Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Weekend in the Windy City

I recently spent a whirlwind weekend in the great midwestern city of Chicago - Chi-town as we like to say! As soon as we pulled up to the hotel, my kids dropped their bags and headed out for shopping on Michigan Ave., without missing a beat. Zara, Topshop, Bloomies, all the stores we don't have at home in Detroit were beckoning them for a visit.

I took a moment to check out our hotel, the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago. It had been a while since I've stayed at a Westin and there was a whole menu of offerings I didn't know existed. First of all, while waiting to check in, I saw a sign on the front desk that said: Check out by 10am and receive 500 Starwood points or Free Internet during your stay.  If they expect a lot of check-ins the next day, this is a good incentive to get guests to clear out early. We found out the next day that this bonus is not offered all of the time, just when they are very busy.

The next thing I noticed was something called "Make the Green Choice". If you choose to forgo housekeeping services during your stay, you will receive either 500 points or a $5.00 credit to be used in the cafe. I'm not sure if that's for saving the environment or a cost-saving measure, you decide. If you need fresh towels, you can always call guest services and they will deliver them to your room.

I think this last amenity is a great idea. I've known about the Westin Workout, where their hotels have fully equipped fitness centers with the state-of-the-art machines. Now, they have a New Balance Gear lending program. If you didn't bring your workout clothes with you, no worries (and no excuses)!
You just call the service line and they will send up your sizes: shoes, top, shorts or capris, and even a sports bra for the ladies if needed. The nominal fee of $5.00 covers the new socks which you get to keep.  Of course I had to try it out to see exactly what you get. I was pleasantly surprised. Brand new items, with the tags still on, were delivered to my room! Perhaps the program hasn't caught on quite yet, but I think it is great option to have and I will remember for next time.

The rooms were basic but comfortable, with the Heavenly beds and showers. The downtown location is perfect, especially for the shoppers in the family.

Let the Travel Specialists at Bee Kalt Travel plan your next weekend away!

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