Stephanie Holmes checks into the Omni Hotel Chicago
Right in the heart of Downtown Chicago, on Michigan Ave, otherwise known as the Magnificent Mile.
Check-in experience: There was a bit of a wait because there were only two staff working and we had a group of eight, all checking in separately. But once I got to the front of the queue, things were completed efficiently.
What's in the neighbourhood? High street and high-end shopping, plus all the impressive skyscrapers of Downtown Chicago, and walking distance to museums, restaurants and bars, the river and lake front.
Price: From $433 per night, on expedia.co.nz
Room: A King Suite on the sixth of 25 floors. The Omni is an all-suite hotel, meaning all rooms get a separate living area and bedroom, plus bathroom. It was spacious, but felt quite dark thanks to the colour scheme, which was majority brown.
View: My room looked out to the Magnificent Mile, so I could peer down at the city's hustle and bustle.
The bed: A super king, with lovely starchy linen and comfortable pillows.
Bathroom: Extra large but not a particularly good use of space. The shower was over a small bathtub crammed into one corner, with the toilet right next to it, leaving a huge amount of redundant space in the rest of the room. The bath would be too small to comfortably soak in — a better use of space would be to have a walk-in shower and ditch the bathtub altogether.
Toiletries: Omni Hotels' own brand, including a bottle of mouthwash — very welcome after a long day travelling.
Food and drink: 676, the on-site restaurant and bar, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant gets its name from the fact that all ingredients on the menu originate no more than 676 miles from the hotel, making use of the excellent fresh produce in the Lake Michigan area. Charcuterie is cured on site, and there are beehives and vegetable gardens on the roof. Room service is available 24/7.
Exercise: A gym and swimming pool on the fifth floor, although I didn't make use of them.
Noise: There was a bit of street noise — sirens and the occasional car horn — as well as thin walls meaning I could hear my neighbour's alarm and shower running.
Special packages: For guests with children who love dolls, Omni has collaborated with the nearby American Girl store to create a very special — and slightly bizarre — experience.
American Girl dolls have been around for more than 30 years and are a popular (if not expensive) toy. Guests can book in with their children, who can bring their dolls, and the hotel will set up a tiny bed in the room for the doll, complete with tiny Omni-branded robe. At Christmas there's an even more excessive option: you can book the presidential suite, and the price includes a Rolls Royce ride to the American Girl store, and a private lunch with "Santa" in store. There really is something for every taste in America.
Would I return? Yes, for the location and the great in-house restaurant.