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sister bonding weekend

Seattle, Washington
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sister bonding weekend

Any good ideas on where to stay and what to do (besides the obvious shopping, which is a given)? I'm driving down from Wisconsin and she's flying in from Cleveland...I plan to pick her up at O'Hare then drive into the city, so where I'll keep my car is an issue. We're arriving on a Saturday (9:30am or so) and leaving town around noon on Monday. Location is important as is the quality and comfort of the room (think--staying up late talking!) I'll probably leave the car in parking and we'll get around by foot or taxi. The main point of the weekend is for us to spend some fun time together in a city that we both love, been to before many times with husbands/families, but want this trip to be something special!

Chicago Cultural Center
Architectural Buildings, Art Galleries
Nordstrom
Department Stores
Bloomingdale's Home + Furniture
Architectural Buildings, Department Stores
Illinois
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1. Re: sister bonding weekend

You're going to have such a good time! Pretty much anywhere you stay, as long as it's near Michigan Ave., will be great. One thing I would suggest is scheduling a manicure/pedicure at Elizabeth Arden on Michigan--it's in the Saks Fifth Avenue store--top floor. Great bonding time! Also, about parking . . . you will most likely leave your car in the garage of your hotel. I would strongly urge you to call your hotel before you book and ask if they can throw in parking for free. I have done this before, having seen this special online, asked for it, and they agreed. A friend of mine did the same thing and got their parking thrown in as well. Parking can run you $30 or more per night, so it's worth it to ask if they will give it to you for free. Have a great time!

Illinois City...
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2. Re: sister bonding weekend

If you're looking for a nice, affordable hotel that's not **** but very nice and in a good location, try the Courtyard Marriott on Hubbard and State. The staff is great, the rooms are nice-sized (rather basic looks-wise, but ours had a bed, couch and desk) and comfortable and there's a pool/fitness room. The hotel is a couple of blocks west of Michigan Ave. and a couple blocks North of the "loop" downtown area, so it's right in the middle of things.

If you're looking for something more luxurious, try the Intercontinental. The front door is right on Michigan Ave. People also like the Fitzpatrick, which is off Michigan Ave, but further up, by Water Tower. People also like the newish Amalfi, which is new, hip and offers some "perks" (I believe there's free breakfast and a nightly reception). The Omni is an all-suites hotel on Michigan Ave that would be a good location for you.

Hotel 71 offers large rooms, many of which have great river views. There's the two "themed" hotels, as well: The Hard Rock and the House of Blues. If you want to stay downtown (there's shopping and plays downtown, but the area also kind of closes down at night, whereas the North Michigan Ave area stays up later), there's the historic Burnham and the equally historic Palmer House. Even if you don't stay in the Palmer House, it's worth just walking in there to see the lobby. It's jaw-droppingly beautiful. I believe the Palmer opened in 1871 - it's now a Hilton.

If you stay in a hotel that's part of a larger chain, do make sure to join their "rewards" program. It's almost always free, earns you points towards future stays and in many cases, might also get you preferential treatment.

Finally, furthest up North - right in the main botique shopping store area - Barneys, Nicole Miller and others are right there - is Sutton Place Hotel. Sutton would get you closest to shopping, but it's farthest from other things (Navy Pier, the museums)

Get a city pass (http://citypass.com/city/chicago.html) for $49 each - that allows you admission to 6 attractions. Given that the Shedd Aquarium is $23 alone, it's worthwhile if you plan on seeing the main museums.

Also, familiarize yourself with the local transit at transitchicago.com