The Four Seasons Chicago is a luxury hotel located in the midst of Chicago’s upscale shopping district known as the Magnificent Mile at 900 North Michigan. Afternoon Tea is now offered only seasonally in November and December. So I would highly recommend contacting the hotel to confirm dates and times.
The images here are from my earlier visit to the Four Seasons. Since then, menu items have almost certainly changed, but I’m sure you’ll be able to get a feel for their afternoon tea experience nonetheless.
Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago (image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel)
UPDATE: The Ritz Carlton Chicago no longer offers a daily afternoon tea. It is offered only during certain seasons of the year and is served in the Deca Restaurant on the 12th floor. Still, I would like to take you on an image tour of the afternoon tea experience when I was at The Ritz, but please note that what you see here may not, is probably not, the same afternoon tea that is offered today.
The Ritz Carlton Chicago Hotel is located in the high-rise building known as Water Tower Place situated in an uber-prime area of Chicago – the high-end shopping district of North Michigan Avenue. If you want to locate a hotel in Chicago, it just doesn’t get any better than this.
Entrance to Ritz Carlton Chicago Hotel on E. Pearson St
There’s just no other way to say it, Peninsula Hotels just do it better. I remember reading stories about the ultimate afternoon tea experience at The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. This is one of the most highly rated hotels in the world, if not the highest. And afternoon tea there was spoken about in hushed and reverent tones.
While I still haven’t made it to Hong Kong, I did manage to visit The Peninsula in Shanghai, which you can read about by clicking here.
The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago is, of course, no exception. Beyond the impressive hotel property itself, I believe it’s the staff that helps make this hotel distinctive. It’s old school, it’s gracious and it’s rare.
Read on for a picture tour of the Peninsula Chicago and the afternoon tea they serve in the 5th floor Lobby Lounge.
Let’s begin with the street level entrance to the hotel on East Superior Street, just steps away from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, arguably the finest shopping neighborhood in the city.
There are many luxury hotels in Manhattan, but The Pierre stands out as a beacon of old-world charm and modern-day luxury. Opened in 1930 by Charles Pierre, it fell upon economic hard times during the Great Depression and was sold to J. Paul Getty in 1932. Four Seasons Hotels took over management in 1981, but – as of 2005 – it is now owned and operated by the Taj Hotels and Resorts Group.
If there ever was a luxury hotel that just speaks “New York,” this is it – the Waldorf Astoria. Naturally, it’s a landmark, but it’s also associated with so much history that it’s difficult to say anything about New York without mentioning the Waldorf Astoria. Named after the ancestral home of the Astor family in Germany, the Waldorf today boasts a staggering 1,400+ rooms. Decades ago, Guy Lombardo broadcast his annual New Year’s celebration from the Grand Ballroom here, and guests including heads of state and Hollywood royalty are too numerous to mention.
Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City – Entrance from Park Ave
The Plaza Hotel, one of only two New York City hotels to be awarded landmark status, is located in one of the most exclusive areas of Manhattan at 59th Street and Central Park. The hotel has hosted many well known celebrities including Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor, the Beatles, Mark Twain and also appears in a scene from The Great Gatsby.
The Palm Court …
Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel in New York for Afternoon Tea
After a recently completed multi-million dollar renovation, afternoon tea is again served in the large and airy Palm Court with its mirrored walls, marble columns and dramatic leaded glass lay light overhead allowing natural light into the room. If you’re interested in an elegant venue for afternoon tea in New York City, you’d be hard pressed to find anything more classic or stylish than the Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel.
An unusually warm December afternoon found me in Chicago at one of the city’s premier luxury hotels, The Four Seasons, just off the Magnificent Mile. The hotel is in a high rise building above an upscale retail mall called The 900 Shops.
The hotel’s entire lobby is richly decorated in fine-plush furnishings but, The Lounge – where tea is served – certainly stands out in its striking beauty and decor. Unlike several hotel venues that serve afternoon tea in a large airy room, this space is small and intimate. Ironically, the room was full but it was also very private and quiet. The acoustic engineers must have worked overtime on this space. The Lounge’s dark wood, plush carpeting, and fine tapestries all speak of the luxury you are about to experience taking afternoon tea at The Four Seasons Chicago. Continue reading →
Lobby of The Ritz Carlton, Chicago (image courtesy of The Ritz Carlton)
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz Carlton, Chicago reminds me of spending a relaxing afternoon in someone’s luxurious parlor or living room. The mood is unhurried, the atmosphere is elegant, and the overstuffed sofas and chairs just make you want to stay and never leave. In some ways, it reminds me of The Gallery at The George V in Paris, one of my all time favorite places for afternoon tea.
Tea is served in The Ritz Carlton Hotel’s lobby located on the 12th floor of Water Tower Place in Chicago, a high rise building on The Magnificent Mile that includes retail stores on the lower floors, the Ritz Carlton Hotel on the mid floors and luxury condominiums with views of Lake Michigan on the upper floors. You’re close to the high energy of the city yet, at the same time, twelve floors above it in a soundproof oasis. (This is also where U.S. television personality Oprah Winfrey lives in Chicago.) Continue reading →
Afternoon Tea on The Cocktail Terrace at The Waldorf Astoria (image courtesy of The Waldorf Astoria)
If there ever was a luxury hotel that embodies New York, it’s the Waldorf Astoria. Of course it’s a landmark luxury hotel, but it’s steeped in so much history that it’s difficult to talk about New York without mentioning the Waldorf. From Guy Lombardo’s annual New Year’s celebrations broadcast from the Grand Ballroom to guests including heads of state and Hollywood royalty too numerous to mention, the hotel has a long and storied past.
Historically, The Waldorf is responsible for transforming the role of major urban hotels into establishments that do more than just provide temporary accommodations to travelers. These grand urban hotels were to become social centers in cities and prestigious destinations for visitors. The Waldorf was also at the forefront of advancing the status of women by being one of the earliest to admit women singly, without escorts. Continue reading →