it’s official: i am totally obsessed with the gwen chicago. we wound up there on a whim for a long weekend, and left completely smitten by this beautiful, 300-room ode to 1930’s chicago.
named after sculptress gwen lux, the gwen is a nod to “a female artisan making a mark in a predominately 1930’s male design city” – boasting actual panels that were created by her back in 1929. a hotel conceptualized in honor of a powerhouse #bossbabe who paved the way for other females? yes, please! the midcentury modern furnishings are rich in detail – brushed metals, textured herringbone fabrics, and velour galore… the gwen does not skimp on even the smallest detail.
the indoor bar is always buzzing, the outdoor terrace is equipped with a fire pit and space heaters (not to mention an epic view of the city) and on weekends you’ll spot a ‘build your own bloody mary’ bar happening in the lobby! there were tons of events going on around the property, and i loved how accessible it was to virtually everything: there was a starbucks one block away, as well as a direct elevator down to the giant nordstrom on magnificent mile. i mean really…. what more could i ask for? the room was crisp with clean lines and plenty of space. luxe molton brown toiletries are provided in the bathrooms, and there are plenty of outlets to house your chargers, laptops and curling irons.
the gwen has a welcoming fitness center (which you’ll be needing to feel like yourself again after some chicago deep dish pizza!) and the bartenders make a mean cocktail. my favorite (pictured below) was the ‘viva mexico city!’ – a drink named after painter frida kahlo, who had her first exhibit in chicago. it’s a minimalist cocktail, made with tequila, green chartreuse, fresh lime and mint. the best part? it’s like a grown-up snowcone, with shaved ice crumbles lining the entire tall glass. it was absolutely delicious, refreshing, and full of flavor. i’ll be searching new york high and low for a comparable drink!
and now, a brief recap of our happenings: we checked in on friday and immediately went to portillo’s (a must while in chicago!). their italian beef sandwich dipped in gravy really hit the spot, and before you knew it, i was off to shop the magnificent mile while my husband attended his business meeting. walking around a new city by myself was actually a lot of fun. so refreshing to be in new surroundings, taking it all in on my own. i’m a people-person for sure, but i love my downtime and this turned out to be the perfect day all to myself.
we met back up in the evening and checked out the street art at the wabash arts corridor before having a meal at the albert, which was absolutely divine. i’ll admit we’re biased, since our good friend is the head sous chef. we enjoyed some off-menu treats and took in the beautiful interior – with soaring ceilings and unique light fixtures. but most importantly: the food is exquisite.
on saturday, the hubby and i took the subway to the lincoln park neighborhood, where we walked through and admired the brownstones. then, we visited ‘the bean’ at cloud gate before having another incredible dinner at girl and the goat, which came recommended by almost everyone i know that has been to chicago. the highlight for me were the goat empanadas and their “green beans in fish sauce” (which i’m shocked i ate…. and liked!!!)
sunday was all about brunch before heading to the airport – and if you read my last post, you know that the hampton social was my favorite brunch i have ever been to – literally! it was a whirlwind weekend that we planned in 48 hours or less. sometimes, those are the best kinds of getaways! many thank you’s to the gwen chicago for their fabulous hospitality and for an unforgettable experience in a city that we always love to visit! if you’re looking for a trendy and convenient place to call your temporary home base, this hotel is a stellar choice. follow me on instagram to stay in the loop for more super fun collaborations, coming soon!