By Valerie Moloney
Whether you’re a Lollapalooza virgin or fifth-timer, you’llwant a cushy place to rest your head after sets by the Arctic Monkeys, The Kills, Eminem and a jillion other indie and mainstream artists. Between the hipster hangs and celebrity haunts, Chicago has established itself as the country’s premier music festival for the weekend of Aug. 5-7. Here’s where to stay and possibly stumble upon a rock star while you’re in the Windy City.
Chicago hotels for the cool kids
1. Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
Hard Rock sits on prime real estate across Grant Park, the site of the festival, and has hosted after-parties and DJs galore during Lollas past. You’ll want to stay here to be treated like a rock star, too: The property loans out Les Paul custom guitars.
2. theWit Chicago
The most stylish of Chicago boutique hotels brings on unexpected quirks, including hallways that pipe in bird tweets, and pre-recorded wake-up calls by Al Capone. Get there early for a spot at Roof, a panoramic space to ogle the pretty people and the Chicago skyline.
3. w Chicago – Lakeshore
Before theWit, Dana and others of its ilk, W Chicago wowed with its sleek lobby and indulgent spa. If there’s energy left from set hopping, grab a drink on the 33rd floor at Whiskey Sky, which was founded by nightlife impresario and Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber.
4. Dana Hotel and Spa
Peekaboo showers. Exposed concrete beams. A rooftop lounge with fire pit. Roving club carts. No, this ain’t L.A., and thank goodness, because Chicago has the better skyline.
5. The James Hotel Chicago
River North isn’t within stumbling distance of Grant Park, but it’s still close enough and chic enough for you and your entourage. Think West Elm meets Crate & Barrel, and a sexy lounge every penny that you’re going to spend on bottle service.
Valerie Moloney, who manages the Orbitz and CheapTickets blogs, kicks herself fornot buying Lolla tickets when Lady Gaga played on a side stage in 2007.