Credit: ACME Hotel

A Hotel To Call Home: ACME Hotel, Chicago

In the heart of downtown Chicago, nestled behind the bars, restaurants and famed shopping spots that line the Magnificent Mile, is the ACME hotel. An unexpected, unconventional gem in the bustling River North neighbourhood; ACME hotel has all the essentials plus an outfit of hi-tech, rock n’ roll extras you didn’t even know you needed. Hey Alexa, play some David Bowie.

Gadgets aside, there’s an immediate buzz when you enter the ACME; the hotel has buckets of personality with something nostalgically reverent at the heart of it.  It could be the mix and match décor, a little bit retro meets quirky indie-rock, with neon signs aplenty and a cacophony of stickers adorning the entrance that look like they’ve been pulled directly off your teenage skateboard. Or maybe it’s the killer soundtrack streaming throughout the halls.  

If you find yourself entering the elevators and nodding your head in approval, you won’t be the only one. The walls are lined with classic album covers; AC/DC, Blondie, The Velvet Underground and The Clash to name a few. This is potentially the hospitality equivalent of looking through a new friend’s record collection and realising that you’re musically kindred spirits. We’re not the only ones sold on the fun-loving, good-time vibes at the ACME either, the hotel has been named the #1 Hotel in Chicago and one of the Top 50 hotels across the world in the Condé Nast Traveller’s 2019 Readers Choice Awards.

The hotel’s 130 rooms across 15 floors are each outfitted with seriously comfy beds, super-fast free WIFI and are decorated with tongue in cheek design elements such as hand-splattered wall murals and lipstick printed bathroom mirrors. Every room has a large TV with all the well-known streaming hook-ups, so you can watch your own music and films. Or if you’re in the mood for a well-deserved screen break, guests borrow an ESP guitar for an in-room jam session.

If you stayed up playing the opening chords to Stairway to Heaven long into the night, you’ll be grateful for two of ACME’s signature services: Morning Joe and Knock & Drop. If caffeine is the craving, you can order your free thermos of morning Joe at check-in to be delivered at your preferred time. The ACME’s famous Knock & Drop service takes a subtle and efficient approach to room service. Simply order your desired treats (catered by the tasty West Town Bakery downstairs) and they’ll be dropped after a quick knock on the door. These guys are delicious food ninjas, so you might be whispering a “thank you” to an empty corridor before tucking into a morning croissant.

The baked goods from West Town Bakery are seriously moreish and luckily, they have an all-day grab and go menu with everything from Dark Matter drip coffee, to sandwiches and desserts dreamed up by Executive Pasty Chef Chris Teixeira. Spoilt for choice? Try a cakeball and thank us later. If you’re looking to sit back and stay awhile, ACME hotel has everything you need to feel at home and then some. By “and then some” we, of course, mean Bunny Slope, ACME hotel’s Alpine Apres-ski hot tub hangout. Bunny Slope is free for guests to enjoy but also available to rent for small parties; time spent sipping cocktails at this unique spot is destined to end up as a favourite “Remember when…” story.

After you’ve hit the slopes, a nightcap and a bite at The Berkshire Room is not to be missed. Named for a previous incarnation of the hotel, The Berkshire Room is a contemporary cocktail bar favoured by locals. Adventurous types can opt for the dealer’s choice, where you pick a spirit, a glass and a vibe and let the bartenders do the rest. With so many inviting corners and thoughtful details to the ACME, it’s no wonder the hotel consistently tops best-of and must-see lists in Chicago.

Going beyond the call of your standard home away from home, the ACME nods at its own sense of adventure and invites its guest to do the same. Safe in the knowledge that when you return from the bustle of one of America’s most famed cities, you are utterly catered for in every way.