I have *such* a love-hate relationship with Chicago. I didn’t enjoy living there but its the most beautiful metropolitan city in the US (in my humble opinion!) and the food is incredible! We left for LA a little over 3 years ago and I was so excited to return for the first time since, but this time as a tourist. I was speaking on a social-media & entrepreneurship panel @ IHeartHalal at Navy Pier and had my little family in tow; Iya was exclusively breastfed at the time (April) so we were attached at the hip still.
Man, I don’t know what it was… navigating a busy downtown with an infant or the horrible weather (so windy + pouring rain + freezing!!) ?! The weekend was so beyond difficult ? but I have to say that I thoroughly LOVED our hotel stay and the event. Oh Chicago, why do you have to be so hot or cold with me at two ends of the spectrum?! LOL!
Waldorf Astoria Hotel Chicago was so generous in hosting us, I was dreaming up the most beautiful shoots in their courtyard ahead of time but the weather simply did not allow. I kid you not, the wind was blowing me away while I was getting rained on, SIGH! Insta-dreams aside, pulling into their courtyard really creates such a sense of tranquility and LUXURY. It suddenly gets so peaceful much like a cove. One thing i hated about living in Chicago was how chaotic it always was getting out of my car if I could even find a place to stop. The last thing anyone wants to do with their luggage after a long journey is stress some more — that certainly was not the case here (OOTD shoots aside lol). The valets helped us with our belongings efficiently every time with a smile on their faces. None of the staff accepts tips yet the service was always impeccable. Check in was smooth and fast, so relieving after an entire day of transit with an infant, they even gave Iya an adorable Waldorf Astoria stuffed giraffe, so sweet! Upon requesting a crib for our room they even brought a proper diaper pail for us – not a regular old trash bin. Its really these little touches that make an experience so comfortable and memorable.
We KEPT leaving things in the car (Iya’s odds and ends, food, iPhone chargers) and I felt like we were driving the staff crazy but they were seriously always so great about running to the car for us and bringing us what ever we needed & quickly too! We were stuck in our room most of the weekend because of the weather and we were working on our taxes & escrow/closing documents for our home ? so needless to say the stress was high. Their small acts of kindness like toys for Iya really gave us a huge sense of comfort. The neutrals & greys of the rooms were really soothing to look at (seriously!) and I especially loved the gorgeous all-marble-everything bathroom! I’m definitely pulling inspo from it for our home.
Any time we did head out though, our car was always waiting for us promptly and for shorter drives (up to 2 miles) we were able to be dropped off via their free house-car service. So classy! The difficulties of my actual trip aside, Waldorf Astoria Chicago was by far my favorite hotel stay in the country yet!!