Chicago, birthplace of the skyscaper, has some of the highest-end luxury hotels in the U.S. Although an overnight luxury hotel stay may be too pricey, a luxury hotel spa treatment allows you to spend the day there, enjoying many of the amenities of a guest. Here’s an insider’s travel hack to Chicago’s luxury hotel spas. It’s premium pampering that’ll have you feeling calm, refreshed, and ready to tackle all the shopping, museums, theater and world-class dining Chicago has to offer.
If you like affordable big city travel with a side of luxury, this travel hack’s for you. Hotels like The Peninsula and Four Seasons on your bucket list, but outside your budget? No need to despair. You can still spend the day lounging like a celebrity at one of these luxury hotels… in the spa. Get ready for a relaxing day of reality ditching.
Just steps from Michigan Avenue, this spa lives up to the gold standard the Four Seasons brand is known for.
Amenities: The indoor pool looks likes a Roman bath with its majestic skylight and massive marble-tiled hot tub. Soak in it while looking out over iconic Michigan Avenue and Water Tower Place. This is an afternoon you will not forget.
Treatment: Bourbon Scrub Massage starts with choosing your scented oil. I went with lavender. Hot oils are used during the treatment, which ends with a bourbon-infused sugar body scrub. It smelled delicious and felt heavenly. After the treatment my therapist brought me a glass of bourbon in its own delicate decanter. This is an afternoon I will not forget any time soon. Ask for Anna if you go for a massage!
Snacks: Chose from two exotic fruit-infused waters.One of the waters had hibiscus flower, mint and pomegranate, the other contained strawberries, lemongrass and limes. Ooh-la-la. There were apples and oranges available to bring out to the pool.
The dimly lit waiting room was furnished with lavish daybeds with delicate curtains. There were teas, specialty waters and a yummy granola to munch on.
If you book at least two hours of services, you’ll get access to one of the most beautiful indoor pools in Chicago. Chase away the chill by soaking in the hot tub or enjoy a swim in the lap pool while bathing in the beautiful views of downtown Chicago. Time it right and you could take an aqua-fitness class in the pool.
There’s a whole menu of complimentary fitness classes (if you book two hours of treatments). The view from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the fitness center on the 20th floor were impressive. After class, pull up a chair in front of the fireplace in the relaxation lounge, or a chaise lounge on the breathtaking Sun Terrace in the warmer months.
Treatment: Healthy Glow Facial- 60 minutes of deep cleaning and relaxation surrounded by soft music. I’m all for pampering. This facial achieves that, even while your technician meticulously extracts those nasty blackheads.
Snacks: Make sure to spend time by the fireplace in the soothing relaxation lounge and sample fruit-infused water, tea, dried fruit and apples.
Though this spa is a bit more modest than some of these other luxury hotels, its location is priceless. Steps away from Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier, it’s in the middle of the best that Chicago has to offer.
Amenities: The basement level spa has a fitness center and a steam room, as well as beautiful locker rooms and showers. If you want to unwind even more, head over to the bustling bar in the lobby for a craft cocktail.
Treatment: A great way to unwind after a long day sightseeing is by booking one of their signature myMassages. It’s a 50 or 80 minute Swedish style, meaning light to medium pressure.
Snacks: The relaxation lounge offers apples, bottled water and fruit-infused water.
This chic spa with its black and white decor is all about urban elegance.
Amenities: A large light-filled fitness center packed with magazines makes a workout fun. But it’s the luxurious lap pool that’s the ultimate indulgence. During my visit I had the entire pool to myself.
Treatment: Waldorf Signature Facial. There was some real work involved with my facial. This is when your skin gets that deep cleaning that you never quite do yourself. Kids can enjoy the spa too, with ice cream manis and pedis just for them.
Snacks: I absolutely loved the make-it-yourself granola wall. Personalize your own snack mix by choosing from various dried fruits and nuts. Combine it with a cup of complimentary tea or fruit-infused water.
We’re living in a pretty divided country right now. One thing we can all agree on? A good massage will make all that political bickering seem far, far, away. Whatever your political leanings, there’s no denying that the Spa at Trump Hotel is one of Chicago’s most luxurious.
Spend the afternoon in the large heated pool with breathtaking views of downtown Chicago from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Grab a magazine and take a break from your laps to relax in one of the cushioned chaise lounges or order up lunch and enjoy it at one of the poolside tables.
The fitness center is on the smaller side, but views of downtown are unforgettable. The breathaking views of the Chicago River and skyline are almost enough to make you want to run on the treadmill! Another incentive to work out? All the fitness classes are free.
Treatment: Hot Stone Massage. I had a world-class hot stone massage surrounded by candles and soft music.
Snacks: A luxurious candlelit relaxation lounge with downtown views offers up bites of granola, chocolate, tea and fruit-infused water. There’s a complimentary bowl of apples and bananas to choose from at the check-in desk.