Directly above the LaSalle Bank Theater—which hosts Kathleen Turner in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (3/27–4/7)—the new Hampton Majestic (from $149) offers budget rates in the heart of downtown’s theater district. The gold- and marble-heavy Beaux-Arts lobby elevates the property above its Hampton Inn brethren, as do flat-screen TVs and in-room massages and pedicures.
Just blocks from Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile, hip newcomer the James (from $259) offers sexy velvet daybeds and incredible room service from Primehouse, the new lobbyside steak restaurant from the always-dramatic David Burke (owner of New York’s davidburke & donatella). For intermission munchies, skip the in-room minibars: There's a Trader Joe’s across the street.
For higher thread counts, the Peninsula Chicago's suite-style rooms (from $525) have his-and-hers dressing tables and bedside control panels. Take a dip in the penthouse-level solarium pool, and lap up views of the castlelike Water Tower, home to the Lookingglass Theatre (co-founded by former Northwestern student David Schwimmer).