Glamour, art, and culture—an entire weekend dedicated to just that, spent inside of a place that lives by those rules exactly. And while THE STAYCATIONERS weren’t part of the Lollapalooza lineup, The Gwen gave the crew the rockstar treatment (minus the illicit substances). The lobby’s jewel-toned fixtures glow beneath glittering chandeliers for an alluring, timeless art-deco aesthetic, serving as a visually rich precursor to the soft bathrobes and soothing light gray palette that await upstairs, begging to be adorned by a room service cart. Time to pass the F out. Okay, fine… we’ll tell you the story first.

THE SPOT: The Gwen | 521 N. Rush St, Chicago

THE STATS: 311 guest rooms, 24-hour fitness center, in-room spa services, outdoor patio overlooking the beautiful Chi skyline, and a fine dining restaurant.

PERFECT FOR: Looking fabulous while lounging in a posh setting, drink in hand.

While they didn’t wake up to the in-room spa services that were seriously needed after a long night, THE STAYCATIONERS did wake up to some serious pampering courtesy of LISA App. Chicago’s new favorite beauty-on-demand service is now a staycation staple (according to us) and is pretty much the only thing that would get this squad out of bed more than 5 minutes before brunch.

When you look hot, you feel hot: cue stylist Elizabeth Margulis, our go-to fashion guru who never fails to bring the heat with a wardrobe fit for a true staycationer. Looking extra…extra, THE STAYCATIONERS were ready to go out—all over again. The Gwen (an unwavering accomplice) was ready with house cocktails in hand. From Dali’s Delight and Viva Mexico City! to the essential detox-to-retox Velvet Night, the crew was feeling as cheeky as the menu names.

If you’re thinking that the drinks at The Gwen remind you of the artwork around Chicago (and beyond), then you either have a good eye or you just did some Insta stalking. Needless to say, the fleet of artistically-charged craft cocktails is the perfect segue into the epic food menu, but THE STAYCATIONERS did a taste test just to confirm. Edamame hummus, crab dip, burrata flatbread, ricotta gnudi, pan-roasted salmon, pie à la mode, and choco & peanut crunch go down très smoothly regardless of drink choice. Trust.

Follow THE STAYCATIONERS as they check into new hotels in new cities each month. This round made possible by The Gwen, Upstairs at The Gwen, and Circa Restaurant.

Special thanks to our guest staycationers Jas Petersen and Dani McGowan; outfits by Revolving Curation and stylist Elizabeth Margulis of Big Hair Big City; hair and makeup by Amy Banas and ElJamai Billings of LISA App.

Photography by Madeline Northway for THE STAYCATIONERS. Follow her on Instagram here.

Written and produced by Staycationer-at-Large Nika Sagalchik.

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