Chicago: 5 Places to Stay

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower

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Paris flirts with the Midwest at Sofitel's North American flagship property. The 32-floor glass prism, Parisian-inspired restaurant (Café des Architectes), and sleek staircase in the lobby all create an understated elegance. With paneled maple walls, king-size feather beds, burgundy carpet, and bamboo textiles, the 415 rooms may sound imposing, but actually provide a comfortable, light-filled respite after a day of shopping. Local and Parisian silk-screen prints fill the hotel walls and elevators, and Le Bar, the cocktail lounge, features striking oil paintings.

Insider Tip: Short on time? Café des Architectes serves a four-course lunch every day for $23.95, and promises you'll be eating it within 15 minutes.

Room to Book: One of the 32 deluxe suites. Wood French doors separate the bedroom from the living room, and furniture includes a reproduction Ligne Roset velvet couch and Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair, a stereo system, and LCD TV's in the bedroom and living room.

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