This LEED-Silver-certified building is, hands-down, the most beautiful high rise to be built in Chicago in the last decade. It’s also the tallest building in the world designed by a woman. True to its name, the outside is lined with irregularly shaped concrete slabs that, together, create an arresting nautical, wave-like image. The interior is just as dramatic. Throughout the property, you’ll see an homage to Chicago, from the brick, light-studded lobby walls that call to mind the skyline, to the sketches of Chicago neighborhoods lining the hallways. Because of the unique shape of the building, rooms range in size; some are a bit small, others quite roomy. Some rooms look out on Millennium Park, while others have city views. If you get the latter, expect to be right in the thick of it, surrounded by high-rise office buildings, with windows you can peer into and vice versa. About half of the rooms have balconies (a Chicago rarity) so request one; there’s no extra charge.

The hotel is home to an Italian restaurant, Filini, as well as a small but impressive art gallery, fitness center, running track, spa, and indoor and outdoor pool—another downtown rarity. The location is ideal: it’s about five minutes' walk south to Millennium Park and north to the Magnificent Mile. Warning: if there’s a fire nearby, you’ll know it. The fire station is the hotel’s neighbor.