There is so much to do in downtown Chicago, from visiting iconic landmarks and attending sports games to eating at some of the world’s most renowned restaurants. Guests of your large-scale fundraising gala or corporate event will not only be impressed by the city and all of the nearby “must-dos,” but by the opulence and excellence of the following venue spaces. These luxury hotels of downtown Chicago ensure a seamless celebration, as most are complete with their own events team equipped to assist you and your every need.
From classic ballrooms like the one at the iconic and historic hotel, The Drake, to glamorous, modern spaces such as those found at The Langham, Chicago, this list includes venues and spaces that are sure to impress your Chicago gala guests — organized from largest capacities to smallest so that you can find the perfect fit for your event.
Blow-Out Bash for 500-1000
In the River North neighborhood lives our first luxury hotel pick in downtown Chicago: The Westin. The Grand Ballroom of the Westin River North has a gorgeous statement-making ceiling with golden, geometric chandeliers, which your guests can mingle and dance under all night. The otherwise neutral ballroom offers 8,400 square feet of completely customizable space — add a dance floor or divide the space with walls, then make use of the venue’s outstanding AV capabilities. Guests can enjoy the view of the Chicago river from the outdoor terrace attached to the ballroom. For planners looking for a large, contemporary, flexible space, The Westin River North is a great choice.
Grand Ballroom Capacity: 700 (seated) – 916 (standing)
Golden, glorious, and legendary in Chicago, The Drake’s Gold Coast Ballroom offers 6,838 square feet of opulent French-style space. Many laud the elegant and timeless architecture of the ballroom, complete with intricately gold-painted pillars, coffered ceilings, and towering windows. Others would argue that the most impressive feature of the space is its sweeping view of Lake Michigan. Either way, your guests will be wowed by this ballroom conveniently located in the heart of Chicago.
The Gold Coast Ballroom Capacity: 500 (seated) – 900 (standing)
The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago is one of the most upscale luxury hotels in the city — and it features Chicago’s largest ballroom at 14,000 square feet. We absolutely love the design of The Grand Ballroom, and your guests will too. The dazzling central chandelier made up of 400,000 illuminating crystals is nothing short of spectacular, and the view from The Grand Ballroom is rave worthy as well. Fitting 850 guests reception-style, your gala guests are sure to be impressed by this spacious, gorgeous venue and will enjoy the level of care the service team is known for.
The Grand Ballroom Capacity: 550 (seated) – 850 (standing)
The Grand Ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is elegant and spacious with an impressive dark wood staircase entrance befitting its “grand” name. The ballroom has champagne silk walls and a soft pastel palette throughout the space — an elevated neutral. The exceptional service of the Four Seasons sets this venue apart, as do the raves for the fare that’s delicious even when being served on a large scale.
The Grand Ballroom Capacity: 560 (seated) – 750 (standing)
Mid-Sized Party for 250-500
Sleek and simple perfectly describes the Devonshire Ballroom at The Langham, where guests will also enjoy an exceptional view of the Chicago River. The ballroom’s high ceilings with walls of floor-to-ceiling windows and rows of crystal chandeliers create a stunning backdrop for any gala or corporate celebration. Along with its modern, elegant design, The Langham is well-known for their five-star cuisine and impeccable service.
Devonshire Ballroom Capacity: 260 (seated) – 500 (standing)
The Palmer House is one of the most famous luxury hotels in downtown Chicago, with its iconic frescoed ceilings and history of hosting stars like Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. The Grand Ballroom is downright romantic with glittering chandeliers and ornate golden ceilings, but also makes for a dreamy setting for a corporate event that will have employees talking and feeling appreciated. There’s a grand balcony wrapping the entirety of the ballroom, creating a private tier where guests can mix and mingle and peer down at the larger proceedings.
The Grand Ballroom Capacity: 260 (seated) – 408 (standing)
We love the modern, funky vibe of the Juliette Grand Ballroom at Chicago’s Londonhouse. Chevron patterned walls, mixed globe chandeliers, and a patterned stone accent wall create a swanky feel in this large ballroom. This aesthetic carries over into the furniture, including emerald velvet barstools and sleek marble tables. With ample natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, this stylish space is perfect for an upbeat gala or corporate celebration.
Juliette Grand Ballroom Capacity: 270 (seated) – 350 (standing)
The W Chicago, Lakeshore location offers 360-degree sweeping views of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier from Altitude, an event space located on the hotel’s 33rd floor. The space’s design is sleek and futuristic with beautiful turquoise carpeting and a disk shaped light fixture that fills the whole ceiling and offers the ability to change the color and mood of the space throughout an event. This is a space and view your guests will long remember, along with the top-notch, thoughtful service staff.
Altitude Capacity: 240 (seated) – 300 (standing)
Intimate Celebration for Under 250
Chicago Athletic Association Hotel is ideally situated on Michigan Avenue, across from Millenium Park — the perfect location for your corporate celebration offering guests plenty to do nearby. However once they enter the hotel, they may find they don’t want to leave. The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel is home to the famed Cindy’s rooftop bar, as well as a game room complete with a bocce bay, billiards, and shuffleboard, and many other entertaining spaces and places to eat. Guests will be further impressed by the elegant and traditional Madison Ballroom. Dark wood and marvelous crystal chandeliers add to the old charm and beauty of the space.
Madison Ballroom Capacity: 150 seated – 275 standing
The Park Hyatt Chicago is located in the heart of the city on the Magnificent Mile, and its Grand Salon Ballroom is nothing short of magnificent, offering 2,800 square feet of gorgeous event space. Our favorite element in the Grand Salon is the four 14-foot-long crystal amber chandeliers covering the ceiling. Similar to the rest of the design at the Park Hyatt Chicago, the ballroom is neutral, offering a blank canvas for your celebration décor and any theme you can dream.
Grand Salon Ballroom Capacity: 200 (seated) – 250 (standing)
The Cedar Ballroom of the Viceroy Chicago is absolutely elegant. We adore the white and gray marble walls which create an extremely luxurious, yet modern, feel to the space while glowing chandeliers add a traditional touch. Adjacent to the ballroom is a large outdoor terrace overlooking the lively Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. Perhaps cocktails on the terrace followed by an indoor corporate appreciation dinner or gala auction for a worthy cause is in order. The Viceroy also plays host to Somerset — a super hip, American cuisine restaurant that is also available for event use.
Cedar Ballroom Capacity: 130 (seated) – 200 (standing)
One of the most popular luxury hotels in downtown Chicago, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago Hotel, is the perfect spot for your opulent large-scale celebration. The Sinclair Ballroom is simply gorgeous and quite unique, featuring multiple hand-blown, jeweled chandeliers. The look and feel of the whole hotel, especially the Sinclair Ballroom, transports you to 1920s Paris. For a memorable experience coupled with decadent design, look no further than the Waldorf Astoria Chicago Hotel.
Sinclair Ballroom Capacity: 160 (seated) – 200 (standing)
Also inspired by the 1920s era, is the Avenues Ballroom of the Peninsula Chicago. This venue’s highlight is definitely its impressive views of Michigan Avenue and Water Tower Park. The design of the space is kept simple with neutral floral wall panels and classic crystal chandeliers, creating a cool, elegant atmosphere.
Avenues Ballroom Capacity: 175 (seated) – 180 (standing)
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