I live in downtown Chicago, so my perspective about the city may seem a bit biased — or it could seem a bit insightful. But I think that Chicago is great city if you’re into architecture, culture, music, theater, food, festivals or a range of other unique activities. So, for those who are visiting the city for a business meeting or convention (or just to getaway), extending your stay may be the perfect escape from the everyday routine. If so, you should also see our Chicago Business Travel Review.

The Hiltons of Chicago seem to understand that need, and created the “Chillcation” concept. They want visitors to know that Chicago offers a great range of activities and their hotels are available to help you relax during the colder months — whether you want to chill inside or outside of their hotels.

Experience a Chicago Chillcation with Hilton:

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The Hiltons in downtown Chicago are offering “Just Chillin” packages if you stay between October 10, 2014, and April 30, 2015, at the Hilton Chicago (see our Hilton Chicago business travel review), Palmer House Hilton or Conrad Chicago location. The “Just Chillin” options are actually a great deal.*

Some of my activity ideas to help you create your own downtown Chicago Chillcation: shop along State Street where you can see the famous Macy’s holiday windows, stroll the Magnificent Mile and escape the weather inside Water Tower Place, watch a play at the Goodman Theater, see the latest exhibit at the Art Institute, enjoy pizza at Gino’s East, or listen to blues at Buddy Guy’s Legends.

And each of the hotels have great dining options. For example, last year I enjoyed Pear and Parsnip Soup with Truffles and Fennel Pollen (which is one of the best soups I’ve tasted) at 720 South Bar & Grill at the Hilton Chicago, Lightly Cured Skuna Bay Salmon with Ginger, Cucumber, Yuzu Cream and Rye Soil at the Palmer House Hilton’s Lockwood Restaurant and Bar, Braised Short Ribs with Cous Cous and Natural Reduction at Terrace Restaurant at Conrad Chicago, and Caramelia Chocolate Ganache with Hazelnut Sponge Cake and Mango Sorbet (also Terrace Restaurant).

Depending on where you stay, the perks include value adds such as Wi-Fi, breakfast, discounted dining, discounted parking, and fitness and pool access. Plus, you receive two Chillation insulated mugs that receive unlimited refills for coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

So, when you book your stay at one of these hotels, it seems to make sense that adding the Chillcation promotion code provides you with “extras.” Then, all you need to consider is which hotel fits your city escape.

The Hilton Chicago

Located across the street from Grant Park on Michigan Avenue, the Hilton Chicago offers easy access to museums, restaurants and other activities — not to mention its enviable address with the reverse skyline view of Navy Pier, Millennium Park, Art Institute, Buckingham Palace, Planetarium and Soldier Field… Oh yea, and the expanse of Lake Michigan (tip: ask for an east facing higher floor, if possible).

The Hilton Chicago is an iconic Chicago hotel that was renovated this year to include contemporary touches, enhancing its classic features (opened in 1927). The lobby includes the 720 Bar & Grill, Kitty O’Shea’s and Snax (an upscale grab and go shop with options all day). The hotel’s Athletic Club is recognized as the largest hotel fitness club in the country. And there are five executive floors where you can take advantage of even more amenities and its concierge.

The Hilton Chicago Just Chillin Package

Welcome mug(s) filled with coffee or hot chocolate

  • Welcome mug(s) filled with coffee or hot chocolate
  • Self-parking (one vehicle per room)
  • Complimentary guest room internet
  • 20% discount on Room Service
  • 20% dining discount at 720 South Bar + Grill or Kitty O’Sheas
  • Complimentary Athletic Club access with indoor pool and running track

The Palmer House Hilton

Located in Chicago’s downtown district on State Street, The Palmer House Hilton offers easy access to State Street shopping (including Macy’s), the downtown theater district and the Art Institute of Chicago. This hotel is also deeply rooted in Chicago’s history. The nation’s oldest hotel in continual operation, and one of the world’s last remaining Grand Hotels, the Palmer House Hilton was originally a wedding gift from business magnate Potter Palmer to his wife Bertha, a legendary socialite, arts patron and philanthropist. When staying there, be sure to check out the Palmer House History Museum and learn about the unique lobby ceiling. (For more details, see WTTW’s overview of Potter and Bertha Palmer’s historic influence in Chicago.)

The Palmer House is very welcoming to international guests – the hotel has the capability to communicate with guests in more than 45 languages. The lobby is a popular and lively place with Potter’s Bar and Lockwood Restaurant (modern American cuisine).

The Palmer House Hilton Just Chillin Package

  • Complimentary access the hotel’s indoor pool and fitness center access for two adults
  • Welcome mug(s) filled with coffee or hot chocolate
  • $20 self-parking for one vehicle at 55 E. Monroe Garage (50% savings)
  • Breakfast buffet for 2 at Lockwood Restaurant
  • Complimentary guest room internet
  • Complientary access to the Fitness Center & Pool
  • 30% off Balance Spa Services
  • Buy 1 get 1 free tickets to the hotel’s “Hisotry is Hott” tour

The Conrad Chicago

Located along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the Conrad Hilton is an upscale hotel that has direct access to the Shops at Northbridge — without having to go outside. The Conrad Chicago is a perfect spot if you’re wanting to be close to the shopping, restaurants and bars of the River North, Gold Coast and Streeterville.

When staying there, indulge in a specialty cocktail at The Terrace Bar. Or enjoy The Terrace Restaurant. which offers Lowcountry favorites from Executive Chef Darnell Reed, who specializes in southern cooking and uses organic and seasonally fresh ingredients. A standout to me at The Conrad Chicago is its Sleep Menu concept, which takes the pillow menu to a whole new level, including in-room sleep elixers, nightcaps, skin care and other amenities (additional small fees could apply).

The Conrad Chicago Just Chillin Package

  • $50 dining credit toward The Terrace Restaurant & Bar or Room Service
  • 2 Chillcation mugs filled with unlimited Conrad coffee or hot chocolate
  • 2 Chillcation signature cocktails from the Terrace Bar
  • Shopping and dining westwards booklet to The shops at North Bridge
  • Complimentary same day delivery service to select Chicagoland areas or to your guest room from the adjacent Shops at North Bridge
  • 2 sleep amenities from the Sleep Menu, including turndown, earplugs, sleep mask or chocolates
  • Fitness center access
  • Complimentary guest room internet

 * Check with each hotel to confirm Chillcation offers and full details.

Have you stayed at a Hilton and taken advantage of the Chillcation offers? Share your experience here.