Have you ever wondered where the rich, powerful and famous stay when they visit Chicago? Next time you’re standing on Michigan Avenue between Grand Avenue and Illinois Street, look up. Inside of the Executive Tower at the InterContinental Hotel, thirty-five stories above the Magnificent Mile, sits the two-story, 1700 square foot Presidential Suite. This modern and luxurious abode is synonymous with style. So what is it like to stay here? The versatile space is what you make of it, and for me it was pure relaxation.
THE PRESIDENTIAL SUITE
The suite is larger than most Chicago apartments and exploring the expansive space was half the fun. I unlocked the door, which opened up to a hallway with a sleek guest bathroom on the right. I continued down the hall and when I reached the end I found myself in a large sitting room with cathedral ceilings and wall-to-wall windows. It was outfitted with a galore of lust worthy fashion books – Coco & Karl would have been proud. To my right was a cozy, yet sophisticated media room and just beyond that was a small office space.
Once I walked back to the stylish sitting room I continued into the dining room. In the very back of the suite was a half kitchen. Back in the sitting room, I ascended up the gorgeous staircase onto the Juliette balcony. I opened a small door (worthy of The Shire) and entered the bedroom, which featured city views and a contemporary bathroom, complete with a television inside of the mirror. As soon as I unpacked it was time to go downstairs and eat.
The InterContinental Hotel houses both Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse and ENO, a worldly wine bar best known for their cheese, wine and chocolate offerings. With relaxation on my mind, I opted to dine at ENO. The rich space was warm, inviting and the walls contained hundred of bottles of wine from around the world. As soon as I sat down the cheerful server presented me with a menu of wine flights, as well as by the glass and bottle options. ENO employs a team of master sommeliers who are in charge of curating the ever-changing wine menu; so needless to say, choosing what to order was a challenge. Thankfully, the knowledgeable server was there to answer each of my questions in detail.
THE WINE, CHEESE & CHOCOLATE
Eventually, I landed on the ENOPHILE flight, a collection of ENO’s Private Label wines that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. When the wine arrived at the table, each glass was presented with a paper card that contained information detailing which wine I was drinking and its properties.
The first was a 2014 Richmond Plains Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Made with organic grapes, it was an exquisite selection that featured notes of gooseberry and capsicum. The 2012 Lafken was a red blend from Chile. It was full bodied and emanated complex notes of fig, chocolate and pepper – this was by far the most unique. The last wine I drank was a French Bordeaux, the 2012 Chateau de Rougerie. This slightly superior wine was made with estate-grown, single vineyard grapes. It had great depth of flavor and the jammy taste of blackberries melded well with the lighter, rosier notes.
While sampling the wine I ordered a cheese board and an artisanal meat board, which also included informative cards. With cheese from Veneto, Italy, Dodgeville, Wisconsin and Noord, Hollland, the eclectic selection was delightfully palatable. The meat board contained a variety of specialty meats including prosciutto, spicy chorizo and salami. Each board came with sumptuous jam, spicy brown mustard, soft bread and salty Marcona almonds. Comparing how the cheese and meat impacted the flavor of the wine was half the fun.
My dining experience ended on a chocolaty note (who can say no to a chocolate flight?). Each chocolate flight is presented in a trio and while I was tempted to order the All About Eno (it had a piece of chocolate dipped bacon), I opted for the Fleur De Sel and received a black truffle sea salt chocolate, a macadamia praline and a salted chocolate caramel. It satisfied my craving for sweets without being overwhelming. I couldn’t have picked a better three bites to end the experience.
After dinner, I went up to my room, changed and took the elevator down to the stunning junior Olympic sized pool on the 14th floor. Built in 1929, it’s the oldest pool in the city. With a terra cotta fountain, marble pillars and stained glass windows, the 1920’s architecture was breathtaking. I could immediately imagine F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gloria Swanson lounging around the extravagant pool.
After I had my fill of the surreal space, I walked back up to my room, showered and cozied up in a soft, terrycloth robe and slippers. With an enviable collection of tea in the kitchen, I made a cup and spent the rest of my stay watching movies in the media room. It was hard to believe this quiet getaway existed above bustling Michigan Avenue, but now I know exactly where to go when I need to find a sanctuary in the city.
505 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611