Fitzpatrick's Irish Charm


By Ilona Kauremszky
Special to The National Post

HOTEL OF THE WEEK

CHICAGO - Amidst the chi-chi brands of Tiffany's, Burberry and Hermes in the hub of Chicago's Magnificent Mile, there is a new kid on the block: The Fitzpatrick Chicago Hotel.

This boutique hotel is a welcome addition and stands out against the megahotel conglomerates.

Opened over a year ago, the 29-storey "Fitz" as it's aptly called is Chicago's only family owned and operated hotel that's full of an Irish charm. It's perfect for couples, families, and dare I mention a club of Irish Harley Davidson bikers? They recently slumbered here before heading south on the famous Route 66 that marks Mile One in downtown Chicago.

After our nine-hour drive from Toronto, we scooted into the Fitz's lobby where a spiral staircase conveniently located at the entrance led us downstairs to Fitzer's Pub. Lunch is a traditional pub grub and the hand carved bar is the centrepiece stalked with an ample supply of beer, stouts and spirits. I opted for a generous portion of shepherd's pie smothered in creamy mashed spuds with a pint of Guinness to top off my made-in-Ireland experience.

Debi Cretacci, Director of Sales, adds that the hotel with its prime location by Magnificent Mile, proximity to public transit and the fact that you can easily walk to any of the city landmarks, makes the Fitzpatrick a perfect launch pad.

The rooms are an opulent home away from home. Upon entering, there's a landing with three steps that whisk you into a sunken living room of rich upholstered chairs and a comfy sofa for lounging after a hard day of shopping.

Warm golden hues and 15-foot high ceilings give the rooms an open spaciousness to our temporary abode. There are thick white bathrobes, slippers and a copy of "Ancient Irish Legends" by the nighttable for those who wish to explore the land of the leprechauns. Or take a refreshing dip in the penthouse pool.

But the crème de la crème to this Emerald jewel is the bed itself. A skyhigh firm king-sized mattress topped with a thick pillow of down and a regal tapestried canopy would make anyone feel like royalty. "Our biggest complaint from our visitors is that they can't get out of bed," laughs Debi.

Who could blame them? After a day of shopping, sightseeing and catching a blues set in one of Chicago's nightclubs, the quiet oasis that awaits you at the Fitzpatrick Chicago hotel will lull you like a sweet old Irish lullabye.

TO KNOW:

Fitzpatrick Chicago Hotel is located at 166 East Superior Street and has a variety of packages. Until March 31, 2004, the weekend Family Package costs $249US per suite and includes a king suite, breakfast buffet, one in-room movie and a $50US American Girl gift certificate.

The Power Shopping Trip starts from $149US per room and includes a complimentary Power Shopping Kit with peppermint foot cream and store discounts.

For reservations, call toll-free 1.800.367.7701

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Photo: Stephen Smith


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