For those of us born without a silver spoon in our mouths, "luxury" can be as simple as a long, hot bubble bath. But if you're looking to feel like a queen on your next getaway, plenty of Chicago hotels provide families with the chance to live in the lap of luxury, at least for a couple of nights. Here's a closer look at four of the best.
323 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago
AMENITIES: More than 600 rooms and suites are sleek and modern without feeling cold. Incredible views of lake and Navy Pier. VIK (Very Important Kids) check-in makes youngsters feel special from the moment they enter the lobby. Plenty of restaurants and on-site coffee mean you never have to leave the hotel, although the East Lakeview location makes sightseeing convenient. Kids eat free at the concourse level Geneva restaurant.
LUXURY FOR KIDS: Swissotel extends the VIK program beyond check-in with specially decorated kids' suites. Guests under 12 can choose from Adler, Shedd or Field Museum inspired themes. Admission tickets to the museum are included. From bedding and bath soaps, to age-appropriate board games, kids are pampered as well as adults. Afternoon milk and cookies sweeten the deal.
RATES: Rate for Shedd Aquarium Package begin at $184 per night for a family of four.
401 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago
AMENITIES: From the moment the bellman whisks away the luggage, guests will know what it feels like to live in the world of the super-rich. Everything from linens and shampoos to the bottled water in the minibar is top shelf. Prime location makes exploring the Mag Mile a cinch. The hotel's gorgeous pool offers fabulous views as well as kids' friendly pool toys. Exceptional turn-down service made bed time a pleasure. Even room service was delivered to a perfectly set table (including flowers). Kids under 12 eat free from the hotel's children's menu.
LUXURY FOR KIDS: The Kids in the City Program welcomes young visitors with personalized business cards and a Trump backpack filled with activities and goodies. Upon request, the hotel will place a Wii, Xbox or PlayStation in the room along with age-appropriate games. Kids will love the personalized cookies as well as the Trump robes made specially in kids' sizes.
RATES: Kids in the City Program begins at $445 per night, including parking and continental breakfast.
120 E. Delaware Place, Chicago
AMENITIES: Four Seasons does a great job of personalizing each guest's stay, beginning by greeting adults and children by name at check in. Hand-chosen games await kids in their room, allowing grown-ups time to relax and unwind. Not only is the hotel's pool one of the most beautiful spots in the city, but guests can also enjoy the poolside lounge stocked with drinks and fruit. Kids under 12 eat free from the room service children's menu.
LUXURY FOR KIDS: Keeping with the theme of personalized service, Four Seasons' Kids in the City offers a complimentary Bedtime Butler for young children. This butler will show up to read stories and ease children into a peaceful bedtime. You can also request a visit from the ice cream man who will arrive at your door pushing a cart filled with multiple flavors and toppings to sweeten your stay. Kids' robes and a hand-operated chocolate milk blender seal the deal.
RATES: Kids in the City package begins at $404 per night for a family of four.
17 E. Monroe St., Chicago
AMENITIES: One of Chicago's oldest hotels, the Palmer House epitomizes old-school elegance with all the convenience of modern-day technology. Kids can explore with iPads in the lobby while adults check in. (You should also encourage them to look up at the world famous ceiling mural). In fact, a stroll around the hotel's concourse level, lobby and hallways reveals a good deal of Chicago history, including its Hollywood connections. The rooms themselves are spacious and elegant, old-fashioned in feel, but capable of spoiling technology-savvy kids. The noon checkout also means a much more relaxed morning.
LUXURY FOR KIDS: Although it costs extra ($60 per night), buying Executive Lounge privileges is the perfect way to complete the Palmer House experience. Kids will love riding the keyed elevator cars complete with leather benches. The lounge itself offers city views, its own concierge and complimentary drinks and snacks including hot appetizers in the late afternoon and a fantastic continental breakfast.
RATES: Standard room rates begin at $159 (low season) and $259 (high season).
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.