Set the scene Of oshibori A ritual of handing guests a hand towel on arrival, along with a welcome drink, at the indoor tranquility pool, Nobu Chicago acts as a serene hideaway from the city beyond its stained glass facade. Not that he’s fully retired; the signature restaurant offers the city’s cognoscenti sushi as well as crazy celebrants.
The backstory Part of a chain of hotels owned by homonymous chef Nobu Matsuhisa and partners including actor Robert DeNiro.
The rooms Japanese minimalism at its best: Crisp platform beds, blond wood paneling, and recessed lighting set a relaxing tone, also encouraged by the yoga mats in every room. The bay windows let in the light. The minimum one-step upgrade to a Yubune King bed or suite is worth getting a teak tub that comes with personalized Natura Bissé tea and rosemary-scented bath amenities.
Food and drink There are plenty of ways to experience Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature cuisine, from the grand restaurant downstairs (hello, miso cod and rock shrimp tempura) to the hidden sushi bar on the mezzanine (don’t miss the yellowtail flounder with jalapeño), or on the 11th floor rooftop (try a Japanese single malt with your ceviche and mini tacos). Hotel guests have the joy of bringing its breakfast innovations to rooms, including the salmon egg donburi (room service is suspended during the pandemic).
The neighborhood / area In the heart of the thriving West Loop, Nobu particularly attracts foodies who will find the area teeming with acclaimed restaurants including Au Cheval, Momotaro, Girl & the Goat and Monteverde. It’s a hip neighborhood, with employers like Google in the neighborhood, but the CTA Green and Pink L lines provide easy access to downtown attractions just east of the area.
The service Super attentive staff with an incredible ability to seemingly greet all guests by name.
Nothing to report? The 40-foot indoor tranquility pool nods to a onsen with a meditative atmosphere and access to the hammams in the adjacent changing rooms.