Over the course of our Chicago trip we had the opportunity to stay at The Knickerbocker Hotel, a truly amazing and historical hotel.
It was designed by two notable architects, Rissman & Hirschfield in 1927 and this 14-story, gothic-inspired hotel was built in less than a year. Throughout the years, the hotel changed its name and ownership multiple times, with each owner having a different vision of what the hotel should look like. In 1999, the hotel was purchased by Millennium Hotels and Resorts and $27 million was spent on restoring the interior of the hotel to return to its early glory. This landmark property has since become a member of the Historic Hotels of America program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
What make this hotel a special venue is the Georgian-Style Crystal Ballroom. It has a 25-foot, gilded dome ceiling and an illuminated glass dance floor, and is the only one in a Chicago hotel. Imagine having your first dance on a lit-up dance floor…how romantic is that?
Across the street from Knickerbocker Hotel is the legendary iconic hotel – The Drake.
It is one of my all time favorites, and that’s why I am saving the best for last. We stayed here during our previous visit to Chicago back in 2008 and the experience was unforgettable. We loved the Executive Lounge that was located on the 11th floor. It is exclusive for guests who stayed in the Executive Rooms. As soon as we checked in, we were then invited to the The Executive Lounge to enjoy the spectacular view of Lake Michigan while sipping our cocktails and eating delicious canapes:
The hotel was built in 1920 by architect Benjamin Marshall. The hotel is now operated under the Hilton brand and has won many awards. In January 2011, The Drake Hotel was named to Travel + Leisure’s 2011 T+L 500 list of top-rated hotels around the globe. The top rated restaurants, the gorgeous view of the lake from the hotel, its exclusive and prestigious Club International, the luxurious spa, its 5-star service, and jaw-dropping amazing Goldcoast ballroom has made The Drake a Chicago icon. This is the hotel where U.S. presidents and British royalties stay. Hundreds of weddings take place at The Drake each year and creating weddings has become the highest priority of the hotel. There are a total of four major banquet and meeting areas and 14 smaller meeting rooms.
The major banquet and meeting areas include The Gold Coast Ballroom, Walton Room, French Room, and the Grand Ballroom. I’ve taken a pic of each of these ballrooms below (in the same order):
You’ve got to give the rooms much more credit that what you see here. I took these photos in really poor lighting conditions with no tables, settings, or decor with an iPhone camera – but you get the gist of what each room looks like.
Last but not least, here is the Drake Room:
As a wedding planner who loves truly glamorous things, this is definitely eye candy at its best. Whenever I travel, I always enjoy visiting architectural wonders because you can study so much about the city and the personality of its people. The Drake is truly representative of all that is Chicago.