Are you a hipster? Or perhaps you aspire to hipsterdom? Or perhaps you simply want a hotel in the heart of Chicago’s River North district that’s ‘tragically hip’? (Their words, not ours.)
If that’s the case, you need to check out the ACME Hotel Company.
There really is something mysteriously cool about the place. It’s definitely more Hoxton than Hyde Park. It’s not bright and airy, for example. In fact, it’s a little dark in areas, which means that it comes into its own as the sun sets.
This moodiness extends to the rooms, all of which have a (very comfortable) edge to them. The beds have that ‘just five more minutes’ feel that the USA does so well. (Why does nowhere in the world do a hotel bed like America? Answers on a postcard, please.)
All rooms have an Amazon Alexa, which you can use should you wish, to order coffee. You can borrow Apple watches and Snapchat specs and – this is genius – mobile hotspots, meaning you can take wifi with you when you explore the streets.
There’s an uber-cool, very American flavor to the ACME’s cocktail bar, the Berkshire Room. From what we saw, it’s a Friday night destination for chic Chicagoans who aren’t guests. If bourbon’s your thing, our pick’s Return the Favour – it goes down very well. Too well, perhaps; there’s always time for one more.
There’s no dining area. But what the hotel does have is a bakery attached to it. Because of course it does.
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The West Town Bakery is of the glorious, full-fat variety, and the cake balls are to die for. Instead of sorry instant coffee in your room, you can call down for a free thermos of steaming hot, freshly brewed joe that the bakery will bring to your door. (If, like this writer, you need tea to function in the morning, you can order that too.)
Chicago’s a big city (upwards, as well as outwards), but it’s a surprisingly walkable one – not something you’d say of many cities in the US – and the ACME is perfectly positioned to stroll to all of the city’s highlights.
It’s a block from the start of the Magnificent Mile; Chicago’s shopping district that boasts everything from high street to high-end.
You’re also a stone’s throw from Saks, Macy’s, Bloomingdales and the like, as well as the Water Tower Place mall. There’s also a bevy of restaurants, theaters and other cool stuff within walking distance.
You’re about 15 minutes from the world-famous ‘Bean’, which itself sits in Millennium Park, and is full of beguiling public art. While you’re in that part of town, treat yourself to one of Chicago’s signature deep-dish pizzas from Giordano’s. (A word to the wise, the ‘individual’ pizza is enough to lead a small horse into a carb coma.)
The ACME has one last trick up its sleeve. Venture down to the basement and you’ll find a well-stocked gym and a huge (and we mean huge) hot tub, the Bunny Slope.
Wander down after dinner and enjoy bubbles while sitting in bubbles. (There’s a bar right next to the tub). It’s the perfect way to end the day – or start the night!
For more information about the ACME Hotel Company, head to ACMEHotelCompany.com. For more information about Chicago, head to ChooseChicago.com. For more information about Illinois, visit EnjoyIllinois.com, home of the Illinois Office of Tourism.