Tag: chicago hotels

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The Virgin Hotel Chicago Strips Down to Reveal Its Signage

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  Site Where: 203 N Wabash [map], Chicago, IL, United States
November 20, 2014 at 6:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

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]

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Virgin Hotels Flaunt Their Free WiFi Around Chicago

November 7, 2014 at 10:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

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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Is The Conrad Concierge App Really That Cool?

November 7, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

A few years back, Conrad released a special mobile application that was supposed to make it easier to connect with the hotel for special needs like their pillow menu or room service.

We had the opportunity to play with the tweaked and updated app at a recent stay in Chicago and we're pretty excited about it.

Right from our mobile phone (or iPad, if we wanted), we could access as much info about the property as we could from the in-room compendium. But the real magic was exposed on our way home from a night out in River North.

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The Short, But Very Important, List of New Hotels Coming to Chicago

October 13, 2014 at 12:25 PM | by | Comments (2)

Chicago has been a breeding ground for new hotels and new hotel concepts for a few years now. We even named it the Best Hotel Scene back in 2011. But the hospitality winds of change are just starting to pick up.

By our count, 8 very important hotels will open in Chicago in the next two years. Of course, there will be many, many, more hotels opening than just eight. But here are the ones we're dying to sleep with.

1. Virgin Chicago: At long last, Virgin Hotels finally revealed its much hyped but much covered up hotel concept last week. And we are loving it. Rooms will officially open to guests in the dead of winter on January 15 at $209 a night. We're currently hunting down a faux fur coat to accompany us on our virgin stay with Virgin Hotels.

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Ace Hotels to Bring Their A-Game to Chicago

October 9, 2014 at 11:51 AM | by | Comment (1)

What is everyone smoking in Chicago? Because hotels want to go to there, badly.

We're still digesting the news that we'll be able to stay at the Virgin Hotel Chicago on January 15 and we're still not quite over the coolness of the new Soho House Chicago. Heck, we're still in love with Ian Schrager's Public Hotel (although a friend tells us the property is starting to show some wear and tear after three years.) Now, our minds are spinning over the announcement of an Ace Hotel coming to the Windy City.

Curbed Chicago has all the pertinent details of the property and its location.

The upcoming Ace will be located literally right across the street from the old Fulton Market Cold Storage building, which Sterling Bay is also developing. The Fulton Market Cold Storage facility, now called 1K Fulton will become the future home of hundreds of Google employees, as well as the new global headquarters of Chicago-based SRAM Corporation.

The area is also home to the Soho House as well as the upcoming Nobu Chicago.

Details are scant on what will actually be inside this Ace but we bet there will be the usual Ace Hotels amenities like plenty of Pendleton blankets, a coffee shop of some sorts , a hipster sort of restaurant and free WiFi. Yet given that the competition in Chicago is getting fiercer by the minute, we suspect Ace will bring their A-game out with a few more special features. We can't wait to see what those will be.

[Photo: HotelChatter]

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The Virgin Hotel Chicago Will Open, At Last, on January 15 at $209 a Night

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  Site Where: 203 N. Wabash [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60601
October 8, 2014 at 12:26 AM | by | Comment (1)

We had hoped Santa Branson would deliver a Virgin Hotel by Christmas but it seems like we’ll have to wait just a tad longer. However, now we can sneak a peek at the mysterious Virgin.

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.

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Branson, Baby, Hurry Down The Chimney With The Virgin Chicago This Christmas

October 6, 2014 at 3:32 PM | by | Comment (1)

Virgin Hotels have put an end to the rumors they willingly helped others spread about themselves, but there's still a while to go before the hotel actually opens to the public. Yet if you continue to be good little boys and girls, you should be able to sleep with a Virgin by Christmas.

The unofficial opening date for the Virgin Hotel Chicago is now December. And boy, do we hope Santa Branson and his elves can pull this off. Work is still obviously underway at the hotel and we've yet to see an actual website for the property. But they do have a general manager and a chef on board.

So we hope the rest is just a matter of making lists, checking them twice, finding out what's naughty and nice, and then, finally, crossing them off.

[Photo: Virgin Hotels/Facebook]

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Funky Friday: An Ice Cream Sundae At The Langham Chicago Will Cost More Than Your Room

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  Site Where: 330 North Wabash Avenue [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
October 3, 2014 at 6:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

We love hearing about a hotel’s latest dessert creations – more so directly experiencing — and when chocolate’s involved, they’ve got our attention. If it’s outrageous enough, for example, the 'Chicolate Room' at the Four Seasons Milan, we give it a friendly does of Funky Friday. Equally outrageous and jaw dropping, so to speak, is the series of high-end desserts, and their high end price tags, presently offered at The Langham Chicago.

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Inside The Soho House Chicago, Not Just for Members Only

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  Site Where: 113-125 N. Green Street [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60607
September 15, 2014 at 12:08 PM | by | Comment (1)

A few weeks ago, Soho House opened their newest, exclusive hideaway in Chicago. We finally went to check it out for ourselves and we think, this might just be the one of the best hotels in Chicago.

The property has 40 bedrooms, three restaurants (all open to the public), a private cinema and a retro-styled gym with a vintage boxing ring and aerial yoga classes. Soho House is also located on a back street in the West Loop neighborhood behind the hottest restaurant precinct in town. (Since you can clearly work off whatever you ate the night before, there's no reason not to take a few steps to some of the eateries found on Randolph Street.)

Take a look around a "Medium" room at the Soho House Chicago

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Oh No They Didn't! Virgin Drops Doormats at Competing Hotels in Chicago

September 9, 2014 at 8:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

Looks like starting crazy rumors about themselves wasn't enough.

Virgin Hotels are now printing those rumors--on doormats--and dropping them off at other competing hotels in Chicago. Here are a couple of snapshots of the upcoming hotel's cheeky brand awareness campaign.

We've actually seen this sort of campaign before when CitizenM parked a stretch limo plastered with ads for their new Times Square hotel in front of luxury hotels. We like the doormat idea better but would it have hurt you, Virgin, to put an opening date on the doormat? #canthardlywaitanylonger

[Photos via Virgin Hotels]

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Virgin Hotels are Spreading Rumors...About Virgin Hotels

August 26, 2014 at 12:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

At long last, Virgin Hotels are getting ready to strip down for guests.

Since 2011, we've been not so patiently awaiting the opening of the Virgin Hotel Chicago, which will be the first hotel for the brand. Making the wait more frustrating, aside from the repeated opening delays, is that we're still rather in the dark about what the Virgin Hotel concept is about.

We did learn 6 important things about the Virgin brand this past spring and about their 6 F&B concepts in Chicago, but largely, we've just been speculating as to what will be inside the Virgin Hotel. In true tease fashion, Virgin wants us to keep guessing.

Today, Sir Richard Branson himself is spreading rumors about the Virgin Hotel and wants you to spread some of your own too.

The Branson-sanctioned rumor-mongering is all part of a gimmick to drum up attention for the Virgin Chicago property as well as give fans an opportunity to win a two-night stay at the hotel. Here's how it works:

Branson has shared some Virgin rumors here in this video including one that says he personally tucks in every guest at night and that the hairdryers have a "beard setting."

You can submit your own Virgin rumors over the next five weeks by tweeting here on the Virgin Hotels website. Be sure to hashtag this entry with #virginrumors. Whoever submits the best rumor will be win the two night stay at Virgin Hotels, plus airfare and transport to the hotel's opening party. A rep for Virgin also cryptically said the "rumors will play out on the streets of Chicago this week" so we'll be sure to report on that as we see them.

Alas, there's no hint as to when the actual hotel opening will be but if the contest is running for five weeks, then we know the hotel won't be open before then. Ooo, did we just come up with our own entry for #virginrumors? Indeed we have.

Another sign Virgin Hotels is getting closer to opening? You can follow them now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Kimpton to Open Their 5th Hotel in Chicago in 2016

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  Site Where: 37-43 South LaSalle [map], Chicago, IL, United States
August 19, 2014 at 11:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

That old saying, "Three's a crowd", clearly never bothered Kimpton Hotels who have had not three, but four hotels in Chicago for quite some time. And now, the boutique brand is working on their fifth hotel for the Windy City. Fifth!

Kimpton recently purchased a historic office building in the Central Loop neighborhood. Built by architect William Le Baron Jenney in 1894, the building was previously known as the LaSalle-Monroe Building and before that, The New York Life Building.

Kimpton will renovate and refurbish the property to open by early 2016. The hotel will have 281 rooms, 9,500-sq.ft. of retail space on the ground floor, a restaurant and bar and a top floor ballroom with views of LaSalle street. We're guessing that means the Starbucks and Subway, shown in the photo above, will probably move out.

New York-based architect Gensler and Los Angeles-based design firm Beleco, will work with Kimpton's senior VP of design, Ave Bradley, to create a "locally appropriate" style.

And of course, all the Kimpton amenities that we love will be in play like free WIFi for Karma members, complimentary wine hour for guests and fun animal-print bathrobes.

Meanwhile, we hear that Kimpton will make yet ANOTHER new hotel announcement very soon, regarding a new hotel in the South. Our sources say it will be in Palm Beach but a Kimpton spokesperson would not comment on that. We'll just have to wait it out then.

[Photo: Wikipedia]