Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

JUL-AUG 2017

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Offering an exemplary itinerary that's nothing short of magical, the Peninsula Chicago's exclusive "Keys to the City" program is packed with some of the toddlin' town's most quintessential sights, sounds and tastes, providing guests with VIP access to incredible only-in- Chicago activities. On a recent visit to the Windy City, we were able to take advantage of much that was on offer, finding ourselves — figuratively speaking — blown away by the experience. Upon arrival at the Peninsula, my wife, Jen, and I received a behind-the-scenes peek at the hotel's newly updated, high- tech guest rooms courtesy of public relations director Susan Ellefson. Gone are the warm yellows and oranges of the 1990s, replaced by a contemporary, soothing palette of blues and greys that manage to evoke a sense of tranquility even in the heart of the busy, jostling Magnificent Mile. With spectacular views of Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan, our corner suite also offered wonderful vistas to the north and south. Our first order of business (or should I say pleasure?) was a lovely al fresco lunch at the Peninsula's Pierrot Gourmet. is cozy European-style café and bistro offers a taste of Paris with a warm farmhouse-inspired vibe featuring rustic wood panels and wrought- iron accents. Outside, tables surrounded by colorful flowers face out onto bustling Rush Street. We enjoyed house-made charcuterie and salads, an icy rosé providing the perfect foil for a steamy, sunny day with temperatures in the mid-80s. Next, it was all aboard for a little sightseeing by way of a 90-minute Chicago Architectural Foundation River Cruise on First Lady Cruises. e boat tour up and down the Chicago River sheds an unexpectedly fresh light on the city's soaring skyline, along with stunning views of landmark skyscrapers and iconic buildings like Marina City, the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower. Back to the hotel for a quick shower, then on to the PrivateBank eatre, where we enjoyed orchestra center seats (purchased through the Keys to the City program) for a performance of Hamilton, one of the Broadway In Chicago series season highlights. What can I say about Hamilton that hasn't already been said? It absolutely lived up to the praise, and to our expectations. Written by Jeffrey Cohen WHIRLWINDY CITY 98

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