The Art of Staycation
When was the last time you’ve taken a vacation? If you had to think about it for a while it means it has been too long! Now, I am a vacation addict. If I could go on vacation as my job I would be really really good at it. But you know how life is. It is not easy to escape whenever you feel the need to. Even if I have a few days free a short vacay takes preparation, a lot of time spent at the airport, and of course unplanned expenses. So what do you do when you want to save time and still have a quick and awesome experience? I have one word for you - staycation.
Since this year I skipped New York Fashion Week I had a craving for a little getaway. I’ve realized that a big part of a vacation for me is staying at a hotel. I just love the crisp white sheets, the small shampoo bottles, the soft robes, and for whatever reason hotel beds are always so comfortable. It feels like you are somewhere completely different even if you are still in your own city. And I am in Chicago! Sometimes I forget that people actually pay money to come here on vacation. I live in this beautiful place already, so why not take advantage of it?
For my staycation I picked the luxurious Ambassador hotel. I love the location - it’s in Gold Coast right in the middle of all the beautiful Chicago style homes and next to a lot of shops and restaurants, but still secluded from the busy tourist spots. I’ve previously been to the hotel’s restaurant when it used to be Pump Room and loved the design of the place. This time I wanted to do the whole experience. I got their loft room on the 10th floor that included a living room, a bedroom and an amazing view of downtown Chicago.
So here is what you need to do to get a good staycation:
Pack your bags. Packing is essential to get a feeling of vacation. If it’s just for a day I usually bring a smaller bag, but I make sure to pack a few outfits just to have options. And most importantly - accessories. A cat sleeping mask is my must whenever I stay at a hotel.
Ask for an early check in. With staycations your day pretty much starts once you check in and drop off your bags. The sooner you start your day the better. If an early check in isn’t available (which it usually is), leave your bags at the hotel and go for a walk or take yourself to lunch.
Enjoy Happy Hour. After you get settled in your room check out the hotel bar. Happy hour usually starts around check in time (3 or 4 pm). At the Ambassador I went to their Study Room, and the deals their are amazing. I am talking $5 wine, beer, cocktails and bar bites. #roseallday!
Explore the Neighborhood. After the happy hour I went for a walk in Gold Coast. It’s amazing how you think you know your own city, but then you take a different turn and find yourself in front of a beautiful street or a nice patio. So much to discover! Chicago will never run out of new places.
Relax. Go back to the hotel and take a long bath or if it is attached to a spa treat yourself to a massage or a pedicure. In my case I took a long nice shower, poured myself a cocktail (I love that at the Ambassador they not only have a mini bar, but actual craft cocktails in cute bottles) and watched a scary movie. I couldn’t make myself get out of bed! But I was getting hungry, so I got dressed into my evening outfit, and went downstairs.
Get dinner. I love hotels because you don’t have to walk anywhere. Everything is right there in one building. I’ve been meaning to go to Booth One that has recently opened at the Ambassador. I love that they kept the signature light fixtures from the previous Pump Room, and the food was really really good. Get the tuna sashimi for sure!
Get a good night sleep. That’s what a staycation is about. Complete relaxation. And you get to sleep in the next day!
Order breakfast in bed. My favorite meal of the day is breakfast, so if you can get very nice people prepare you a good meal and deliver it right to your door use that opportunity! Plus the bedding will be changed anyway, so no need to worry about crumbs LOL.
And the main rule of a great staycation is: disconnect. If you have a chance turn your phone off, tell people you will be busy the next 24 hours, enjoy some time with yourself, read that book you’ve been putting away, make a list of things you want to accomplish this year, pretty much do anything that will make you happy. I promise you even one day at a hotel will make you feel refreshed. I left the Ambassador relaxed and ready to keep going with my plans. Try it. Because everyone deserves a staycation.
Thank you, Ambassador Chicago for an awesome experience!