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      Blog — trip

      Weekend Getaway: Gold Coast Chicago

      Weekend Getaway: Gold Coast Chicago

      The Thompson Hotel

      The Thompson

      The Thompson

      The Thompson Hotel

      Set among the historic mansions of Chicago's hip Gold Coast neighbourhood, this trendy, upscale hotel overlooks tree-lined streets and offers sweeping floor-to-ceiling vistas of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan.

      Designed by British icon Tara Bernerd, the Thompson boasts eclectic vibes with midcentury lines and plush textures of leather, velvet and warm American woods.

      Why you will never want to leave…

      It's within easy walking distance of the lakefront at Oak Street Beach, as well as the Magnificent Mile shopping stretch and the Clark-Division stop on the Chicago Transit Red Line, which can have you in the downtown Loop in 10 minutes. 

      Floor to ceiling windows offer terrific views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. Guests staying in penthouses nab private outdoor terraces.

      Nico Osteria, Thompson Chicago's signature restaurant, features authentic Italian and seafood by local hero and executive chef  Paul Kahan.

      Looking for fitness classes or spa treatments? Receive discounts with neighboring Exhale Spa to make your stay even more refreshing and relaxing.

      From $180 per night
      21 E Bellevue Pl, Chicago, IL
      1 312-266-2100



      the spicy yellowfin tuna tartare with hass avocado, sweet chili, cucumber, red shiso and soy caviar—all served alongside taro chips.

      Le Colonial

      Due to it's close proximity to Chicago's famed shopping district the Magnificent Mile, the Gold Coast offers respite during a shopping trip. Fancy hotel restaurants and steak houses are abundant, so we chose something a bit different. Le Colonial has been known for decades as a place for celeb sightings, and the tropical interior filled with palm leaves and sophisticated style offers a refreshing escape from the city streets. 

      The Vietnamese cuisine hints of French in presentation only, don't expect heavy sauces, rather plenty of light and tangy flavours of citrus and chiles. A typical dish is the goi bo, a spicy marinated beef salad with lemongrass and Thai basil or wok-prepared lemongrass chicken kicked up with opal basil and red chilies. Regulars rely on house favourites like the chả giò (crispy spring rolls with shrimp and pork), spicy yellowfin tuna tartare with Hass avocado, sweet chili, cucumber, red shiso and soy caviar served alongside taro chips (shown above), crispy shrimp beignets and lean, juicy ginger-marinated duck. 

      57 E. Oak Street
      Chicago, IL 60611
      +1 312-255-0088


      Endless Options

      6 Unique Safaris You Can Try Around The World

      Bengal Tiger spotted on safari in India

      If lions and giraffes are the first things that come to mind when you think of a safari, you’re not alone. Head outside of Africa for wildlife viewing that is absolutely magnificent. From high up in India's Himalayas to the vast wilderness of Sweden's Laplands, here are 6 unique safaris you can try around the world.

      1. Baffin Island & High Arctic Discovery, Canada
      Travel to the remote area of Baffin Island to experience the "great migration" of the Northwest Passage. Staying on the floe edge in safari-inspired, tented camps, you can explore a remote part of the Arctic which very few people ever get to see. Sail through dramatic landscapes and look out for polar bears, narwhals, belugas and the endangered bowhead whale.

      Best Time To Visit: June during the period of 24 hour daylight. 

      2. Galapagos Safari Camp, Ecuador
      Visit one of the most natural destinations on the planet. Galapagos Island is home to an unmatched abundance of wildlife and otherworldly volcanic landscapes. Watch sea lions frolic along the coast, marine iguanas lounge in the sun, and snorkel with hammerheads, green turtles, manta rays, and more. 

      Galápagos Safari Camp is the ideal eco-luxe launchpad for exploring them: 10 teak-floored tents and a sweeping ocean-view lodge sit subtly in dense jungle where passionate staff expertly craft once-in-a-lifetime excursions to ensure you’ll experience the best that the Galápagos’ has to offer. (photo via Wildlife Worldwide)

      Best Time To Visit: December to May.

      3. Desert Safari Dubai, United Arab Emirates
      After you've had your fill of the glitzy shopping malls and towering skyscrapers of Dubai, head to the desert for a stark contrast. See 
      Arabian gazelles, lizards, Arabian red foxes, the straight-horned Arabian oryx and falcons. Transport via Range Rover to your desert oasis for a gourmet meal before you retire to your magical private luxury camp. Visit remote desert gems like a migratory bird lake and take in stunning views of the desert. Watch the Flaming Sands of Arabia fire show or an impressive falconry demonstration over sunset canape's. 

      Best Time To Visit: November to March.

      Ranthambore National Park, India

      4. Ranthambore National Park, India
      Traveling to India, the Taj Mahal, Jaipur and the Amber Fort, Varanasi and the Ganges may be the top attractions that come to mind. Surely you should add seeing a Royal Bengal Tiger in the wild to that list!  
      Ranthambore is one of the biggest national parks in Northern India, located about 130 km from Jaipur on the former hunting grounds of the Maharajas of Jaipur.

      The park is famous for its tigers and tiger preservation, but you can spot many other animals there, amongst them: leopards, hyenas, sambar deer, macaques, jackals, sloth bears, wild boar, flying foxes, and porcupines. 

      Book your safari ahead of time directly with Ranthambore National Park Service (the 6 seat jeep is recommended) or GeoEx also offers a Taj to Tiger trip incorporating the UNESCO-listed Kaziranga National Park in Assam, which boasts not only the world’s highest density of Bengals, but also wild Asiatic water buffalo, Ganges river dolphins, and two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinoceroses (photo via 
      Aditya Singh/Thinkstock)

      Best Time To Visit: Ranthambore is open to visitors October 1st to June 30th. 

      South Georgia and Antartica Penguin Safari
      5. South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula: Penguin Safari, Antartica
      Begin your journey in the in the world’s most southerly city, Ushuaia where you can explore the mountains of Patagonia or relax over a handcrafted hot chocolate at a café in town.

      Set sail for South Georgia Island where you will witness massive albatross and pintado petrel swoop and soar around the ship. Beaches teeming with king penguins and elephant seals will greet you on this rarely visited island. You will also have a chance to visit abandoned whaling stations and learn the stories of inhabitants who called this island home before stepping foot onto Antartica.

      Once you arrive to Antartica get ready to witness a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation, and at the next moment a calving glacier crashes into a brilliant blue sea. Try excursions like Zodiac cruising, a visit to historical sites, sea kayaking or jump into the icy waters for the polar plunge. Expect to see plenty of penguins and keep a lookout for Antarctic whales, such as the minke. (photo via Travel Wild)

      Best Time To Visit: November through January

      The hyacinth macaw is just one of the hundreds of spectacular species found in the Pantanal
      6. Brazil Pantanal and Amazon Wildlife Safari, Brazil
      Instead of savannas and bush there are tropical forest and jungle where rare and lesser-known creatures thrive. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime journey into one of the world's most enriching destinations for wildlife viewing. Encounter caimans, Brazilian tapirs, maned wolves, capybaras, marmosets, giant river otters, masked titi monkeys, and, of course, the elusive jaguar. Explore the winding Pantanal wetlands by canoe and make yourself at home within a floating lodge in the heart of the Amazon. (photo via Uwe Bergwitz / Shutterstock)

      Best Time To Visit: June through October