It’s not too late to make arrangements for a luxurious and truly unique holiday experience at the AAA Five-Diamond, Waldorf Astoria Chicago, recently named the #1 Hotel in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler readers. A festive four-course prix fixe menu is available on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, served in the lovely Balsan restaurant, and a late-night menu is offered in the Lobby Lounge at Bernard’s. Think ahead and book your New Year’s Eve plans at Balsan as well for a rich and rustic meal that will knock your celebratory socks off.
The Christmas menu is $90 per person with the option of customizable wine pairings for $55, which include cauliflower velouté, salt-roasted beets, or duck rillettes for the first course; king crab, foie gras, or a Brussels sprout salad for the second course; beef short rib, pan-seared halibut, or fettuccini for the third course; and, my favorite, a chocolate peppermint buche de Noel “Yule Log” for dessert.
The Waldorf Astoria Chicago is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. A lit-up grand 20-foot evergreen tree in the cobblestone courtyard greets you upon arrival, and the lobby is embellished with gorgeous festive garlands in colorful hues.
Should you choose to stay at the hotel, enhancement packages are available, which include in-room holiday décor, gift shopping, and spa treatments (kids can indulge in a manicure and pedicure served with ice cream)! “Waldorf Elves” assist guests looking for last-minute gifts — from robes and pajamas to designer jewelry and luxury grooming products. Guests also have the opportunity to have their suite decorated with an eight-foot Christmas tree and garland, creating magic while they are away from home.
New Year’s Eve is also a lovely time to visit the hotel, ending the year with panache. Balsan’s Final Eve five-course menu, priced at $125, includes a variety of dishes that take the land and sea into regard. Highlights include: Chanterelle velouté, lobster ravioli, seared scallops, smoked burrata, duck breast, and ribeye filet. Late-night snacks will be available at Bernard’s and the Lobby Bar and, of course, a Champagne toast will ring in the New Year with joy.