21 E. Bellevue Pl., Gold Coast
This boutique hotel feels at once like an urban loft and a cozy cabin, combining rich colors and exposed brick with stellar views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. Its Gold Coast location means it's just a walk away from shopping and dining on the Magnificent Mile (and legendary pizza from Lou Malnati's), though the admired Osteria Nico downstairs means you don't even have to leave the hotel for Italian with a view. Just as enticing are the modern rooms themselves, featuring velvet seating and Brooklyn-made D.S. & Durga toiletries. If you do decide to change out of the insanely comfortable robes and venture outdoors, though, take advantage of the hotel's complimentary offsite car service.
The Peninsula Spa Chicago
108 E. Superior St., Gold Coast
The spa is high up on the 19th and 20th floors of the hotel, and the treatments are beyond-pampering and impressively corrective. The Cryo 3R Facial uses chilled air to regenerate skin and support collagen (you look remarkably glowy immediately after), while the European Deep Cleansing Facial involves a revitalizing massage, thorough pore detoxification, and layer upon layer of nourishing serums and creams. There's a eucalyptus steam room, as well as a relaxation room where you can curl up next to a fireplace. The facials can absolutely stand alone, but if you're splurging, consider one of the famous half- or full-day spa journeys.
RH Chicago, The Gallery at the Three Arts Club
1300 N. Dearborn St., Gold Coast
It's no secret that we're RH fans at goop HQ, but RH Chicago is really its own self-contained wonderland—you'll find a top-notch lunch spot, where you can choose to eat in the Grand Courtyard (a light-filled, extremely comfortable space that really lives up to its name), plus a more casual café with espresso and fresh-baked treats, and a glamorous wine vault and tasting room. Of course, there's also the stunning 70,000-square-foot display of RH furniture, which is art in itself. The best part: The gorgeous courtyard is shielded from the elements with a lofty glass and steel roof, which means you can revel in it even in the dead of winter—an experience that really can't be overstated.
The Peninsula Spa
108 E. Superior St., Gold Coast
The Peninsula’s ESPA spa is perched high above the city on the 19th and 20th floors of the hotel, and as can be expected from ESPA, the products and services are top-notch. And, since it’s the Peninsula, you won’t be disappointed by the amenities either—there's a eucalyptus steam room and a relaxation room where you can curl up next to a working fireplace. The facials can absolutely stand alone (ask for Sunny), but if you're splurging, invest in one of the famous half- or full-day spa journeys.
Mila Moursi Skin Care
Barneys, 15 E. Oak St., Gold Coast
Mila has been taking care of many high-profile LA women for decades, all of whom swear by her skin and body treatments. More specifically, it's her European facials (tack on a dry contouring session for a bit of extra lift), "face-changing" line of skincare products, and discretion that keep everyone coming back. While the flagship spa on Sunset Boulevard is worth an in-person visit, you can also book treatments at Barneys New York outposts in most major cities (besides Chicago, also Los Angeles and New York).
Dr. John Q. Cook
737 N. Michigan Ave., Gold Coast
Founder and medical director Dr. John Q. Cook, M.D., has over two decades of experience in skin care and a hawk eye for discerning the best therapy to treat a particular issue. The Institute’s big draw is aesthetic plastic surgery but the non-surgical treatments are some of the most skin-perfecting. Fantastic medical-grade chemical peels, LED light therapy for breakouts, dermaplaning (a blade is smoothed across skin to exfoliate and support new, healthy skin), and some pretty incredible oxygen therapies are on the menu. What’s more, the team of aestheticians send you home with a set of products specifically picked out to extend the effects of your time in the office—which we love.
The Few Institute
875 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 3850, Gold Coast
The Few Institute is primarily a plastic surgery center, and a very well-respected one at that. The Skin Clinic inside is run by a badass team of aestheticians who specialize in seriously effective, medical-grade peels (which they'll customize to your specific skin type), and deeply restorative treatments like the Oxygenating Trio Facial in which skin is flooded with antioxidants to treat and prevent free-radical damage, as well as the 90 Minute Luxury Facial, a combination of steaming, deep exfoliation, microdermabrasion, and heavenly scalp massage.
49 E. Oak St., Gold Coast
Mireille Hamon counts Oprah among her many makeup and skincare clients. The skin guru grew up and received her training in France, which explains her brilliant less-is-more approach. She’s a wizard at clearing blemishes via gentle steams, soothing masks, and careful extractions. Her LED light therapy and microdermabrasion sessions are stellar. And the woman is also an eyebrow genius.
15 E. Oak St., Gold Coast
Going to Barneys in Chicago is kind of a spiritual experience. To start, the buyers at this branch are incredible at finding pieces that you often won’t find anywhere else. A huge plus, because Chicago tends to be more conservative, is that you can actually find runway pieces, as they tend to disappear lightning fast in New York or Los Angeles.
1015 N. Rush St., Gold Coast
COVID-19 update: Temporarily closed. Nestled a stone's throw from Nico Osteria at the Thompson Hotel, this upscale lounge leans heavily on low-proof drinks (juleps, spritzes, and the like), meaning you can indulge without getting too sloppy. One of Nico’s most prominent design features, other than the luscious stretch banquette and pops of jewel tones, is a plant wall which, in addition to lending a dreamy indoor-outdoor quality to the space, absorbs noise.