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Chicago hotels are really upping their art game. We told you about Radisson Blu Aqua's special photography gallery and now The Hotel Palomar bringing back their popular "Sleeping with the Artist" exhibit.
The series is a partnership with the city's Revolving Collection Gallery, showcasing emerging artists on three floors of the River North hotel. Each of the artist's suites will feature an installation art piece that looks more like cool street art than museum classics.
Each floor is also transformed into its own gallery so a simple walk to the elevator might take a few more minutes as you stop and soak up the creativity. And if you're a guest of the hotel on a frequent basis, you won't get bored since the installations will rotate throughout the year.
Starting rates for a standard queen room hover around $329 and if you just need to "sleep with the artist", a night in the artist suit in June will set you back $609
[Photo: Hotel Palomar Chicago Facebook]
The Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago changed the city's skyline when it first opened four years ago, the first Radisson Blu on U.S. shores. Now the hotel has made some changes to its lobby, marrying an industrial-style with a modern twist.
Don't worry, they've kept the flashy gold disc wall. But now, the walls opposite this eye-catching feature black and white photography from local artist, Vivian Maier.
Maier, transplanted from the East Coast via Paris, lived on the North Shore of Chicago for 40 years prior to her death and captured the lively street scenes of the Second City in ghostly black and white. Radisson Blu's new lobby features the 11 best pieces from her portfolio, all of which are photos of Chicago's streets and avenues.
The framed images are a perfect addition to the brick walls in the lobby and offer up a little something to look at while enjoying a cocktail (or two) in the cool bar. If your visiting the city and want to see more of the acclaimed artist, head west a few blocks to Harold Washington Library where a full exhibition is on display until September.
Rates at the Radisson Blu start around $340 a night for a weekend in early June.
[Photos: Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago]
This summer, the hotel's fine-dining establishment, Travelle, will spin-off an outdoor restaurant on the banks of the Chicago River. Elle on the River will claim the open spot from the hotel to the river between State and Wabash and should be the hot-spot for visitors and locals alike all season. Tim Graham, the chef inside, will oversee the menu outside, filling it with Mediterranean-style tacos and refreshing punches for those lingering long lunches. Some dishes to choose from include tacos filled with chickpea to mahi mahi and chicken to braised pork shoulder
And if the temps aren't hot enough, chef has prepared some house-made hot sauces to kick up the spice. An apropos "rookie" sauce is perfect for beginners, where the "blazing" is for the more seasoned.
Just yesterday we swooned over the green tea waffles at the Nobu Hotel in Las Vegas and now today, we learn we'll be able to scarf down those breakfast delights on our next trip to Chicago. Or well, maybe our third to next trip to Chicago.
Nobu Hotels officially announced the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant that will open in the West Loop neighborhood on the corner Randolph and Preoria Streets in early 2016. Here are the details from the press release:
Inspired by the world-renowned Japanese culinary genius Chef Nobu and championed by Academy award-winning actor Robert De Niro and Hollywood producer Meir Teper, the boutique Nobu Hotel will feature 155 luxury rooms, the Nobu Restaurant and a special indoor and outdoor bar. A lounge and venue on the rooftop will deliver a fusion of laid-back luxury, high-energy nightlife and exclusive guest room retreats.
No doubt the Nobu in-room dining will be present as will the complimentary green tea Welcome amenity, the Natura Bisse toiletries and the turndown service. However, it will be interesting to see if Chicago will copy the Las Vegas design (pictured above) or if the Rockwell Group will dream up something different. We're feeling adventurous today so let's hope they get creative.
The Thompson Chicago has decor filled with leather and aubergine hues— and now it has a scent to match. 12.29, the New York-based olfactory branding company that's developed custom scents for clients such as Rodarte and The Quin Hotel, has created a special scent exclusively for Thompson Hotels, and Thompson Chicago is the first to try it out.
Called "Velvet," the scent comprises notes inspired by the look and feel of Thompson Hotels. In addition to the components mentioned above, the spicy scent contains amber, smoky cedar wood, and fresh tobacco. We popped into the hotel last night to do a little sniff test, and found that the scent is noticeable but subtle, like a fragrance put out by a fancy candle burning (and not—don't worry—like a heavy cloud of room spray.)
Speaking of candles, 12.29 is hosting a pop-up boutique in the lobby through March 20. The company typically only sells its candles ($150 a pop) online, but the temporary shop will offer them up in four different scents. The fragrances come in poetic names such as "A Forgotten Memory" and "A Dark Desire Affair."
Photo: JennyBerg for HotelChatter]
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.
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Billed as a "lifestyle boutique hotel alternative," the ACME Hotel in River North has a hip, young—dare we say "alternative"—way of doing things.
First, there are blueberry-lavender "doughssants" in its coffee shop and a bar made out of leather belts in its lobby. Then, there's the technology. If you thought the Smart TVs and loads of iPod docking stations were cool, wait till you hear what the hotel is doling out now as a guest amenity: Google Glass.
The Godfrey, slated for late 2014, will be Boston's next grand opening
There’s a spate of hotel developments afoot in the Hub. But according to a recent report released by the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, the next hotel opening to hit the city will be The Godfrey in late 2014.
The property comes from the same team behind the just-opened Godfrey in Chicago, a Cubist-influenced building that, to those of us without art history degrees, could also be described as “Jenga chic.”
March 1 is shaping up to be a big day on the Chicago hotel scene. That's the day not one, not two, but three historic hotels will unveil major renovations. But it's not exactly a coincidence.
The California-based Broughton Hotels owns all of the European-style hotels that got the makeovers. The Majestic Hotel in Lakeview, The Willows Hotel in Lincoln Park, and Lakeview's City Suites Chicago were all originally built in the 1920s, and all are relatively wee-sized. City Suites, the smallest has 45 rooms while The Willows is the largest with 55 rooms, and the Majestic Hotel has 52 rooms.
AF Canta, a Cali-based design firm, cooked up the concept for the renovation, which saw similar updates at each property. Each hotel has new lobby furnishings, lighting, window treatments, linens, carpeting, and artwork. The guest rooms have also been modernized with iHome docks, and all of the hotels have fiber optic internet.
If you're not caught up on Chicago weather, here's what you missed this past winter: horrifically low temperatures, dizzying amounts of snow, and foggy rain to wash it all down. Nothing sounds better than a little taste of summertime right now, so it's lucky that two Chicago hotels are serving up heaping portions of classic picnic fare.
TheWit Hotel may have just launched a super-health-conscious new menu, but chef Evan Percoco understands that we all need a little fried chicken from time to time. His first-floor restaurant State & Lake has just introduced "Fried Chicken Sundays." Good for your soul (if not for your heart), the menu includes two sizes of buckets stuffed with fried chicken and biscuits; there are also growlers, or big old beer jugs, on offer.
It looks like these three idiots are now on the Trump Chicago's blacklist. Heck, maybe they should be on every hotel's blacklist.
According to The Chicago Sun-Times, a trio of suburbanites (LOL) stopped by the hotel's 16th-floor bar on Saturday night. They had one drink, but appeared so intoxicated the bartender didn't think it fit to serve them a second round. So, they went to get a few cups of coffee and sober up, right? Wrong.
The three gentlemen proceeded to a stairwell and turned on the water valve—surely proving they were sober enough for another drink, right? The water valve, which shoots out 250 gallons of water a minute, caused $700,000 worth of damage to the property's elevators, marble flooring, and walls and ceilings. But there's a happy ending: all three of these charmers, who range in age from 24 to 25, were charged with criminal damages.
Fortunately, nothing seemed amiss on social media or on TripAdvisor, leading us to think the issues were probably hidden well from guests. Indeed, CBS News reported that it was largely the parking structure's elevators that were affected and not the regular guest elevators. But still, #neveragain drunk dudes. Never again.
[Photo: Trump Chicago/Facebook]
Now, this is a great sign for the upcoming Virgin Hotel Chicago, opening in September--the hotel just named their general manager.
Anna Anderson brings more than 25 years of hotel management experience to Virgin, having worked most recently at the Mosaic Hotel and the Maison 140 Hotel in Beverly Hills. She's also worked in the midwest before, at the motorcycle-themed Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee. So should Sir Richard Branson want to arrive in Chicago on his hog, she'll know what to do.
Virgin Hotels CEO, Raul Leal, had this to say about Anderson:
"Anna's innate ability to motivate her team to consistently deliver high levels of customer service made her the ideal candidate to lead the opening of our first property."
We love that she's wearing Virgin red in her photo too.
According to the Chicago Biz Journal, The Virgin Hotel Chicago will have 250 guest rooms, 40 one bedroom suites and 2 "rock star suites." Say what? This Virgin sure knows how to keep us hanging on.
[Photos: HotelChatter and Chicago Business Journal]