Normally, five-star kind of luxury and children don't mix. But as my husband and I happily discovered, it is possible to combine the two.

Normally, five-star kind of luxury and children don't mix. But as my husband and I happily discovered, it is possible to combine the two. From the moment my family and I stepped into the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, we knew we were in for a different kind of stay. Admittedly, I was a bit concerned about staying with three boys - the youngest being under a year old, but as I soon discovered, I had no reason to worry. Greeted by helpful doormen and fresh cool towels, we were instantly enveloped by the warm hospitality of the Trump staff. While I busied myself taking care check-in business, reception staff gave our children backpacks filled with Trump toys. Within seconds, the staff knew my children's names and would continue to call them by name throughout the weekend.

One of the differences that sets the Trump International Hotel and Tower apart is Attach Services. Prior to your stay, an attach representative will contact you to determine what spa and restaurant reservations you may need. They will also determine what needs and interests your family may have. When we entered our room, the children were thrilled to see their favorite movies, board games and even an
Xbox awaiting them.

Parents will be delighted with the amenities for their children. As part of their commitment to an exceptional experience, the Trump provides Pratesi Linen furnished cribs, a well-stocked movie library, a 75-foot indoor heated pool with an incredible view of Lake Michigan, the above mentioned video gaming and so much more. Parents can rest easy knowing that the children are enjoying their stay as well.

The Trump doesn't just welcome children though - they actually cater to them with a fabulous Trump Kid's Spa. I'm talking serious kid indulgence here. Children can don a spa robe and slippers just their size and head for treatments that range from a Trump. Jr., Pedicure Sundae to a Trump Kid's massage. Along with the spa services, there are also health and wellness classes such as swimming and yoga.

Our two oldest enjoyed a swimming class with trainer Luis Bracamonte. The result was incredible, in one lesson, our oldest was working on new challenging drills and our second son had a new found confidence in the water. After the swimming lessons, the boys enjoyed trying out all the hotel pool toys provided for children.

For families unsure if they want to tackle the upscale dining restaurant, Sixteen (children's menu available), there is extensive in-room dining service provided. Choose from breakfast, lunch, dinner or somewhere in between.

Since the Trump Tower is the second tallest building in the United States it goes without saying that the view is incredible. The hotel is located at 401 North Wabash Avenue in the River North District. It's across the Chicago River from the Chicago Loop and is only a block away from the southern end of the famous Magnificent Mile section of Michigan Avenue.

On our latest trip to Chicago, we discovered the Melting Pot near the hotel and Bubba Gump Shrimp Company at Navy Pier and couldn't have been happier. Both of these restaurants were hits with our family. And, both of them have a distinctly, unique appeal.

Just inside of the street entrance for the Melting Pot is an elevator waiting to transport you to a new world. Walk past a fountain filled with pots of flowing water and you're immediately transported to a magical place. As a youngster, I loved the show I dream of Jeanie and I'm sure Jeanie herself would have loved it here. It's pure eclectic. We sat down at a two burner table and enjoyed a wonderful fondue experience. Our children actually enjoyed eating their vegetables at the Melting Pot! The menu is extensive and includes heavenly deserts.

If you're a lover of seafood and the Forrest Gump movie, you'll love Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. The atmosphere is very loud and very family. We enjoyed our waiter who quizzed us on all things Forrest Gump. And once you're done eating the shrimp, check out the gift shop.

While Chicago is a great city to visit anytime, visiting over the holidays is definitely special. Children and adults alike will revel in the light displays and special attractions. To learn more about what's happening this holiday season, visit explorechicago.org.

Melting Pot
609 N. Dearborn St., Chicago Tel: (312) 573-0011

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co Restaurant
700 E. Grand Ave. Ste. 131, Chicago (312)252-4867