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Chicago Bachelorette Party in September, any advice?

Indianapolis
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Chicago Bachelorette Party in September, any advice?

I"m planning a Bachelorett Party weekend in Chicago for my sister. Planning to stay at the W hotel. Any advice on the following:

Good bar area

Good restaurants

Transportation for larger groups (party bus?)

Spa service ideas

Festivals this time of year (or day activities)

What am I forgetting to ask???

This is a 30-something crowd.

Thanks so much in advance!

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Miami Beach
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1. Re: Chicago Bachelorette Party in September, any advice?

I'm guessing the W Hotel is the old Ritz Plaza (not to be confused with the Ritz-Carlton). The Ritz Plaza is/was on Collins and 17th Street and was being completely renovated when my wife and I were there last earlier this year. It is a GREAT location!

To answer your questions:

1) There are LOTS of great bar areas. Check out the bar in Delano hotel which is right across 17th Street from your hotel. Tons of bars on Lincoln Road and Espanola Way. Same is true on Ocean Drive. I suggest you walk Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive early during your visit so you can see your many options.

2) There are LOTS of GREAT restaurants. Many are VERY expensive. Also, know that most places automatically add a tip so check your tab before you add another tip or you'll double tip - it happens all the time. Favorites of ours include Wish and Nemo for a quiet dinner and China Grill for an active dinner. Now that I think about it, you MUST go to Mangos on Ocean Drive as it's a Bachelorett Party. You'll know why when you get there (o-).

3) How many are in your group? Taxi cabs are the same price in Miami regardless of the number of passengers. If you fly into MIA, you can ask the cab guy (who won't accept a tip) for a minivan for the same price as a regular cab (fixed at $28 plus tip). Great for a party of 4 with lots of luggage (not that a group of ladies would have much luggage :) ). Know however that once you get to your hotel, you absolutely DON'T need a car for you can walk to about everything and a cab is only a few dollars if you want to go to say Nemo or Nikki Beach (a must for Sunday afternoon/evening).

4) The Ritz-Carlton has a great Spa that I believe will accept outside guests (but make your reservations early as spots fill up quickly). It is only a few doors down from your hotel. My wife loved this place. The Delano also has a spa but may be less flexible with outside guests - but worth a call.

To answer your question "what am I forgetting it ask", below is my response to a similar question from another tripadvisor user:

Things that are a MUST when we visit SoBe with our friends:

+ Buy bottled water at Walgreen's located on Collins and Lincoln Road. They always have a great deal on 18 bottle packages that are stacked up by the window.

+ Go to the bakery right next door to Walgreen's for breakfast or lunch.

+ Walk down one side of Lincoln Road and return on the other side - remember restaurants you may want to try on your trip.

+ Buy beer at CVS (also on Lincoln Road on the left side a few yards from Collins)

+ Bring lots of one dollar bills for you will be tipping the beach guy, door man, taxis, etc.

+ Buy a new bathing suit at Wings (Collins and Lincoln - a few yards south of your hotel - you can't miss it) from the separates on the wall in the back of the store. For SoBe, my wife buys only the bottoms and wears but a tee-shirt or camisole to go from the hotel to the beach. Tops and bottoms are $15/each and better-than-average quality with 4 or 5 styles for each the top and bottoms.

+ Get out to the beach early and rent an umbrella as it will be hot during the day (when your hotel used to be Ritz Plaza, the beach chairs and umbrellas were included in the room).

+ Lay out and swim topless - you won't be the only ones. The water will be warm and perfect for swimming.

+ Drink a Mojito

+ Order a dessert or midnight/early morning snack at Jerry's Famous Deli (on Collins very close to both of the hotels you are looking at).

+ Walk Ocean Drive - if you do lunch, have lunch on Ocean Drive in your bathing suit.

+ Plan on parking your car at their valet and not using it until you go home. You can walk to most everything. If you go to Nikki Beach, you may want a taxi but driving is a real pain as parking is impossible to find and is usually valet which may cost more than a cab ride.

I may be telling you something you already know, but lastly, having gone to Purdue right down the street from you all, I'm here to tell you the dress code in the Midwest is "different" than what you will see in South Beach.

Enjoy and please feel free to e-mail me directly at johnm12345@mindspring.com to answer any specific questions.

Cheers....