Thompson Chicago, housed in a contemporary high-rise in the heart of the Gold Coast luxury dining and shopping scene, was overhauled in 2013 by British designer Tara Bernerd. It offers a winning combination of modern-retro style, a home-away-from-home ambience, attentive service, and value for money. (The building previously was home to the Sutton Place Hotel.) With Thompson Hotels’ arrival, the lobby, dominated by a huge shelved library cube filled with books, curios, and retro bull's-eye mirrors, now strikingly harmonizes industrial exposed brick and dark-wood beams with elements paying homage to Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright (think geometric tiles and a cantilevered staircase). Most guestrooms have astounding city and Lake Michigan views, and all are snazzily furnished with asymmetrical velvet sofas, enormous showers, and framed contemporary art by the likes of Wes Lang. It's a style that impresses without being intimidating.