tion area fea­tures a lovely tufted leather counter with lighted resin coun­ter­top, both in a warm gold, very fun and touch­able. Gold and black mar­ble floors add drama, along with white patent leather chairs. The color scheme car­ries into the wine recep­tion room where the over-scale mod flo­ral car­pet­ing keeps the tone whim­si­cal. I really enjoy the mix of mate­ri­als in the pub­lic areas of the hotel.

At check-in, which was han­dled quickly and smoothly, the Kimp­ton word-of-the-month resulted in a lovely bot­tle of wine at no charge. The front desk staff also gifted my son with a bag of toys (the beach ball was a huge hit). Mem­ber­ship in the Kimp­ton InTouch Club also lands you free wi-fi and a $10 voucher for the mini­bar. We booked into 1127, described as a "lux­ury one bed­room suite". At 750 square feet, it is cer­tainly a lot of real estate for the price.

The liv­ing room fea­tures seat­ing for six, along with a desk area and plenty of acces­si­ble out­lets. The bath­room is enor­mous, with a jet­ted tub that can eas­ily accom­mo­date four peo­ple, if you were so inclined (those same four peo­ple could also shower at once)! The king bed­room boasts Frette linens and an assort­ment of pil­lows. Palo­mar gets 5 stars for think­ing of every­thing. Every amenity is avail­able, from a mag­ni­fy­ing makeup mir­ror to toi­letries you might have for­got­ten. The trade­mark Kimp­ton bathrobes make me smile! 

Hmmm, so why am I not singing the praises of the décor? Well, as I've said before, I think hotel design­ers have an oppor­tu­nity to take chances with décor, to really cre­ate an inter­est­ing and orig­i­nal atmos­phere. Don't get me wrong, my suite is very nice and quite pretty. But as Elle Décor's Mar­garet Rus­sell has said: "pretty rooms are rarely mem­o­rable".  The most excit­ing aspect of the room is actu­ally the car­pet­ing!  The mod flo­ral, down­sized from the lobby, is rhyth­mic and unex­pected in the guest room. Sub­dued in beige and choco­late brown, it leads the color scheme through­out the suite. The tex­tured wall­pa­per is beige, the fur­ni­ture mixed dark brown and pale, both with a limed look. The sofa and chairs are light blue and fairly generic. Per­fectly nice, but it doesn't have a lux­ury vibe. The fur­ni­ture looks like it could live in any aver­age hotel. The bath­room is neu­tral and very well appointed. I love that the quartz coun­ter­top is extra high, and the 12x24 inch mar­ble tiles suit the spa­cious seren­ity. Toi­letries are L'Occitane — yummy.  

Over­all, I'm a fan of the Palo­mar, and would def­i­nitely rec­om­mend to oth­ers and stay here again myself. And the restau­rant Sable — that story is still play­ing out — stay tuned for an update.

What do you think of the décor? Blue and brown yawn or fab­u­lous tran­quil retreat?

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  1. Lobby says:

    Located in the heart of down­town Chicago, the hotel allows guests trav­el­ing on busi­ness or plea­sure max­i­mum access to all Chicago has to offer.