Lifestyle, Photography, Travel, Travel Blogger

Hotel Feature: The W – Chicago

I stayed at the W Chicago on Lakeshore Drive over the Labor day weekend and had an amazing time. The trip was booked through Expedia at $212/night a bit higher than the current going rate of $190/night due to the holiday weekend. The main reason I decided to book this particular hotel was due to its vicinity to downtown Chicago.  W Chicago – Lakeshore is located within walking distance from the Navy Pier, Lake Michigan and Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

Let me tell you something, typically hotel pictures are photo-shopped and carefully positioned in angles that make hotels look magical. However, in this case there is little difference between the artistic photo posted by the hotel and the one below posted by me. SONY DSC

The retro yet modern style mixed with abstract patterns and striking pops of vibrant electric hues of reds, yellows and blues created a hip, relaxing and upscale ambiance.

During my two-day stay at W, I came across numerous surprisingly pleasant details such as the pillow below capturing the Chicago skyline.

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Somehow what I was wearing that day, matched perfectly with the room decor.

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Given that I jet-set on a ‘budget’, I did not want to pay extra for my room to have a view. I lucked out because the view on my particular floor was breathtaking. I took the following video for my #InstaStory as I was waiting for the elevator (follow me on Instagram @joablife).

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My favorite part of the hotel was the main lobby with the abstract still life portraits and a message that resonated with me “It’s OK to feel human”.

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After using the hotel pool and spa, I came across, yet another, pleasant surprise, the balcony lounge. Located on the same floor as the hotel spa, the balcony lounge displays magnificent penthouse views of lake Michigan, furnished with comfy plush couches decorated in white and hues of neon lime colors and casual appearances of oriental style flower fixtures.

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Needless to say, this place made me happy, I did not want to leave…

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Lifestyle, Photography, Travel, Travel Blogger

Chicago – My Kind of Town

In a city with a population of almost 3 million, Chicago succeeded in making me feel special during my Labor Day quick getaway to the Windy City. This was my forth time visiting Chicago, but it was the first time that I got a chance to walk over ten miles and really explore the city in its full glory, not to mention that I also saved a considerable amount of money in parking.

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After the Chicago Great Fire of 1871, the city underwent a massive rebuild and it is dubbed by many as a ‘global architectural capital’ with its mind-blowing buildings some of which are reminiscent of Batman’s Gotham City.

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As I approached Chicago’s famous, Millennium Park I could hear the wind carrying vivacious jazz sounds. I was in luck, the 39th Annual Jazz festival was underway in the park which was named as a tribute to the third millennium ending in the year 3000 according to the Gregorian Calendar. It felt great having VIP seating at no cost! Free events are one of the many perks of living in cosmopolitan cities

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Cloud Gate a.k.a. the Bean is a steel sculpture which looks like liquid mercury, famous for reflecting distorted views of people with a backdrop of the Chicago skyline. It is located at AT&T Plaza at Millennium Park.

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In the midst of the tourist crowd, I managed to get a picture of the omphalos chamber that warps and multiplies reflections.

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I decided to take a break and sit on a bench on the shore of Lake Michigan admiring the jet skis and sailboats, Chicago’s famous 30-mile lakefront visited daily by cyclists, joggers and walkers.  During the short summer months, sunbathers and beach sports players add additional vivaciousness to the serene surroundings.

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Having worked up quite an appetite, I decided to stop at Eataly, chef Mario Batali’s Chicagoan-Italian experience. This place has it all! Lavazza espressos, Nutella (my weakness!) crepes, and has successfully established itself for years as a Carb Heaven with its homemade pizza and pasta and a vast vino selection.

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Eataly location on Ohio St. in Chicago

As I was waiting for a table, I spent a good amount of time admiring the vast olive product line offerings and oil production, such obsession can be explained by my paternal grandmother Italian heritage. Yep, I love my EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)!

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More to come on Chicago…