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(333 N Dearborn St, 312-245-0333, hotelsaxchicago.com)
After a multimillion-dollar remodeling, this Marina City property looks nothing like the House of Blues hotel that formerly occupied the space. Candelabras, snakeskin, wingback chairs and damask patterns throughout (including the lobby, chic bar Crimson Lounge and all 353 rooms) give the place more of a trendy, upscale-meets–Jonathan Adler atmosphere. Some of the rooms—dubbed “entertainment tech rooms”—feature an Xbox (with a selection of five or so games) and a Zune music player (loaded with tunes ranging from Justin Timberlake to Frank Sinatra), offering even more of a party vibe. Large, deep-soak bathtubs and 320-count Egyptian cotton sheets await guests when they’re finally ready to relax.
Dining: There’s no in-house restaurant, but BIN 36 and A Mano are just steps from the front door.
Bar scene: The rich, velvety decor make Crimson Lounge, located off the lobby, a sexy spot to begin or end the night.
Fitness/spa: The hotel had a deal with the Marina City location of Crunch, but since the gym is closing that location soon, the hotel is working on adding an on-site fitness room.
Room service: Standard fare is available during breakfast, lunch and dinner. The greasy egg breakfast sandwiches ($13) are the perfect hangover antidote.
Best for: A weekend of downtown partying with friends.
Room rates: start at $269. —Kevin Aeh