Unique Sleeps: Amazing hotels hand picked by Expedia Experts. Thompson, Chicago.

Boutique and beautiful

The term “boutique hotel” is definitely open to interpretation. In my mind, a boutique hotel is (or I hope it will be on check-in) stylish and design-led, not your average cookie cutter décor (no matter how high end) and something that feels more residential than hotel design.

Stylish, luxurious, comfortable, full of moody and cosy hues and interesting pieces, The Thompson in Chicago is a great example of what I believe a modern boutique hotel should be (good examples in Australia are the QT in Sydney and Hotel Hotel in Canberra). During our six-month world trip, this hotel stay was definitely a unique and very enjoyable sleep.

First impressions are, well, wow. The shades of neutral and brown are anything but boring. Different textures, in the tan leather and oversized check upholstered armchairs, keep things interesting and there are vignettes everywhere. The Thompson is luxury with a modern retro vibe and feels like a really great living room where you want to sit down with a cocktail or a coffee.

Eye-catching props, like an old CRT TV set, are artfully arranged around breakout seating areas. The best seat is by the fire, of course. When my friends came to meet us for dinner one night, we thought about shelving our plans and just settling in for the evening in the lobby! Coffee tables are full of great reading material in the form of trendy magazines and books.

All in the details

Of course, the worry is always that they’ve spent all their time and money on the communal areas, leaving the bedrooms a little underwhelming. Gladly, this was not the case. We were lucky enough to snag a corner room; perfect for watching the thunder and lightning that plagued us for half our stay in the windy city. Chicago has great architecture at every turn (we recommend the Wendella river cruise) so the view was great. We could just see Lake Michigan in the distance too.

Our room had a neutral base, with plenty of texture and pattern (striped carpet and velvet armchairs) and just the right amount of accent colour; in our case a gorgeous petrol blue. Touches like two floor and two table lamps (all different) made an impact.