Over the years we’ve stayed in our share of hotels, from the ultra-luxurious to the really cheap. One thing about any hotel that usually fails to impress me is the pool. I get that the pool is the main thing some guests think about but I just don’t get the appeal. You’ll never hear me say “Wow, that hotel pool was amazing.” That is until we visited this hotel.
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) is a huge airport. In fact, with nearly 80,000,000 passengers annually, to say nothing of an average of 2,400 aircraft operations per day, it’s ranked as the 6th busiest airport in the world.
ORD has four terminals that are connected by an inter-terminal train called the Airport Transit System (ATS). ATS has been running since 1993 and after a few delays, it’s finally in the midst of getting a well-earned rehabilitation.
We’ve rediscovered our love for Chicago over the last two years. Whether it’s a visit to see Hamilton, catch a Phil Collins concert or even just an excuse for Sharon to pick up another Tiki Mug from Three Dots and a Dash (note from Sharon: YYYYAAAASSSS!!!!), we’re always up for another visit. We asked you for what we should do in Chicago and one of the places we’d never visited until our last trip was the Field Museum.
I already shared how we were able to visit for free since my employer is one of the major contributors to the museum. Now, most people who visit the Field Museum want to see the dinosaurs, including Sue, the T-Rex (who was in rehab when we visited. But we still saw some sweet dinos.)
Other people might be more interested in learning about two of the other infamous residents of the Field, the Tsavo Lions.
While seeing all of these things were great, there was one exhibit that we’re still talking about for months after our visit. It is a fascinating retrospective on how people’s opinions can change towards a topic in the timespan of a single lifetime.
If you’re a fan of Broadway, especially Broadway musicals, you’re well aware that Hamilton has become a cultural phenomenon.
In 2016, it got a record-setting 16 Tony nominations (it won 11, including Best Musical), and was also the recipient of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It has permanent-until-it-closes productions in NYC, Chicago and London’s West End, as well as three U.S. national tours. That’s on top of a half dozen or so special Hamilton-themed musical releases.
If all this is old hat to you, then you may be interested to know that next up will be Hamilton: The Exhibition.
It’s not often that you get to stay overnight in a life insurance building that opened back in 1894, but Kimpton isn’t your everyday hotel chain. Now part of the IHG family of brands, Kimpton has a flair for taking extraordinary spaces and turning them into phenomenal hotels. The Kimpton Gray in Chicago is a perfect example.
I’ve already written about how I used my IHG Select Credit Card free night certificate to pay for the room instead of paying the $400+ a night that rooms were going for at the time. The Gray fit our needs for a quick weekend in Chicago, it was located in the Loop and right off the CTA from O’Hare and the United Center. While rooms at this hotel can be expensive, they’re really nice.