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The Soho House Chicago has been open for a week now and since we're still, um, working on our Chicago travel plans, we thought we'd do a cursory check of recent internet reactions.
The hotel surprisingly lacks a TripAdvisor page, so we're unable to find out the nitty gritty details of like quirky elevators or loud vents or issues with WiFi. But here's what we've gleamed about the new hotel from both the mainstream media and the (probably more important) social media:
New York Times: There's a custom, on-site boxing ring coming soon.
New York Post: Nine different products from Cowshed line the showers.
Eater Chicago: Go inside the Chicken Shop and Pizza East, both London-based restaurants that have spun off to Chicago.
Chicago Mag: The "ultra-indulgent" treatment from the Cowshed Spa is actually just a pedicure.
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Just when you thought Soho House was all about quietly colonizing the world, with Chicago on track to open next month, comes the welcome news that it’s not neglecting its origins. No, not the forthcoming City of London property, but something much better – another English country house hotel to rival Babington House.
We told you back in March that the Soho House Chicago would be opening in August and well, wouldn't you know? The Chicago spinoff of the London members-only club--with hotel rooms attached--is actually opening next month, on August 11 to be exact.
Located in the West Loop nabe in an old warehouse that was once home to the Chicago Belting Factory, the Soho House Chicago will now offer 40 rooms, ranging in sizes Small, Medium and Medium Plus.
The small rooms, which are going for $240 a night on opening night, start at 300-sq.ft. and include free WiFi; complimentary tea, coffee and homemade biscuits; and Cowshed products in the bathroom. The website also says a hair straightener will be included with the hair dryer. Score one for the curly-haired ladies out there.
The Medium rooms offer 450-sq.ft. of space while the Medium Plus rooms bump up to a generous 650-sq.ft of space with a bathtub in the bathroom. (The other rooms only have showers.) Rates for these rooms are going for $350 on opening night. Sadly, there are only illustrations of the rooms online and not real photographs. Hopefully, we can get some of those for you to peep real soon.
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.
On a list of ambitious expansion plans – taking the original private members club as far as Mumbai – Soho House will be increasing its footprint in home base London too. And a serious increase it is: taking over the immense former Midland Bank building on Poultry, just off of Bank. That puts Soho House – founded as a private members’ club “for those in the film, media and creative industries” – right in the heart of banker / lawyer land.
The Grade-I listed building’s fifteen minutes of fame, mentioned pretty much everywhere, came and went in the sixties, as a backdrop for the James Bond film “Goldfinger”. Most reports also talk about 255 rooms, but the architect’s website speaks of “184 luxury suites of varying sizes”. Not quite the same as the intimate Dean Street Townhouse, is it?
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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.
Now that Soho House have made their move on the hot Chicago hotel scene (as well as that of Mumbai, Barcelona, Toronto and Istanbul ... and a new club on New York's Lower East Side), rumor has it they may be turning their attention back home -- to a new London location.
The Evening Standard reports that Soho House hotelier Nick Jones is negotiating with property developer Stanhope for a boutique hotel and club with a rooftop swimming pool at the site of what used to be the BBC Centre in West London -- Stanhope bought the site for £200 million when the BBC moved the location of their headquarters in March this year.
Facing Randolph Street from the rooftop at Soho House Chicago: to the left under the orange awning is Nellcôte with Little Goat across the street at right. Let the chow down begin!
Last January when we shared that the private member boutique Soho House would be coming to the white-hot Chicago hotel scene (watch out, don’t touch!), there was some talk from Crain's Chicago Business about whether the hotel would have trouble drawing guests to its West Loop location -- what it called a "non-traditional neighborhood" for a Chicago hotel.
Despite the location, we had no doubt from the get-go about the potential hotness of Soho House Chicago, based entirely on what we know about the collection. “The Soho House experience is so covetable, if you will,” we wrote, “that luxe scenesters--especially A-list celebrities as well as high-profile artists--will seek out the patented private haven, wherever it may be. We know we will.”
There's more: we recently spent time in the West Loop neighborhood and there's every reason to believe the West Loop location is going to be downright killer -- as hot if not hotter than the likes of the new Hotel Lincoln in unexpected Lincoln Park.
The company announced yesterday (while we were on vacation, naturally) that the Soho House Toronto will open this fall on Bishops Block in recently restored building from the 1880s. BlogTO.com reports that the house will open on Adelaide Street across from the soon-to-open Shangri-La Hotel on Adelaide St. W.
Soho House, which has always operated pop-up spots during the Toronto International Film Festival, plans to install a rooftop bar, a library, a house kitchen and pantry bar and a main lounge area, named the Pretzel Bell Bar Lounge (after the tavern that originally occupied the space, according to BlogTO.) Sadly, it doesn't look like there will be any hotel rooms here. Booo.
The Shoreditch House in London
Last week we were overly excited about the future opening of Soho House Chicago. But before the private members club/boutique hotel opens in the Windy City, Soho House is expected to first open in Mumbai this June and then in Istanbul in 2013.
And it turns out all this globe-trotting expansion is probably due to a major investment from grocery store billionaire Ron Burkle who recently bought a 60 percent share in the company.
Soho House hotelier Nick Jones wrote about the news to Soho House members saying:
'Though we've had a number of interested parties table offers for Soho House in the last few years, I believe that Ron shares our vision, and provides us with the backing to expand and improve our clubs whilst remaining true to our original ethos.'
Now, look what we've started. Just the other day we mused about the possible location for the planned Soho House Chicago. We were skeptical of the private members club' plans for Chi-town from 2008 which would have opened a hotel inside a building on Dearborn Street but we had no leads on where else they were thinking for Chicago.
Lo and behold, an excited Chicago-based tipster tipped us off the other day about a report in Crain's Chicago Business that says the Soho House Chicago will actually open in the West Loop/Fulton Market area inside a 91,000-sq.ft. warehouse at 113-125 N. Green Street. Soho House would install about 50 rooms, a signature restaurant and yes, a rooftop pool.
Apparently, Chicago-based hotel company AJ Capital Partners LLC is close to buying the property and once that sale goes through, Soho House will be installed.
Crain's also surmises that Soho House might have a problem drawing guests to a not-so-traditional neighborhood for tourists. We beg to differ. The Soho House experience is so covetable, if you will, that luxe scenesters--especially A-list celebrities as well as high-profile artists--will seek out the patented private haven, wherever it may be. We know we will.
[Photo mash-up: Google and HotelChatter]
You know the drill. Drinks going well, you decide to get dinner, then more drinks… then all of a sudden it’s midnight on a school night and you have to go home. What a downer!
Ah, says the Dean Street Townhouse, but it doesn’t have to be. Because if that dinner happens to be in that restaurant, and you happen to order after 11pm (it’s open till midnight weekdays and 1am at the weekend, last orders 11.30 and 12 respectively), they’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse: stay on in a hotel room that night for just £50.*
The £50 is per room, not per person, and you could strike lucky – they’ll give you any category, including the top level ones, worth £410.