Chillcation

January 07, 2014

Famed as Chicago’s first resort hotel The Drake has been called “a city within a city”, offering every convenience without having to venture out into the cold.  This winter  warm-up with our Just Chillin’ Package and waste no time getting from your car into the warmth of The Drake Hotel with $20 valet parking, over 50% off regular pricing.  Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with deluxe accommodations and two Drake mugs filled with hot chocolate packets to get you going.  You’ll also receive complimentary access to the fitness center to tone up for summer, and 25% off drinks and dining at any of our hotel outlets: Coq d’Or, Cape Cod, Drake Bros’, and Palm Court. With complimentary high-speed in-room Wi-Fi, you won’t have to worry about missing a thing out in the cold of the real world.  Book your Chillcation getaway now through the end of April and wake up in the comfort of your home away from home. 

Art and Appetite

January 03, 2014

This year the Art Institute of Chicago proudly introduces the area’s leading chefs with their exhibition Art and Appetite: American Painting, Culture and Cuisine. You are invited to feast your eyes on famed fare painted and sculpted by the world’s most prominent artists.   

The Drake Hotel is aptly represented by nationally acclaimed Chef Franco Diaz whose mouthwatering recipe for “Turkey and Chanterelles” can be perused on the Art Institutes online cookbook while museum goers gaze at Norman Rockwell’s 1942 Freedom from Want. Exhibition curator Judith Barter truly brings the symbolism of cuisine within art and places the topic on the table.

The exhibition lasts through January 27th, 2014.

The Real Chicago Treat....

October 04, 2011
Some may not get the reference to the Rice Aroni jingle in today's Real Chicago blog title... however if you're keen to old jingles from the mid-90s-- you know this tune is referencing a "San Francisco Treat..." But, let this be known.....you don't have to be in San Francisco to experience this Chicago treat. While it may have originated in that famed West Coast inclined town, we here in Chicago made it more than transportation--- we made it an itinerary item for your next vacation..... Elizabeth brings us her Real Chicago experience not to be missed in this week's Real Chicago Blog: Ever wonder how “the windy city” received its name Chicago, or how the street with the infamous “Magnificent Mile” received the name of Michigan Avenue?  Well, you can find these answers out and many more fun facts, while cruising around the beautiful city some of us are lucky to call home, Chicago.  The Hop on Hop Off Chicago Trolley Tours takes you around 13 miles of the historical, and architectural streets of the city of Chicago.  Sit back, relax, sip on a locally Chicago brewed 312, and let these old-fashioned San Francisco style trolleys show and teach you things even Chicago natives never knew! The experience I had on the trolley ride was with 12 of my fondest co-workers, playing hooky, eh hem ...I mean “training” one lovely Wednesday afternoon.  We started the tour at the tip top of the Mangificent Mile, and made our way South down Lakeshore Drive taking in the views of the lake and Navy Pier on a beautiful fall afternoon, then took a turn West bound and drove down Michigan Avenue, then making our way South to The Financial District, and topped off the tour with amazing city/water views from Solidarity Road, while receiving a crash course on the history of Chicago.  On the tour, while enjoying the views of amazing architecture, public art, hotels, restaurants, Willis Tower, and more we learned many educational facts about Chicago from a quite entertaining retired teacher as our guide.  Here are a few of the fun tid bits we learned on the tour….Now I won’t give them all away, because you will need to learn for yourself on a trolley tour adventure! Chicago Fun Facts:
  • Chicago Tribune Building, a Chicago Landmark, has labeled stones from landmark buildings from all 50 states and all over the world, to include The Great Wall of China, the White House, as well as The original Twin Towers.
  • Merchandise Mart- in 1929 was considered so large it had its very own zip code.
  • Good Ol’ Mcy D’s, “McDonalds”, started in Des Plaines, IL.
  • Michigan Avenue- The streets between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan are manmade; the street got its name Michigan Avenue because that is originally where the shore of Lake Michigan came to.

Real Chicago, Real People - "Coming home for the holidays"

September 06, 2011

With the implementation of this blog only a few months ago, it was a passion of ours to be a go-to-guide to all things Real Chicago- from the perspective of those who live Real Chicago each and every day. In its evolution over these past few months we have realized that, just as important to us as the "Real Chicago" experience of  the"Real Chicagoian" is, in fact, the memories made by visitors from around the country and our surrounding neighborhoods-- memories made when they visit this city and experience its magic. The memories experienced by Real People in Chicago = Real Chicago... and we want to hear these stories. We want to share these stories!! These stories are what epitomize the concept of Real Chicago--- and with that idea in mind we've created, via this blog, a Real Chicago, Real People series. Of course we will continue to include the "insider's scoop" per concierge recommendations, resident references, and staff picks- but we'd like to expand upon the quandary- "What does Real Chicago mean to you?" We start off with a recent email submitted to The Drake Hotel for inclusion in the Real Chicago Blog. This email encompasses the essence of all the things we want our visitors to feel when they come to Chicago, not just The Drake Hotel.   Although it's hard to fathom that summer has unofficially ended with the conclusion of Labor Day weekend, it's even harder to contemplate the approach of the upcoming season. Some may think winter=snow, ice, cold....

We here at The Drake think Holidays--- the cheer of the holidays--- the cheer of family and friends, and the warmth one feels when they see a familiar face in an

oh so familiar place.

September 4, 2011

 

My real Chicago Experience is traveling to The Drake in December to celebrate the holiday season.  Taking a four hour train ride in to embrace the Big City, the Windy City, with beautiful holiday storefronts and tree lined streets decorated with white lights.  Shopping on Michigan Avenue, hoping to find that perfect gift.

 

In recent years, we walked arm in arm to stave off the gusts of wind and stay upright in slush filled streets.  We found special moments purchasing gifts we hoped would bring joy to others.  When age dictated we were no longer able to wander the streets of Chicago, we shopped in the gift store on the lower level of The Drake.  A store filled with all kinds of treasures.  Who needed to fight the snow, cold and crowds, when we could marvel at items there for hours?  One year we purchased a Mark Roberts "Peppermint Elf".  Every holiday season our elf decorated the kitchen, keeping watch over our confections.  That year we were sure we had found the treasure from the trip, and indeed I thought we had, until I took my mother's picture in front of old St. Nick and his reindeer located just off the lobby.  What a lovely picture!  It became her photo Christmas card, sent so all could see our fun filled journey.

 

Years of memories - the Dickens Carolers, the beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby with presents nestled below, the train set running for hours.  How we enjoyed sitting in the lobby watching the guests come and go.  I wonder how many other mothers and daughters have made this trip, able to create wonderful memories while staying at The Drake?

 

For us, going to the Drake in Chicago was coming home for the holidays...

Sadly, in July, my mother passed at the age of 88.  This year I hope to start a new tradition and celebrate the holiday season with my brother's family at the Drake.  I look forward to sharing with my niece and nephew the fun that exists there; shopping, taking afternoon tea, seeing the beautiful holiday decorations, attending the Nutcracker ballet and enjoying a special evening at the Drake.  I will miss my Mom, but I know she will be there with us in spirit and in every story I tell them.

 

~Julie, Illinois

  Thank you, Julie, for your contribution and taking our visitors on a warm and inviting walk through your Real Chicago memory. We hope this post inspires more people to submit their Real Chicago experience for inclusion in our Real Chicago ~ Real People Blog series- for every moment in this city is someone's Real Chicago memory. Share yours. To submit your memory for inclusion in the Real Chicago, Real People blog series, please email us your story. Your memory will be included in the blog that same week and your name will be entered into a drawing for a one night stay at The Drake Hotel. *Drawing to occur once The Drake receives 100 entries.