chicago Travel Guide

/ / / / /

Nobu Hotels Are Now Bringing Their Green Tea Waffles to Chicago

March 18, 2014 at 6:03 PM | by | Comment (1)

Just yesterday we swooned over the green tea waffles at the Nobu Hotel in Las Vegas and now today, we learn we'll be able to scarf down those breakfast delights on our next trip to Chicago. Or well, maybe our third to next trip to Chicago.

Nobu Hotels officially announced the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant that will open in the West Loop neighborhood on the corner Randolph and Preoria Streets in early 2016. Here are the details from the press release:

Inspired by the world-renowned Japanese culinary genius Chef Nobu and championed by Academy award-winning actor Robert De Niro and Hollywood producer Meir Teper, the boutique Nobu Hotel will feature 155 luxury rooms, the Nobu Restaurant and a special indoor and outdoor bar. A lounge and venue on the rooftop will deliver a fusion of laid-back luxury, high-energy nightlife and exclusive guest room retreats.

No doubt the Nobu in-room dining will be present as will the complimentary green tea Welcome amenity, the Natura Bisse toiletries and the turndown service. However, it will be interesting to see if Chicago will copy the Las Vegas design (pictured above) or if the Rockwell Group will dream up something different. We're feeling adventurous today so let's hope they get creative.

[Photo: VegasChatter]

/ / / /

Thompson Chicago Now Has Its Own Signature Scent

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 21 East Bellevue Place [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
March 13, 2014 at 6:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Thompson Chicago has decor filled with leather and aubergine hues— and now it has a scent to match. 12.29, the New York-based olfactory branding company that's developed custom scents for clients such as Rodarte and The Quin Hotel, has created a special scent exclusively for Thompson Hotels, and Thompson Chicago is the first to try it out.

Called "Velvet," the scent comprises notes inspired by the look and feel of Thompson Hotels. In addition to the components mentioned above, the spicy scent contains amber, smoky cedar wood, and fresh tobacco. We popped into the hotel last night to do a little sniff test, and found that the scent is noticeable but subtle, like a fragrance put out by a fancy candle burning (and not—don't worry—like a heavy cloud of room spray.)

Speaking of candles, 12.29 is hosting a pop-up boutique in the lobby through March 20. The company typically only sells its candles ($150 a pop) online, but the temporary shop will offer them up in four different scents. The fragrances come in poetic names such as "A Forgotten Memory" and "A Dark Desire Affair."

Photo: JennyBerg for HotelChatter]

/ / / /

Confirmed! Soho House Will Open in Chicago This August

Where: 113-125 North Green Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60607
March 7, 2014 at 9:28 AM | by | Comments (0)

This is excellent news. We just got word that Soho House Chicago will open in August. Last time we dished on this exclusive, London-based chain we expounded on the coolness of West Loop location. Here are some more details about the property:

There will be a scant 40 guest rooms (told you it was exclusive) on the building's third and fourth floors. The rooms, a press release tell us, will be "comfortable" and "airy," and they'll have rainforest showers and products from Cowshed. Rates start at $160, and bookings will be available this spring.

more ›

/ / / / /

The ACME Hotel Will Begin Offering Guests Google Glass on March 10th

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 15 East Ohio Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
March 7, 2014 at 9:23 AM | by | Comments (0)

Billed as a "lifestyle boutique hotel alternative," the ACME Hotel in River North has a hip, young—dare we say "alternative"—way of doing things.

First, there are blueberry-lavender "doughssants" in its coffee shop and a bar made out of leather belts in its lobby. Then, there's the technology. If you thought the Smart TVs and loads of iPod docking stations were cool, wait till you hear what the hotel is doling out now as a guest amenity: Google Glass.

more ›

/ / / / /

Three Chicago Hotels Will Debut Big Renovations Tomorrow

February 28, 2014 at 9:03 AM | by | Comments (0)

March 1 is shaping up to be a big day on the Chicago hotel scene. That's the day not one, not two, but three historic hotels will unveil major renovations. But it's not exactly a coincidence.

The California-based Broughton Hotels owns all of the European-style hotels that got the makeovers. The Majestic Hotel in Lakeview, The Willows Hotel in Lincoln Park, and Lakeview's City Suites Chicago were all originally built in the 1920s, and all are relatively wee-sized. City Suites, the smallest has 45 rooms while The Willows is the largest with 55 rooms, and the Majestic Hotel has 52 rooms.

AF Canta, a Cali-based design firm, cooked up the concept for the renovation, which saw similar updates at each property. Each hotel has new lobby furnishings, lighting, window treatments, linens, carpeting, and artwork. The guest rooms have also been modernized with iHome docks, and all of the hotels have fiber optic internet.

more ›

/ / / /

How to Make a Hotel Bed Kimpton-Style (and Dance to a Catchy Tune)

February 25, 2014 at 6:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

HotelChatter is no stranger to bed-making tutorials. We've had the folks at Ritz-Carlton demonstrate how to make a bed; we've had the team at DoubleTree share their special bed-making tips and we've had the staff at the Trump New York enlighten us with a tip on keeping duvet covers wrinkle-free. But never have we been told to make a bed like this before.

In honor of National Bed Month next month, Kimpton Hotels had the staff at their Hotel Monaco Chicago sing a catchy song about how to make a bed properly. And then they filmed a music video.

To be honest, we're not so sure we got all the bed-making tips down, we were too distracted by watching the employees sing and dance and throw pillows in the air. Maybe the fourth or fifth time watching it, we'll actually remember the tips.

Considering a hotel bed for your home? Check out what hotel brands have their beds for sale HERE.

[Video: Kimpton Hotels]

/ /

Two Chicago Hotels Are Serving Picnic Fare In the Dead of Winter

February 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you're not caught up on Chicago weather, here's what you missed this past winter: horrifically low temperatures, dizzying amounts of snow, and foggy rain to wash it all down. Nothing sounds better than a little taste of summertime right now, so it's lucky that two Chicago hotels are serving up heaping portions of classic picnic fare.

TheWit Hotel may have just launched a super-health-conscious new menu, but chef Evan Percoco understands that we all need a little fried chicken from time to time. His first-floor restaurant State & Lake has just introduced "Fried Chicken Sundays." Good for your soul (if not for your heart), the menu includes two sizes of buckets stuffed with fried chicken and biscuits; there are also growlers, or big old beer jugs, on offer.

more ›

/ / / /

The Trump Chicago Gets a Visit From the Worst Bar Guests Ever

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 401 North Wabash Avenue [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
February 21, 2014 at 9:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

It looks like these three idiots are now on the Trump Chicago's blacklist. Heck, maybe they should be on every hotel's blacklist.

According to The Chicago Sun-Times, a trio of suburbanites (LOL) stopped by the hotel's 16th-floor bar on Saturday night. They had one drink, but appeared so intoxicated the bartender didn't think it fit to serve them a second round. So, they went to get a few cups of coffee and sober up, right? Wrong.

The three gentlemen proceeded to a stairwell and turned on the water valve—surely proving they were sober enough for another drink, right? The water valve, which shoots out 250 gallons of water a minute, caused $700,000 worth of damage to the property's elevators, marble flooring, and walls and ceilings. But there's a happy ending: all three of these charmers, who range in age from 24 to 25, were charged with criminal damages.

Fortunately, nothing seemed amiss on social media or on TripAdvisor, leading us to think the issues were probably hidden well from guests. Indeed, CBS News reported that it was largely the parking structure's elevators that were affected and not the regular guest elevators. But still, #neveragain drunk dudes. Never again.

[Photo: Trump Chicago/Facebook]

/ / / / /

The Virgin Hotel Chicago Now Has a General Manager

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 203 N. Wabash [map], Chicago, IL , United States, 60601
February 19, 2014 at 10:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

Now, this is a great sign for the upcoming Virgin Hotel Chicago, opening in September--the hotel just named their general manager.

Anna Anderson brings more than 25 years of hotel management experience to Virgin, having worked most recently at the Mosaic Hotel and the Maison 140 Hotel in Beverly Hills. She's also worked in the midwest before, at the motorcycle-themed Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee. So should Sir Richard Branson want to arrive in Chicago on his hog, she'll know what to do.

Virgin Hotels CEO, Raul Leal, had this to say about Anderson:

"Anna's innate ability to motivate her team to consistently deliver high levels of customer service made her the ideal candidate to lead the opening of our first property."

We love that she's wearing Virgin red in her photo too.

According to the Chicago Biz Journal, The Virgin Hotel Chicago will have 250 guest rooms, 40 one bedroom suites and 2 "rock star suites." Say what? This Virgin sure knows how to keep us hanging on.

[Photos: HotelChatter and Chicago Business Journal]

/ / /

The Godfrey Hotel Uniforms Showcase Local Design Talent

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 127 West Huron Street [map], Chicago, IL , United States, 60654
February 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Along with showcasing local fare (hello, Eli's Cheesecake), the new Godfrey Hotel seems committed to putting local design talent in the spotlight. Chicago designer Anastasia Chatzka was tasked with stitching up the women's uniforms for the new River North property—and yep, she got a little Cubist on her sketch board.

"The uniforms were inspired by the hotel's decor," Chatzka told us. "I sat down with the interior design company when the hotel was being built, and made sure I had a strong understanding of the direction they were looking to go." Chatzka says she was given "an open palette" and creative freedom in the design process, and she was inspired by the hotel's "masculine edge."

more ›

/ / / /

The W Chicago City Center's New Suite Has Champagne Chilling...In the Bathtub

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 172 West Adams Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60603
February 13, 2014 at 1:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

The W Chicago City Center hosted an early Valentine's Day bash on Tuesday night in their new Extreme Wow (or "EWow") Suite, which is different from any other suite in a few ways.

First: it has Space Invaders. That's right— just off the entrance, a small arcade area houses throwback games. As for the rest?

The 22nd-floor suite, which opened quietly in August, spans 1,500 square feet. In a made-for-entertaining living room area, a serpentine couch is topped with fuzzy throws and jewel-hued pillows; there's also a 55-inch TV and a high-top bar with seating for four. On the night we stopped by, the hotel's in-house mixologist Lauren Parton was whipping up personalized "love potion" sips behind the bar; we hear she works her magic, and can even lead demos, at all types of private W functions.

In the bedroom, a king-size bed is topped with 350-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. A corner dressing salon—kind of perfect for bridal parties— has two, floor-to-ceiling mirrored wardrobes, a vanity desk with an illuminated oval mirror, and a three-way dressing mirror.

more ›

/ / / / / /

3 Hotel Spa Treatments For Beating The Winter Blues in Chicago

February 7, 2014 at 4:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

At this point, Chicagoans are so over winter (and we still have 40 days to go.) Local spas are rising to the occasion with new treatments that do more than just pamper. If you're not down for swimming laps, check out these three services that combine plush bathrobes and tranquil settings with serums, gels, and rituals meant to clear bad energy. Let the healing begin.

CHUAN SPA AT LANGHAM CHICAGO can give you a fresh start to the year, if you have three hours—and $525—to spare. Available through February 28, The Chinese New Year Rejuvenation Package includes a bamboo-and-seasame body buff, a ginger-wasabi detox body wrap, and a massage that incorporates an orchid-and-pearl cream. Afterwards, try fresh fruits pair fresh fruits paried with soothing teas during the Chuan Signature Elemental Tea Service. Guests leave with a personalized Chinese New Year Fortune.

more ›