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Brilliant: A Virgin Hotels Loyalty Program is In The Works

Where: 203 N Wabash [map], Chicago, IL, United States
October 9, 2014 at 1:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

But given that Virgin Hotels are an extension of Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic airlines, we have to wonder about the Virgin Hotels Loyalty Program.

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

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  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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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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These Five New London Hotels Are All Heading for Shoreditch

August 4, 2014 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve been heading east so often recently to scope out the latest London hotels news that we thought it was time to do a quick roundup of what we have on our radar in the Shoreditch (and Shoreditch-adjacent) area. Here are five new hotels that are likely to open their doors in the next few years, though some we’d be much more inclined to put our money on than others.

1. M by Montcalm Shoreditch: is it happening? Looking at the construction we saw just weeks ago, we’d say yes, but timing we think will be late spring to summer next year. From a brand perspective, who knows at this point, whether Montcalm will stick or Virgin or someone else swoops in and picks it up, we’ll have to find out. Location is just north of Old Street roundabout.

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This is the M by Montcalm London Shoreditch, But Could It Become a Virgin?

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 151-157 City Road, London, United Kingdom, EC1V 1JH
July 21, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Given how little information we could parse together about the two new Montcalm Hotels potentially opening in London, we headed into town to see what we could find in person. Double-checking addresses, we struck one of our list before we even left the house, with the hotel on Finsbury Square no longer featured on the website.

What we found in Shoreditch was a little more encouraging in terms of actual construction going on, with the hotel at or very near its highest point. Just north of Old Street Station, the pointy building is very nearly without horizontal lines, sitting next to a fancy apartment complex (on the left) also in progress.

A tipster whispers in our ear that despite the ongoing construction under the Montcalm banner, a number of other groups, including Virgin Hotels, are interested in acquiring the property. While we can’t verify that bit of delicious hotel gossip, we’re all over it – especially since Montcalm doesn’t seem quite sure of anything when it comes to the hotel.

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The Virgin Hotel Chicago Announces Executive Chef (and Six F&B Concepts)

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 203 N. Wabash [map], Chicago, IL , United States, 60601
June 30, 2014 at 4:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Virgin Hotel Chicago announced their new executive chef last week and with that announcement we also learned a little bit more about the very mysterious Virgin we're dying to sleep with.

Chef Rick Gresh comes to Virgin after a 7-year stint as Executive Chef at David Burke's Primehouse restaurant at The James Hotel, which was deemed "Best Steakhouse" by Chicago Magazine in 2013. He's been cooking in Chicago for nearly 20 years and puts innovative concepts and local sourcing at the forefront of his approach to cooking. Here's what he said about joining Team Virgin:

“I am thrilled to join Virgin Hotels and inspired by their dedication to exceptional, locally sourced food,” says Gresh. “With six unique concepts under one property, this project will mark a landmark moment in Chicago’s F&B landscape, and I am very excited to be a part of the team.”

Yup. Read it again. He really did say SIX F&B concepts.

What will those be? We can only guess but it will include at least the hotel's main restaurant, probably the rooftop, possibly a bar menu, hypothetically a small cafe and maybe, room service? But that's only five concepts. Dammit, Virgin. You're killing us here. Guess we will have to wait until September when the hotel opens to find out.

In the meantime, here are 6 things we already know about Virgin Hotels.

[Photo: Virgin Hotels]

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The Virgin Nashville Needs a New Lead Developer...Quick

June 16, 2014 at 10:23 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Virgin Hotel in Nashville, which is set to open at One Music Row in 2016, has not even been built yet but is already suffering from some ED issues--Ex-Developer issues.

The Tennessean reports that developer David Chase, executive vice president of D.F. Chase Inc. and the lead developer behind the Virgin Hotel, was arrested last week for twice assaulting his girlfriend. In one day. Chase faces charges of aggravated assault by strangulation, vandalism and interference with a 911 call.

The investors behind the Virgin project are now trying to figure out how to get Chase to "step aside" but his ownership stake in the lot where the hotel will go up has complicated matters. Still, a Virgin spokesperson gave this statement to the Tennessean: "We are aware of the situation and while we cannot comment on a pending investigation, we have no tolerance for domestic violence."

Meanwhile, construction on the hotel was to start this summer but that could be delayed until a new developer is found.

[Photo: Nashville CVB]

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Virgin Looks to Start-Up a Hotel in Silicon Valley

May 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

Virgin Hotels are still working away on their first hotel in Chicago, four long years after Sir Richard Branson hinted to us there would be a Virgin Hotels brand, but the new locations are starting to populate.

Most recently, the brand announced plans for Nashville along with NYC and with Dallas, LA, Miami, and London on the horizon. And now possibly. Silicon Valley.

The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that Virgin Hotels are looking to develop a hotel on a parking lot next to a Caltrain station in downtown Mountain View, which is home to Google and other tech companies. In typical Virgin Hotels fashion, details are scant on the project idea. But maybe some new info will come to light when it's discussed at the city council meeting on Tuesday.

Yet as the Virgin Hotel brand stays fully clothed from head to toe, they did give us 6 things we should know about the Virgin Hotel experience and they are all pretty perfect things for Silicon Valley's start-up culture. Except maybe the part about wooing women. Virgin might have teach some of those kids a few things about that.

[Photo: Virgin Hotels]

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6 Things Virgin Hotels Want You To Know About Them

April 30, 2014 at 1:26 PM | by | Comments (0)

Virgin Hotels have been taking too long their sweet time in opening their first property. They've also been extremely tight-lipped--some may even say closed-off--about the details of their hotel experience. But today, HotelChatter has an inside line on what to expect when the first Virgin Hotel opens in Chicago this fall, to be followed by other eager, young Virgins around the world.

Here are 6 THINGS VIRGIN HOTELS WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THEM as told to HotelChatter by Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels.

1. Virgin Hotels Will Woo Women

"We are building a product experience sensitive to how women travel," Leal said. Indeed, 60 percent of the Virgin Hotels team is women and they've been giving their input on the room experience from a female business traveler perspective, highlighting more drawers and closet space and a dedicated space to apply make-up. But Leal said Virgin will still be build something that both sexes like and that "works for both sides."

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Virgin Hotels Will Strap on a Guitar and Head to Nashville in 2016

April 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM | by | Comments (0)

You can probably thank Taylor Swift for the latest announcement from Virgin Hotels. The burgeoning hotel brand has just revealed they will open a new hotel in Nashville in 2016 in a pretty prime location--One Music Row.

Virgin Hotels Nashville will have 240 guest rooms, multiple "concept" suites, along with food and beverage outlets and perhaps most necessary of all, a cutting edge recording studio.

“Based on its nonstop cultural and live events, food and beverage scene, and its ability to inspire both talented artists and TV viewers, Nashville’s time is now – and we’d like to be part of that excitement,” said Sir Richard Branson. “Virgin Hotels will be our first venture in Nashville, and we’ll look at other opportunities for our US and international customers to enjoy the southern hospitality that Nashville is known for.”

Meanwhile, Virgin Hotels Chicago is apparently just "months away from opening" according to Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. After that, Virgin has its eyes set on NYC, Boston, Dallas, LA, Miami, San Fran, DC and London.

We don't think we need to say it again but it bears repeating, "Hurry up because we can't hardly wait."

[Photo: Nashville CVB]