The Practically Perfect Peninsula

Downtown hotel offers luxurious amenities

The Peninsula Hotel and Mary Poppins have one thing in common -- they're both practically perfect in every way.

Tourists, city-dwellers, Brangelina, businessmen, bachelorettes, just about everyone takes advantage of the beauty that is the big P.

Fun fact: Peninsula Hotels all over the world are only located on the most premiere, most esteemed, most convenient and most luxurious streets, corners and intersections of the cities in which they dwell. Although we obviously love all of Chicago, the Peninsula would never construct itself on the corner of, say, Addison and Clark (just as Wrigley Field would never be caught dead on Michigan Avenue).

You're never at a loss for things to do, eat or drink while staying at the Peninsula. No with four restaurants (please please please try Shanghai Terrace and/or Avenues), one bar, a terrace, a gym, a spa and a pool,

One not-to-be-missed eating extravaganza is most def, absolutely, positively The Lobby's Sunday brunch. Not, like, the lobby lobby where you check in, get your room key and some of those handy dandy double decker bus brochures, but the restaurant itself is called The Lobby. Bounce from the carving station, to the sushi station, to the raw bar, to the omelet-maker (who not only makes omelets, but delivers them to your table so you don't have to wait), to the dessert tower, to the salad bar and finally back to your table. Wash it all down with one (or four) mimosas and, congratulations, you've had the best brunch this side of Michigan Avenue has ever seen.

After your mimosa-drenched brunch, head to the (glorious) spa for the Pen's signature service: the Uplifting Mint Experience. After a cup of refreshing tea and a ceremonial foot ritual using mint grown in the Midwest (hence the reason this service is unique to Peninsula Chicago), your body is scrubbed down with skin softening mint and apricot kernels. Who knew you can do more than just eat this stuff? Advanced massage techniques + refreshing oils = uplifted mood, no hangover headache (from all those pesky mimosas) and baby soft skin. At the end of the 2-hour service, a relaxing head massage finishes you off -- in the very best way possible.

Be a tourist in your own city. Turn off the computer, the Crackberry, the iPhone, the iPod, the iTouch or any other electronic device beginning with a lowercase "i," and take advantage of one of the most luxurious, beautiful and historic hotels in the city. Walk out the grandiose front doors and onto the most grandiose of Avenues: Michigan. Walk a few blocks east and traipse down the Lake Shore path with all the wet, frolicking, lake-dwelling children, tourists and volleyball-playing 20-somethings.

Take it all in because once you dive into your gigantic (may we say romantic?) bubble-laden bathtub (complete with sound system and television set) and lay your head down on the Sealy Posturepedic Pillowtop mattress, you'll never want to go back out.

Erica Bethe Levin is craving Belgian waffles and mimosas while she writes for and edits

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