This vintage beauty went to sleep as the historic, yet out-of-date Raphael Hotel; it awoke—$20 million worth of restoration and upgrades later—as The Raffaello, a first-class, boutique hotel brimming with modern amenities and comforts. The building boasts two state-of-the-art conference centers and high-tech rooms and suites (which include single or double beds for $149-$159, and deluxe or grand executive suites for $189-$209). Still in the works are a lounge-cum-library, a roof garden (with views of Lake Michigan and the Hancock building), a fitness room, spa and a four-star restaurant, all of which should be completed by April 2007.
From top to bottom, the hotel radiates tranquility. The lobby oasis is drenched in chocolate and tan, and the sounds of Enya-esque music and scented candles fill the air. The rooms continue where the lobby leaves off. Also decorated in neutral tones, the rooms have 500-thread-count bedding, flat-screen TVs and spa-like bathrooms with rain showerheads and a sampling bar chockfull of Aveda products.
Other top-of-the-line amenities to keep you at ease include a small, granite-topped kitchenette (complete with a microwave and coffee maker), an on-call staff and valet. Organic health and beauty treatments, including massages, are available in the privacy of your own room or on the rooftop deck (when it is open).
With such luxurious accommodations, you'll never want to go home; and you don't have to either. Each room is for sale, complete with every hotel perk (such as cleaning and the concierge service), as a condo. So pack your bags, you might be staying awhile.
Centerstage Reviewer: Albrey Nuss