Day to explore

Chicago Travel Blog

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We stayed at the Hotel Sax - fantastic boutiquey hotel experience. There is a wine bar downstairs that is worth exploring.
Chicago is a great walking city. It's relatively easy to get from one place to next, and the river-walk was made for... well, walking. It's about a mile's walk from our Hotel, the Hotel Sax (right next to the corn cob buildings) to Navy Pier, but you get to see some of the great architecture again. Now if I had just paid more attention on that darn tour yesterday...

Hotel Sax is a boutique-like hotel with immaculate details in the beautiful rooms. But, like all other boutique hotels, the rooms are very small. So if you like to spread out, Sax is not for you. I happen to like the attention to detail and upscale finishes, so I highly recommend Hotel Sax. The location is a plus also. Right in the center of everything, close to shopping, restaurants, the river-walk, and next to a beautiful view!

After a day of walking and shopping, we were ready for a nice dinner at Merlo's on Maple, an Italian restaurant.
The view from the Signature Lounge atop the John Hancock Building
The food is not your every-day Italian with heaping bowls of pasta large enough for a family of ten to share. Merlo's is authentic Bolognese fine cuisine with pasta and meats that melt in your mouth, and accordingly the portions are human (not ravenous hippo) sized. We were seated upstairs of the quaint three-story brick house. The space is small, and very private, and perfect for a romantic evening. In fact, the dining area is separated into eclectically decorated rooms. The food comes out slowly and the wine keeps pouring. This is according to the Italian tradition of having conversation (as well as wine consumption) while you are preparing for your meal. This is not just dinner, this is an evening.

Next to the Signature Lounge atop the John Hancock building for a few cocktails. We had a perfect night view of Chicago from our window-side table. The best view though, for some reason, is from the ladies bathroom. Go figure. Make sure you have some time and you're not too thirsty though. The line to get in is pretty long, although it moves swiftly. Service was quite slow too, but the view made up for it. I think they have that figured out.

We finished the night at one of the many piano bars, and didn't get back to the hotel until 4 am. Pretty good night!
B-Town says:
4am? I know what that's ALL about ;-)
Posted on: Jul 29, 2008
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photo by: mahoney