My Favorite Places to Stay – Part 2

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All Photos by Randy Stern

When on business, you end up being sequestered in a hotel. Sometimes, that is not a bad thing.

In fact, it is a good thing. When you check into a fantastic hotel, you want to do as much as you can. You get superb service, a clean room, plenty of amenities, and a comfortable bed. That is all you want, right?

The last time I compiled a My Favorites Hotel list in 2016, I pretty much concentrated on just five of them. However, the list has bene growing a lot lately. Recent trips introduced me to places that simply wowed me.

Come and stay with me…but, you better get your own room!

Osthoff Resort 12

THE OSTHOFF RESORT – ELKHART LAKE, WI: This is home for the Midwest Automotive Media Association’s Spring rally every year. For racing teams and well-heeled fans, this suite hotel accommodates with great amenities and two bedroom/two bathroom rooms. For MAMA members, it is almost like summer (er, spring) camp with Road America as our playground. There are amenities that add value to your Osthoff stay – pool, jacuzzi, exercise room, restaurants, a lovely bar area…shall I go on? What you will love is their service. Every year I go, I get great service from the lobby onward. That is why you choose the Osthoff for your ultimate Road America stayover.

MILLENNIUM KNICKERBOCKER – CHICAGO, IL: You can stay at one of two types of hotels in Chicago – modern or historic. The Knickerbocker is a historic hotel tucked away on the tonier, quieter side of the Magnificent Mile. It is not on Michigan Avenue, but a block away from the shopping and action. There is some shopping on Walton Place – very expensive shopping, to be exact – but you do not get the crowds that peruse up and down the big boulevard. The Knickerbocker offers great service from a classic lobby out of the early 20th Century to modern, trendy rooms. Every inch of the place is charming. For business or sightseeing, this is a great spot to mark your Chicago stay.

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THE WESTIN POINSETT – GREENVILLE, SC: Located right in the heart of Greenville, this classic Southern hotel has been the place to stay for an Upcountry adventure. Since 1924, the hotel served this city well with a reputation for fine customer service. This continues under Westin’s branding. The rooms are modern and comfortable, and the service is equally superb. You can dine on site or wander around downtown Greenville for a meal. You will be charmed with the Poinsett’s hospitality, as I was. Next time you want to visit the Upcountry, or BMW’s Zentrum in Spartanburg, start your visit at the Poinsett.

Blackstone Hotel Chicago

THE BLACKSTONE HOTEL – CHICAGO, IL: This historic hotel on South Michigan Avenue once was the Chicago home for Presidents, celebrities, and mobsters alike. Today, it is one of Marriott’s Autograph Collection properties. Similar to the Knickerbocker, the classic lobby remains intact with modern rooms upstairs. Compared to the other property mentioned on this list, the lobby is much larger with darker wood finishes giving it an air of class and history. Being on the south part of the Loop, there is access to transportation options and you are indeed closer to key business destinations.

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DETROIT FOUNDATION HOTEL – DETROIT, MI: This was once called “The Firehouse.” Not because of what it used to be, but of the place where Chrysler had their North American International Auto Show gatherings. The location is right for the industry – across from COBO Center. It has become the go-to hotel for industry-related stays (unless you are with General Motors, therefore you stay at the Marriott Renaissance Center hotel). The restaurant and lounge are large, featuring local beer and alcoholic drinks. The food is quite good, actually. The rooms are very modern and stylish. There is not much of a lobby, but you come to stay, dine, and take care of business in Detroit. The Foundation is truly the place to stay in the Motor City.

RADISSON BLU AQUA HOTEL – CHICAGO, IL: Now, I talk about a thoroughly modern hotel. One thing I love about Chicago is not just the abundance of great hotels in and around The Loop – but the variety of them. What makes this Radisson Blu stand out is the sleekness of the place – inside the rooms, the lobby, the lounge, and the restaurant. The architecture alone is astounding. It has a very ultramodern vibe that fits with Chicago’s skyline. Not to mention its overall cool factor. Its location lacks the massive hustle and bustle of The Loop given its proximity closer to Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Next time in Chicago, try this hotel.

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