The Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, which opened this summer, is not a building to be overlooked.

The imposing triangular structure, made of glass and white stone, literally juts out over the corner of Wabash and Chestnut, narrowing as it rises.

Designed by Paris-based architect Jean-Paul Viguier, the hotel houses 415 guest rooms, including 28 suites with a view of the skyline or Lake Michigan.

Additionally, the luxury hotel, owned by Paris-based Accor, is vying to become a dining and nightlife destination with its Café des Architectes, serving modern French cuisine, and Le Bar, offering inventive martinis such as the $12 framboise, a mixture of Stoli raspberry, Godiva white chocolate liquer and grenadine.

Le Bar already attracts larger-than-capacity crowds. "We’ve had to limit access because it’s gotten too full," said Daniel Tannenbaum, director of sales and marketing.

Later this fall, look for the opening of Cigale, an upscale Mediterranean restaurant, also on the hotel’s ground floor.

Paris-based designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, who has designed interiors for several Hotel Sofitels, including ones in London and New York, provided the hotel’s contemporary, minimalistic look accented with splashes of bright crayon color.

Typically, rooms start at $429 a night. However, a $219 per night "Chicago Art de Vivre" package is available, which includes room and VIP shopping privileges at Bloomingdale’s a few blocks down the road, a Bloomingdale’s keepsake gift, Bloomingdale’s French cosmetics and breakfast for two. Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, 20 E. Chestnut Street, (312) 324-4000.

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