The minute I knew I was attending the BlogHer conference in Chicago, I knew I wanted to take a few extra days to explore the Windy City and learn more about its celebrated architectural styles. Which is why I wanted to stay at a boutique hotel with unique décor, my number one delight of any trip I take.
When Choose Chicago recommended Hotel Felix for my stay, I knew that’s where I would be staying. Priding itself on its commitment to eco friendly hospitality, Hotel Felix is not just Chicago’s first green hotel, but it’s also a downright chic one.
Pulling up in front of Felix, you stand in front of a former classic 1920s apartment hotel that has now been transformed into downtown Chicago’s first LEED Silver certified hotel. In a renovation project undertaken by Getty’s, a Chicago-based design and architectural firm, the green redesign involved preserving the building’s existing structure, as well as incorporating water and energy efficient systems directly into the remake.
Even before you set foot in the hotel’s entryway, Loren the Doorman, Madeline the Baker’s Wife, and Scrappy the Dog welcome you in the quirkiest way possible. These eco-friendly art sculptures made from recycled pipes and other reclaimed materials are the symbols of Hotel’s Felix whimsical look and feel, as well as its environmental commitment. From carpet made from recycled materials to low energy lighting and motion censored heating, air conditioning and ventilation, and laundry operation with no bleach usage, Hotel Felix’s mission is clear.
Walking into the lobby of the hotel has an instant calming effect; its earth tones, wood chops decorating the fireplace and the adjacent water pond all contribute to that effect. Added to that are the paperless front desk and the complimentary morning free trade coffee and chocolate available to guests.
As I checked into my single room, I was surprised to find a queen-sized bed, a desk area and an overall generous space. Wi Fi worked perfectly from any location within the hotel premises, no password required, which is very convenient for a blogger and social media addict as myself. I was also delighted to see L’Occitane en Provence toiletries being provided, one of my favorite natural beauty brands. The smoke-free room came with plush bedding, which I defiantly sunk into during my two-night stay.
For those who like to work out regularly, the 24-hour fitness center is well equipped with anything you need (treadmills, elliptical machines and weights for weight lifting), as well as with a spa using earth-friendly Aveda products. My favorite amenity of the hotel was the on-site restaurant, LM Bistro. The Euro cuisine is made from fresh organic ingredients that mix perfectly with a selection of international beers, specialty cocktails or French wines. I went to dinner for a quick bite and was amazed at the romantic ambiance, French-inspired classy décor and irreproachable service.
I highly recommend the tomato bisque and the du marche salad, the best soup and salad I may have ever had. I also suggest bringing a date with you.
Hotel Felix also won major points for me due to its location. Given I was in town for three, short, yet activity-filled days in Chicago, location was essential. Conveniently positioned in the River North neighborhood, I found myself only a five-minute walk-up to Chicago’s most popular sights. Without any particular instructions or extra time to waste, I simply walked up on Huron St until I reached the Magnificent Mile within The Loop and its thriving shopping district. From then on, going straight passed the Chicago Riverwalk, I soon reached Millenium Park where I easily spent two hours admiring Chicago’s state-of-the-art structures. The McCormick Convention Center, where I needed to be on Friday, was also only a short taxi ride away.
Hotel Felix greatly exceeded my expectations, which is why I will keep on coming back. I promised Loren, Madeline and Scrappy I would
Disclaimer: Many thanks to Hotel Felix for offering me a complimentary two-night stay during July 26-27th. I truly enjoyed the decor, amenities and unique touches, and endorsing such an honorable mission as yours.