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Since its beginning as a members-only club in London that you probably couldn't get into, Soho House has come a long way -- from New York to Miami, Toronto, Berlin and more -- becoming a touch more welcoming in the process.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that we heard rumors of Soho House opening up a new hotel in what used to be the BBC Center in London. Now we hear that there are confirmed plans for a different hotel in another part of the city: in, well, the City (that's London's financial district).
Time for a quick round-up of Soho House's heady expansion plans, we think.
Well, Loews Hotels has done a good job of keeping this one on the Down Loew but not anymore. Take a look here at what's in store for the Loews Chicago.
We first got wind of a Loews Hotel in the windy city back in 2008. We're not exactly sure why this was put on hold but we're gonna go with epic financial fail of that year. But now the project is back on and should be ready to open in early 2015. Here's the 411:
Loews Chicago Hotel will be part of a highly visible 52-story tower located just one block north of the Chicago River and two blocks east of North Michigan Avenue. The hotel will have spectacular city skyline and lake views from the 400 new guestrooms (including 23 suites) and meeting spaces both indoors and out.
The hotel also plans on having a signature restaurant, a 24-hour fitness center, a 75-foot indoor lap pool and a rooftop lounge. We can't wait to get Loew up high in 2015. (Ok, we'll stop. Puns are done.)
[Rendering: Loews Hotels]
We not only answer questions by mail, we're checking our Facebook page too! That's where we found this latest question from one Polly P.
Which Chicago hotel is putting in cabaret music?? Anyone know??
After doing a quick internet search, we suggested The Drake Hotel which has regular live music in their Palm Court. When we followed up with Polly she told us that the Drake has had music for a long time and that this was a hotel looking for a NEW cabaret music offering. She mentioned that she thought it might be The Godfrey which is opening in February to which we replied, The Virgin which is opening this summer. Or possibly, Public. Polly thinks it could even be the new Langham Hotel. But maybe it's The Kinzie aka the Amalfi, which is rebranding in February.
Really, it's a bit of a shot in the dark/wild goose chase. Literally, any hotel could be looking for a cabaret act. But if you've got a lead on which new or new-ish hotel is looking for a cabaret music act, let us know, old friend. Or else, just put which Chicago hotels you wish had cabaret music in comments below!
The 215-room hotel in the city's River North neighborhood is currently open as the Amalfi Hotel but it's undergoing a multi-million renovation and will officially reopen as The Kinzie in February. But aside from lounging in upgraded rooms and public spaces done by the Gettys Design Group Chicago, guests will also be getting quite the history lesson with their stay.
The hotel's namesake, John Kinzie, is often referred to as "Chicago's first civilian" who was involved in the city's first controversial murder (he was later acquitted) and then had some wild escapades during the War of 1812. During that time, he identified first as a British citizen (even though he was born in Quebec) and then was captured by the British for treason. Naturally, when he escaped British imprisonment somewhere in Nova Scotia, he quickly re-identified as a U.S. citizen and spent his last years in Chicago. His son later opened the city's first hotel and restaurant. The Kinzie Hotel now stands just blocks from where John Kinzie's original mansion once stood (the street is even named after him too.)
The Kinzie's new Double Cross lounge will be the most obvious homage to the man. Inspired by a silver piece Kinzie designed in the shape of a double-barred cross as well as for his "mercurial" reputation, the sixth floor lounge will be open from 5 to 8pm and will give guests an assortment of complimentary small bites and a cocktail to kick off their evenings.
Keep reading for more on the guestrooms at The Kinzie!
UPDATE Nov. 5, 2013: The hotel is now opening next Summer, not Spring as initially planned/hoped by everyone eager to sleep with this Virgin.
A while back we were stoked to find out that the Virgin Chicago, due to open next
spring summer, would have not just a rooftop bar but also a Virgin Clubhouse. Granted, we weren't exactly sure what would be in the Clubhouse, but if it was anything similar to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses found at airports around the world, we knew it had to be something cool.
But now the clubhouse may not even happen.
The hotel's developer, Lionstone, has pulled the information referencing the Clubhouse from their website. Boo. But fortunately, the rooftop bar and lounge remains. (They also pulled this rendering of the hotel's entrance which a Virgin rep told us was not accurate at all.)
One of our operatives skipped by the hotel the other month but the Virge was pretty well-covered up. Such a modest Virgin! But still, we hope it won't be much longer before we get some real news out of this joint.
Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Chicago Hotels / Rosewood Hotels / Santa Fe Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / Omni Hotels / → All Tags
Looking at cocktails menus these days, it’s clear bartenders (or mixologists as they like to call themselves), are shaking and stirring drinks intended to warm your insides—perfect for the crisp, fall weather many of us are experiencing.
These are some seasonal sips from some of our favorite hotel bars.
If you’ve never heard of “Movember” before, you can read about the male mustache-focused charity here. This year the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is supporting the cause with its Whiskey & Whiskers drink served at their Bernard’s bar. 20% of the proceeds from the $16 drink will be donated to the Movember Foundation. We love the mustache-stencil garnish created with sprinkles of ginger-cinnamon powder.
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Keeping with our series of bending the ear of our favorite barkeeps, we recently had the opportunity to find out what NoMI Lounge Manager and bartender, Kevin Beary, at the Park Hyatt Chicago thinks about the industry's preferred poisons.
HotelChatter: So, what's your bar-tending journey?
Kevin Beary: I started my hotel bar career at the historic Bellevue in Philadelphia and moved to the iconic Clover Club.
HC: NoMI is quite the destination in Chicago, with an ideal location and great reputation, what is your thought process when designing a new cocktail menu?
KB: A new cocktail list is like the first day of school. It's a little nerve racking but exciting at the same time. It allows me to be creative yet still stay true to the NoMI experience.
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The Freehand Miami
The Freehand Chicago will open in the old Tokyo Hotel at 19 East Ohio Street and according to Chicago Real Estate Daily will have 250 beds. Key word: Beds, not rooms. The beds will be split between private rooms and dormitory-style suites with four to eight beds in a room. There will also be an onsite bar, called Broken Shaker, and a café that hopes to bring in both international travelers staying at the Freehand and locals. (The existing sushi restaurant, Ginza, will close later this month after 26 years in business.)
The interiors will be done NY-based Roman & Williams Buildings & Interiors who did the original Freehand in Miami and who is also redesigning the Chicago Athletic Association which will turn into a hotel next year. You can read HotelChatter's article on the design duo here. Better yet, you can tour every inch of the Freehand Miami here.
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While we had hoped that the new boutique hotel, The Godfrey, would open in Chicago's River North nabe this year, it looks like we won't have to wait much longer in 2014. The Godfrey plans to open the doors to its crazysexycool cubist-influenced building on February 1st. (Fun fact: it's adjacent to Hotel Felix on West Huron Street.)
The hotel will have 221 guestrooms spread out over 16 floors with 27 of those rooms as one-bedroom Godfrey Suites. All rooms, designed by Gettys Design Group Chicago, will feature " calming tones and textiles juxtaposition with impactful uses of color and contemporary built-in furnishings." In other words, the rooms look rather modern but thankfully not scary futuristic or uncomfortable.
Amenities include a 46-inch HD LED television, complimentary Wi-Fi, plush bathrobes, L'OCCITANE bath products, a large work station, wet bar, iHome docking station and RFID key cards. Guests will be able to control the TV via their smartphone and access flight info from the TV too.
Oh and there will be complimentary WiFi in all guestrooms and public spaces. YES.
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Deals: you want 'em, and surprisingly, everyone has 'em. Take a look at some of the latest hotel deals going around the internet today from booking sites, social media sites, flash sale sites and more. Don't forget to scroll down to see the HotelChatter-approved deal either. Who knows? You might just find what you're looking for. (But don't forget to tell us about your stay!)
DEALS, DEALS, DEALS*
· Bear Down Package at The Amalfi Hotel, Chicago: This one's for Da Bears...fans and enemies. The Amalfi Hotel's "Bear Down Package" includes overnight accommodations, complimentary deluxe continental breakfast before the Chicago Bears game at Soldier Field, a CTA pass (optional), a bucket of 6 domestic beers to celebrate (or mourn), a signature snack trio and a nightly manager's reception with complimentary Italian hors d'oeuvres. The package is available through January 4th. Go here to book or call the hotel at 312.395.9000 (Toll Free: 877.262.5341.) Use code BEAR-DOWN to book. Oh and here's the Chicago Bears home schedule just in case. We found a room for $294 next weekend when they take on the New Orleans Saints.
· Wander & Wonder at the Hotel Monaco San Francisco: The newly redesigned Hotel Monaco has a new Cal Academy package to go along with their new look. In addition to a pretty new room, the hotel will give you two adult general admission tickets to the California Academy of Sciences to check out the penguins, parrots and the albino alligator named Claude. Also included is two 3-day MUNI passes and a 20 percent discount off food at the Grand Cafe, adjacent to the hotel lobby. Go here to book an use promo code WANDER. The deal is valid until December 31st but a two-night minimum stay is required.
· Moment in Time at The Plantation Inn, Maui: The 19-room Plantation Inn is the sister B&B to the Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel, which features turn of the century architecture with modern amenities such as air conditioning and soundproofing. Plus, it's just two blocks from the beach. Now, the inn is offering a "Moment in Time" package that includes three nights in a Lanai category room, daily breakfast for two, dinner for two at Gerard's Restaurant, a bottle of champagne on arrival, his and hers Hawaiian robe keepsake and daily compact car rental (rental policy here.) The total for the package is $877 which is a savings of $237. But it's only available through December 19th. Go here to book.
The James Chicago has always been a bona fide "cool" spot for boutique hotel lovers as well as "food enthusiasts" but now it's destined to be the place for (refined) drinkers with its new JIMMY Chicago bar.
A spin-off of the popular spot JIMMY at the James Hotel in New York, this Windy City Jimmy is done by the same partners, David Rabin, Larry Poston and Johnny Swet. While it doesn't have a killer rooftop location, it does have a semi-secret entrance.
JIMMY is located behind the new Burke's Bacon Bar, the sandwich shop from Chef David Burke. And yes, that's located inside the hotel as well. Here are some step-by-step directions to getting into JIMMY:
Enter through the side of the hotel, then walk to the back of Burke’s Bacon Bar thorough a small vestibule room lined with sparkling chrome ball chain curtains.
Once inside, you'll find a "jewel box of a cocktail bar" designed by Thomas Schlesser, reminiscent of the 1970s with earth tones, bronze surfaces, lounge chairs, a wood-paneled bar and sexy low lighting.
But what will catch your eye the most is the cocktail menu, which is inspired by cinema. JIMMY partner and NYC star mixologist, Johnny Swet, has hand-crafted each drink such as the Bondsman (apple brandy, vodka, lime, cranberry juice, agave and seltzer) and the Mexican Julep (tequila, watermelon, lime, agave and cilantro muddled in a silver cup with crushed ice.)
There's no doubt that Chicago has become quite the hotbed for new hotel action in the past few years. From trendy boutique hotels with a definite artsy edge to names that are synonymous with luxury. Fortunately, we got to lay our very own eyes on a new property that fits into the latter category; the Langham Chicago.
Langham opened in July in a 'soft opening' that elicited lots of "oohs" and "ahhs", including our own when we got a glimpse of what's inside the former IBM building along the Chicago River. To the untrained eye, many people wouldn't take note of the building itself, but design junkies will know the building to be the last of famed architect, Mies van der Rohe. It should also be known that the inside pays as much homage to the designer and his building and we couldn't be more wowed.
Full of little details from hanging Czech glass globes in the lobby, designed by London-based Richmond Group, hand-picked art pieces and the subtle tech-y nod to the building's former glory in Travelle, the upscale restaurant on the lobby level; it would be hard to check-in to this hotel and be underwhelmed. Each of the 316 rooms are so well thought out featuring high-end furniture, plush fabrics and sleek marble, in even the basic of rooms.