Chicago’s Best Getaway: Luxury at Four Seasons Hotel

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Oct 17, 2014 / 0 comments

Do you need a getaway? Time to recharge, reconnect, relax, and get inspired? Our family needed just that, and thanks to Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, achieved all of those life-affirming things. Want to know more?


The gorgeous pool at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago


We headed to Chicago for the Let’s Get Away package with Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.

The offer includes accommodations in an executive suite, an unique experience (pizza making with a Four Seasons chef, a visit from the Ice Cream Man, or a visit from the Martini Man), a spa credit or valet parking, and in-room amenities. It’s perfect time to relax for a family, a couple, or even a girls weekend. This package will be a welcome antidote for cold weather, snow, rain, or tiresome layovers at O’Hare.

And while the Let’s Get Away package is an incredible time to spend together, it’s what’s behind it that makes this experience special.

Let me explain...


What are the core elements of a successful getaway?

•    Surroundings
•    Shared Experiences
•    Time to Relax
•    Great Food
•    Doing Things You Love
•    The Happiness Quotient

At Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, all of the above criteria were satisfied – and more. And so were we. Read on…



From the moment we drove up to Four Seasons, we were wrapped in luxury – and smiles.

Welcome to Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Seward Johnson statue


The smiling valets, helping us out of the car and gathering our luggage, eased the stress of hours of Chicago traffic.

Valet parking at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Hopping out, ready to head in & get AWAY from the traffic!


The beautiful flowers in the lobby (I’ve learned to pay attention to luxury hotel flowers) were a stunning accent to the classical settings.

Flowers in the lobby, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Welcoming flowers


The world-class art scattered throughout the hotel both intrigued and delighted. We took photos, discussed and researched artists, and our daughter (12), an artist herself, was inspired.

World-class art at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

“Shopaholic Frenzy”, a collaboration of two artists commissioned specifically for the hotel. Represents the location in the heart of Chicago’s shopping district - note the “brown shopping bag” accents in the painting!


Attention is paid to every small detail here – from a basket of swim diapers in the pool area to comfortable seating in public areas to fresh refills of fruit-laden ice water in the gym and spa to a plethora of large, soft towels, Four Seasons robes, and personal items in the spa’s changing rooms. We all know that attention to detail means nothing is left out – and indeed, we wanted for nothing.

In the Spa, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

In the spa area


Our room was a corner suite with incredible views, from Lake Michigan to the ball park to city streets as far as the eye could see. The beautiful furniture, crisp linens, colorful art, marble bathroom, luxurious robes, and (Malin + Goetz) amenities were perfect accoutrements to a cocooning getaway.

Corner suite, Four Seaons Hotel Chicago

Comfiest bed in the world? Yes, yes indeed.


Corner suite, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Desk and welcome goodies

Bathroom, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Lovely bathroom


Shower, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Oh, those robes...


(Malin + Goetz) shower goodness, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

(Malin + Goetz) shower goodness


Chicago played a hand in this, dealing us rain, hail, fog, and storms for hours. At times, we couldn’t see anything out our windows due to intense fog or heavy rain; at others, fog wreathed familiar Chicago buildings to make this landscape seem new and half-size. We didn’t want to leave the hotel – and didn’t. We didn’t have to – everything we needed was right at hand.

Foggy day in Chicago - at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Yeah, we couldn't see much, either


Looking down on Michigan Avenue. From Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Looking down on Michigan Avenue to the right - and in the middle, see the sun in the distance, shining on Lake Michigan? Yes, hope springs eternal.


Shared Experiences

Lillie chose the pizza making class for her experience (pizza and ice cream are tied, in her book). We headed to the kitchen of Allium, the restaurant at Four Seasons Chicago. Chef Richard took us into the bustling kitchen to a counter specially prepared for her to create her pizza. There were toppings galore and a friendly chef to supervise. We ate the pizza the next day for a late breakfast, and it was delicious.

pizza making with Chef Richard, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Pizza making with Chef Richard


Eating the yummy goodness from our pizza making class, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Eating the yummy goodness from our pizza making class


We had plenty of time to swim. The pool, located on the 8th floor, has floor to ceiling windows and an enormous circular skylight. We played games, relaxed in the hot tub, floated while staring at our reflections in the skylight, and felt happy to be swimming in luxury in such awful weather. When we swim at home, it depends on the weather – and the temperature of our lake! There was even swimming-themed art at the pool (swoon). I have to say, I spent most of my time here.

Art in the pool area! Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Art in the pool area. I'm a very happy mermaid.


The Kids Club Room, mostly for smaller kids, is packed with toys, games, and precious stuffed animals, but there are also foosball and air hockey tables for older kids. We might have had a few tournaments going on, while I (ahem) squelched my competitive streak for the sake of hilarity. There’s nothing like playing air hockey left-handed and backwards. We laughed so hard we startled the staff coming to close up the room that night.

Kids Club Room, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Kids Club Room


Two of our favorite pieces of art hung in the lobby. "Jeremy Walking in Coat” and “Sian Walking” by Julian Opie are holographs that move when you walk by. We spent plenty of time walking back and forth, amazed at the artistry, and taking a few videos...

Holographic art, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago


Art is everywhere at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Art is everywhere at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago


Time to relax

We forced ourselves to not work much while we were on our getaway (such is the life of entrepreneurs and writers: always on). It was easier to do in such surroundings. We worked out, swam, researched art we loved, ate well, and spent much time in our suite, talking for hours on end. We caught the football game, headed to the mall (in the same building, on floors 1-6) for Thai food, and spent time quietly reading together. We avoided sleep and stayed up late, observing the city, tracking the moving clouds and the storm, and discussing Important Life Issues while feeling cozy and safe inside.

When we did finally sleep, it was as if we were on Four Seasons Mount Olympus (the clouds outside our windows helped inspire our daughter’s apt analogy). Those beds, those pillows, the fluffy duvets – it was like being wrapped in a cloud inside, and lead to extremely restful and deep sleep.

Night skyline from the 43rd floor, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Night skyline from the 43rd floor during a break in the clouds


Great Food

I’ll say it right away – the dessert sampler awaiting us in our suite was a very welcome (and delicious) sight – and delayed dinner by several hours. Each treat was carefully chosen to balance each other out – from macarons to cupcakes and more. As well, there was a cookie and milk (and accompanying pitcher of chocolate to mix in) for our daughter. We had great Thai at Baisi Thai in the mall, and the pizza Lillie had made. If we’d had more time, I’d have delved into the menu at Allium and tried as much as I could – it looked appetizing.

Cookies and Milk for the kids! Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Cookies and Milk for our tween


Dessert sampler awaiting us at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Dessert sampler awaiting us


You can tell a hotel by its coffee. Well, Four Seasons Chicago hits a home run by serving Intelligentsia coffee, a local coffee roaster that is a known near and far. In the lobby, choose from coffee or a fresh espresso in the machine – both were welcome additions to my morning.

Intelligentsia Coffee at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Morning bliss


Doing Things You Love

Once you step out of your daily routine, you have time to rediscover things you love. For us, it was spending time talking, playing games, swimming, decompressing in the sauna, eating well, and being together without phones, schedules, and work. We remembered how much fun life can be, and why we’re such a great family that works and lives well together. Laughter is the best, isn’t it?


The Happiness Quotient

I coined this term for how we feel about the staff at Four Seasons Chicago. They, truly, are the secret treasures of the hotel. Each person we interacted with, from the valets to the room service, was smiling, happy, more than willing to help, and had worked there for years and years. This was a wonderful surprise. When we called for more pillows and an extension cord, the man who helped was so fast that our daughter called him Smiley Sonic. When we checked in, the women at the front desk had such welcoming smiles and were so helpful, I took a photo.

Smiles at the front desk, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

What a welcome!


The host at Allium was very kind and accommodating to our being late for the pizza class, due to traffic. His smile and convivial voice erased hours of stress from being stuck in the aforementioned traffic.

When we needed assistance at the spa, the staff made sure we had what we needed. When our daughter got a manicure, Aneta treated her like a princess.

Manicure in the spa, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Manicure in the spa


Anna (also at the spa) shared stories of her recent trip to Greece for a wedding, as well as promised to help with travel resources if we visit her home island. The woman attending the changing room (she’s been there 19 years!) was very kind and helpful.

Downstairs, Kristen was the perfect concierge, listening to our needs and drawing directions on the map to several locations we wanted to hit on the way home, as well as writing step by step instructions for out of town drivers - this was greatly appreciated.

Very helpful concierge desk at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

The most helpful concierge desk EVER


We learned so much of the people that make up Four Seasons – and this is why, in addition to everything else, this hotel is remarkable. Their happiness at being there – evident in working there for so many years – indicated that not only was this a great place to work, but that it was a welcoming place to BE. And that, well, that makes all the difference in the world. You can feel it in the air.

Luxury + Four Seasons + happiness = The Happiness Quotient.

Surround yourself with goodness, and good things will happen. Surround yourself with caring people, and your entire being is restored, rejuvenated, inspired.


Happiness at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Pure (and relaxed) happiness!




Read more: Instagramming Our Let's Get Away Experience at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago





Note: we were guests of Four Seasons Hotel Chicago to facilitate this review – thank you! The caring and happy staff – that’s all Four Seasons. The never wanting to leave feeling is all ours. We can’t wait to get back.


All photos courtesy and copyright Wandering Educators



Getting away from it all at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago - the perfect relaxing break

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