3 Chicago Hotels Bring Serious Tech to 'Silicon City'
Dubbed “Silicon City” for its booming tech scene (think Motorola, Groupon, Orbitz), Chicago is also blowing out its share of high-tech hotel interiors. These three Chicago hotels are going above and beyond to deliver the latest in-room tech toys.
In true rocker fashion, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago does show a little too much "morning after" with spots of chipped paint and ever-so-slightly worn interior, but the bright spots are pretty substantial—and we’re not just referring to the real-life rockers who show up here every time a music fest comes to town (recently Cee Lo Green and Pete Wentz ambled through). For starters, the floating Ghost Wall concierge screen in the lobby lets you check flight times, take photos, and browse Hard Rock’s selection of 20 available Fender guitars. But what we really love is the solo dining option at the hotel’s brand-new, totally playful Chuck’s Manufacturing restaurant (pictured above). It’s a techie's dream workstation complete with an outlet (and charger loans, should you forget yours), work light, bold Ikea-like acrylics, and funky bookshelves—all basically begging you to sip wine, work, and be cool.
At Chicago’s Talbott Hotel, high-tech umph is fueled by Troy Strand, the hotel’s general manager with a serious passion for technology, and the in-room Mac mini systems (pictured above), both a surprise in light of the hotel’s historic charm (Talbott was originally built in 1927). Utilizing Square[i] technology, the in-room’s HDTV, and a wireless Mac keyboard, the mini does almost anything a Mac can do—iChat, Skype, photos sharing, video editing, even the ability to record HDTV movies via Netflix. Did we mention there’s free WiFi, too?
Flash forward to a newly opened Chicago hotel, ACME Hotel Company is straight-outta-the-gate cool and gritty when it comes to technology, though the rooms show it best with goods that are far-and-away better than what most of us own at home. Smart TVs come with easy HDMI hookups, both Apple and PC compatible, excessive amounts of iPod charging docks, a Bowers and Wilkens Zeppelin wireless audio system, and fast and free WiFi.
Got another high-tech Chicago hotel to suggest? Shoot us an email or share it in the comments below!
[Photos: Hard Rock Hotel, Nina Kokotas Hahn at HotelChatter]