|Courtesy Peninsula Chicago|
It's no contest when it comes to hotel spas on the Magnificent Mile. The Peninsula has the largest (15,000 square feet) and arguably the one with the best views, as the spa occupies the 19th and 20th floors of the hotel, which is just west of the Water Tower. The spa is an earthy aerie, a sharp (and deliberate) contrast to the hotel's urbane Asian palette of deep golds and gray-greens. The keynote is wood — distressed oak on the walls, polished walnut on the floors — and the lighting is low and pinpoint, creating a restful, almost dusky atmosphere. My two treatments, deep-tissue massage from therapist Andrea Montagner and Thai massage from Anthony McKinney, were excellent. (I knew I was in good hands with Anthony when he told me that a client esteemed his work so much that she paid for him to learn Thai massage.) Being a membership club, the spa has a good roster of fitness classes, including sunrise yoga sessions, and a well-equipped gym with what must be the best treadmill views on Michigan Avenue. — G.W.