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That's right. Tonight we are going all the way with the Virgin Hotel Chicago and you're going to watch!
Here's a look inside a deluxe king room at the hotel. It is very true to the press photo that was released earlier today, although we have found a few unexpected surprises--like a cherry red SMEG mini-fridge which serves as the minibar, the Red Flower toiletries in the bath, the rug which pays homage to London, and the proprietary bed, which reminds a bit of Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic. Yes, this means we will probably go to sleep thinking about Sir Richard Branson. Which is really just like any other night. #amirite?
Now, we're about to head downstairs to the The Commons Club to observe the social scene and have a bite to eat. If we're not too
drunk full, we'll have more photos of the public spaces to show you later tonight. Otherwise, we'll have a grand tour for you tomorrow on Monday. And we'll let you know how this little Virgin performed. Wink, wink.
At long frickin' last, opening day for the first-ever Virgin Hotel Chicago is here...and this is what a guest rooms looks like, as shown in a press photo. Our initial reaction, OMG. OMG. OMG.
Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels told us nearly a year ago that Virgin Hotels would be catering to women, saying that Virgin would be especially in tune with women business travelers (also Virgin gave their mobile app a girl's name) but still, we had no idea how feminine this room would be.
Look at that soft grey vanity and matching chair! Look at those bubbled table legs! Hello lighted mirror! And look at the carpet! Check out the pink dress in the closet! Notice that stylish petite desk to work on!
Clearly, we have a lot to say here but we're reserving our thoughts until we actually step inside the Virgin later today. While the rooms and the Commons Club lobby lounge are open, a few of the other spaces including the restaurants are not quite ready. Still, we'll do our best to scope them all out. We promise to leave no Virgin unclothed, er, unturned.
Stay tuned on HotelChatter.com for more pics and observations. If you aren't already following us on social media, find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (the latter is where we will be posting most of our snapshots during our stay.)
But who cares what we think? TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ROOM IN COMMENTS BELOW
[Photo: Virgin Hotels]
Virgin Hotels / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Mobile Apps / Lucy / Chicago Hotels / Mobile Check-In / → All Tags
We're just days, really hours at this point, away from the grand opening of the long, long, long-awaited Virgin Hotel Chicago on Thursday, and while we are legit freaking out about seeing the inside of a Virgin guest room, Virgin has given us something to play with in the meantime--their new mobile app, called Lucy, available in the iTunes Store and on Google Play.
Lucy is not just a booking app or a hotel directory. The app also lets you check-in with your mobile phone, order room service; control the thermostat (given that it's winter in Chicago, turn that sucker up); order movies OnDemand; log into your account for The Know, Virgin Hotels' loyalty program; and even make some virtual friends in the guests-only chat forum.
Clearly, Lucy is meant to be wined and dined in the comfort of your Virgin Hotel room so us flipping through the app at our desk is not helpful but we will be meeting this lovely lady later this week. Stay tuned!
Virgin Chicago appears to be sold-out for opening weekend but next weekend rates are $207 a night.
It's that time of year again: the 2014 HotelChatter Awards! Today and tomorrow, we'll be showcasing the best (and worst) of hotels over the past year. But we couldn't do it without you! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot us an email. And the Award goes to...
The Virgin Hotel Chicago page was our most trafficked page of the year. This is crazy interesting because the Virgin Chicago hasn't even opened yet. But that just goes to show how much Virgin Hotels have been hyping their brand.
When the year started, we were no closer to learning more about Virgin Chicago, other than it would have 250 amount of rooms and a rooftop scene. In February, the hotel was planned to open in September. Um, nope.
Throughout the year, we did learn small tidbits, like the announcements of a general manager and the chef and his F&B concepts. We also got Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels, to tell us 6 things we didn't know yet about Virgin Hotels.
This was nice but without a rendering or a room shot, we couldn't get excited. Even when the hotel was making up rumors about itself over the summer, we were still very nonplussed.
Piece by piece, the layers are coming off the Virgin Hotels brand.
Last week, we learned that Virgin America's Elevate members would get certain perks at Virgin Hotels, which will open first in Chicago on January 15. Now we have the full details of Virgin Hotels own loyalty program, excuse us, preference program, called The Know.
Here's what to know about The Know. t's pretty simple.
Visit VirginHotels.com/the-know to fill out a short questionnaire. (You'll also have to submit your email if you haven't already signed up.) The questions asked include cheeky ones such as, "What do you really want to be called?" "Afraid of elevators?" "Do you have any allergies?" and "Special requests? Pet peeves? Ghost concerns?" You can also tell them your favorite drink, favorite snack, your "dream" minibar item and what should NEVER be found in your minibar.
Once you've enrolled, and stayed at a Virgin Hotel, you'll be eligible for perks such as:
Virgin Hotels / Hotel News / Loyalty Program News / Chicago Hotels / Hotel Openings / Virgin America / Hotel Loyalty Programs / → All Tags
As the opening day gets closer and closer for the very first Virgin Hotel, the brand's loyalty program is also getting closer to coming out.
We reported two months ago that a Virgin Hotels loyalty program would be "integrated into the airlines' current loyalty programs." Today, we know exactly how that will work.
Just last month, we heard that work would begin soon on the forthcoming Virgin Hotel New York. And now this Virgin is starting to show some skin. The rendering kind.
The 38-story hotel will go up at 30th and Broadway, smack dab in the middle of the oh-so-ho NoMad neighborhood. It will also be very close to the hotel that spurred the comeback of this random, in-between area--the Ace New York.
Now, is it just us or does this look like a USB flash drive plugged into the ground? #justus #butyoutotallyseeitright?
It's really happening! Gone is the wraparound red construction board at Chicago's eagerly anticipated hotel and in its place, a real live Virgin. Er, marquee.
That's right. Signage just went up at the Virgin Hotel Chicago and it is looking good. Of course, the entrance is predictably Virgin with its red sign lettering and the Virgin logo on the plaque next to the door, but still looking good. We're also chuckling at the cheeky window signage which says, "Is the plural of cheese, cheese or cheeses? Either way I could use a glass of wine." So could we. And some cheeses while we're at it.
Additionally, signage went up for Miss Ricky's All American Diner at the hotel, and a special VIP with some giant red lips stopped by to admire it. Lovely. And slightly scary.
Rates for the hotel, which opens on January 15 start at $219 a night for a Chamber King room.
Congrats to Virgin. Now just make sure the T, E, and L are always lit up. Otherwise, you'll have a real oxymoron on your hands there.
[Photo: Virgin Hotel]
The Real Deal Blog reports that developer, The LAM Group, filed permits yesterday for the Virgin Hotel in the hot-to-trot NoMad neighborhood at 1225 Broadway between 29th and 30th streets. That lot will be demolished and a 38-story hotel with 447 hotel rooms will be built with duplexes on the 34th and 35th floors.
Downstairs will have 100,000-sq.ft. of retail space. Upstairs it looks like there will be a rooftop lounge and possibly a pool. The architect for the project is listed as Brian McFarland of VOA Architecture, the company behind plenty of hospitality projects, including the remodel of The Tides in Miami Beach.
Once again, Virgin Hotels is
harassing driving by other hotels in town, flaunting what they got. This time, it's free WiFi which will be available for every guest at the Virgin Hotel Chicago when it opens in January.
Virgin took the streets of Chicago in a branded van the other night and parked at the intersection of Wells and Adams St., which is conveniently near both the JW Marrioott and the W City Center hotels, two hotels that charge for WiFi in the guest rooms. (Although, internet access is available in the lobby for free.)
But not only did Virgin be like, "Look what we have that they don't have!", they also offered free high-speed WiFi from the van so passerbys could experience the Virgin WiFi network.
Virgin will also not charge for early departure fees, room service delivery fees, minibar stocking fees, and business center fees so expect this van to come back around. again.
[Photo: Virgin Hotels]
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We now know you can FINALLY book a room at The Virgin Hotel Chicago on January 15, starting at $209 for a Chamber king room. We also know that you'll get a room with a sliding partition, an ergonomic bed, an oversized vanity, minibar snacks at normal prices and free WiFi.
Outside of your kinky room, there will be five restaurants and lounges for you to socialize in because ain't nobody leaving the hotel when it's freezing outside.
The good news is there will definitely be one. But the bad news is we have to wait a little longer for the details. A Virgin Hotels spokesperson has told us that the loyalty program will be coming out much sooner that initially reported (well before the first Virgin Hotel opens) and it will be integrated into the airlines' current loyalty programs. Whee!
So while the ins and outs of the Virgin Hotels loyalty program are still under wraps, we bet if you have status on either Virign America or Virgin Atlantic, you will see probably some status perks at Virgin Hotels.
[Photo: Rayme Gorniak for HotelChatter]
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Earlier tonight, Virgin Hotels, at long last, unveiled their new website with actual information, not just rumors, about their hotels. Even better, reservations are now open for the Virgin Chicago starting on January 15. Rates for a “Chamber King” start at $209 a night.
We're still undressing the Virgin Hotels site but here are the pertinent details. Before we go any further, we strongly suggest you watch the video above to get a clear sense of what the hotel has to offer and how they plan on doing it.