Checking In | Royal Sonesta River North Chicago

This Chicago hotel offers a convenient escape from the busy city

River North is a bustling area of Chicago, with shops and galleries to entertain you during the day and bars to keep you going late into the night, so it’s a good neighbourhood to stay in if you like being in the thick of it.

Just a few minutes away from the Royal Sonesta Downtown, closer to the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier, is the Royal Sonesta River North. It also boasts a great location but it has a different mascot (the Lady of Chicago River North rabbit) and a very different feel to its downtown sister. 

It’s still a modern skyscraper, though not as tall as the one across the river, but the design is much more old-school. There’s checkerboard marble in the lobby, and an earthy colour palette, patterned carpets, textured dark wood units, and artwork inspired by the Chicago World’s Fair, which the city held in 1893, in the rooms.

We were in a spa suite, another very spacious room with a separate living area featuring a sofa, TV unit, desk and coffee machine, and a large bedroom with a second flat-screen TV. The calling card here is the massive bathroom with an expansive vanity area, a large walk-in shower and a jacuzzi bathtub – they don’t call it a spa suite for nothing and we certainly took advantage of the opportunity to sit back and soak after a busy day exploring the city. 

The hotel is a sanctuary amidst the hustle of the city, so taking time to relax is the name of the game here (though there is a fitness centre if that’s your idea of winding down). There’s a fireplace in the lobby to cosy up next to in the winter and there’s an outdoor sundeck, adjacent to the indoor swimming pool, that’s perfect for kicking back in the spring Chicago sunshine. Even getting into bed is encouraged with a turndown service, complete with little chocs left on the pillow.

The Royal Sonesta River North has a very wholesome feel – it’s pet-friendly too with water bowls and dog biscuits are on hand in the lobby – so the entire fam will be comfortable here. And with ‘shoulder season’ travel trending, it’s the perfect time of year to jet off for an American adventure.

Rates start from £186 with British Airways Holidays

505 N State Street, Chicago, USA, 60654