Value Watch: The Talbott, Chicago
Photos: Courtesy The Talbott
In their quest to deliver experiences justifying their price tags, new luxury boutique hotels too often err on the side of 'too much'. Too much destination-in-itself design, too many gyms, and too many celeb-chef restaurants. In the process, guests feel either heckled by over-attentive staff or secondary to spa-goers and diners.
Not so at The Talbott Hotel in Chicago. Its bar-setting experience is understated and simple: everything guests could desire, but nothing extraneous.
The 149-room hotel feels intimate and private, a combination of warmly soft lighting, elegant wood architecture, and a staff understanding that luxury-priced service should be available and unpretentious, not over-enthusiatically preening.
Taxis are hailed without hassle, valets conjure parked cars quickly, guests never feel set-upon by cart-wielding "housekeeping!!", and helpful umbrellas are promptly produced whenever skies look even a little iffy.
Attached to The Talbott is Bice, a fine, upscale Italian restaurant. Between lunch and dinner rushes, the outdoor seating area is a pleasant place to enjoy one of the city's best coffees and some great nibbles. The thin, garlick-y french fries baked in truffle oil and parsley flakes is a satisfying treat. Conveniently, Bice also provides room service.
Unlike its taller, glass and steel cousins, unfortunately, The Talbott's rooms will not afford soaring views of the Chicago skyline. But, committed to providing a gay-friendly experience, The Talbott is offering Out Traveler readers a generously special Out Traveler Urban Relaxation Package.
This package includes a 1-hour massage in the privacy of your deluxe room (priced at $135) followed by chocolate-covered stawberries and a complimentary Vitamin Water. And, in case you're that relaxed, check-out time is pushed back to 3pm. Starting at $279 for single occupancy and $349 for double (two massages included), reservations must be placed by phone for this package (1-800-TALBOTT).
Money-saving tip: Stay before the end of April and take advantage of further-reduced rates for this package: $219/single and $281/double.