How’d you like to spend the night under the same roof where John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and the Rolling Stones once slept. The storied Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago has been open to Chicagoans since 1927. The Gothic building has served as a casino led by Al Capone’s brother, the Playboy Towers in the 1970s, and today a 4-star hotel in the heart of the city. The hotel pays homage to its heyday with the Georgian-style crystal ballroom, featuring an original gilded dome ceiling. The spaces original illuminated glass dance floor is recreated in plexiglass.
Best for… History and Design Buffs
If you can appreciate good design and classic Art Deco styling, the Knickerbocker is the place for you. The building was built in 1927 by notable Chicago architects Rissman and Hirschfield. Today’s hotel pay homage to that era with Jazz era–inspired rooms and the stunning Georgian-style Crystal Ballroom. It features a large 25-foot gilded dome ceiling and an impressive balcony. In the early years of the hotel, guests watched the famous dance act, Veloz and Yolanda, perform on the illuminated glass dance floor, dazzling the crowd with an array of bright colors. Today, the illuminated floor is recreated in modern plexiglass—the only of its kind in Chicago.
At the end of the day, imbibe like it’s 1927 with a Jazz-era cocktail menu at Martini Bar, serving up more than 50 martini specials. Of course, there’s live jazz entertainment and light bites as well. Martini bar also features a Library Tea Room for a classic Chicago experience.
Millennium Knickerbocker Amenities
Classic guests rooms are outfitted with vintage style and modern amenities. Choose from a standard room, superior room, superior plus corner room, studio suite, Millennium suite, and Knickerbocker suite. All roms feature everything you need to rest and relax while staying connected, including a Smart TV and in-room WiFi. There’s also a minibar, in-room safe, spacious bathroom, and coffee and tea-making facilities.
For the ultimate luxury, the Knickerbocker Suite stretches an impressive 1,400-square-feet with one-and-a-half baths, a separate living room, and a conference/dining table for six. A seating area with sofa offers impressive city views.
Family friendly, the hotel features the Ask Alfred children’s concierge. For $15 per child, kids get a package full of goodies including an Alfred teddy bear, loveable stickers, gummy bears, a Melissa & Doug coloring book and a cinch backpack. Other hotel amenities include a business center, fitness center, and dry cleaning and laundry.
The Knickerbocker has an array of venues for events, including 14 meeting rooms and the impressive Crystal Ballroom. You’ll also want to have dinner on site at one of the hotel’s eateries. Nix Restaurant is a favorite for breakfast and lunch serving up local offerings and authentic American in a luxe riverside bistro. You’ll also want to sip on one of 50 martini offerings at the classic Martini Bar, where you can enjoy dinner and small plates over live jazz music.
Millennium Knickerbocker Location
Steps from Magnificent Mile, Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago is just a short walk from 360 Chicago and its panoramic observation deck. You can also walk to the Museum of Contemporary Art and all of the shopping, dining and entertainment on Magnificent Mile less than one block west. In warmer months, relax at Oak Street Beach or go for a walk on the Chicago Lakefront Trail, just steps from the Knickerbocker.
Nearby accommodations include the Westin Michigan Avenue, The Drake Hotel, and Residence Inn Magnificent Mile. Hotels in this area are going to be pricey, but the Millennium Knickerbocker offers about a median price range from competitors.
Millennium Knickerbocker: The Verdict
When it comes to cool factor, it’s hard to beat the Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago. Sleep where Al Capone’s brother once ran a hotel and dance on an illuminated glass dance floor. Pay homage to another time in an Art Deco martini lounge. The hotel doesn’t have a pool or spa, but if those aren’t your thing, it delivers in history and modern comfort. There are all the expected offerings as well, like smart TVs, a fitness and business center, and free WiFi.