New venues are opening at a brisk clip in Chicago, and in these warmer months many of them provide outside spaces that showcase the city's impressive skyline and architecture. LondonHouse Chicago (pictured), which opened last month, is one notable example.NEW ON THE SCENE
The Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel, unveiled new venues and an interior makeover after joining the Luxury Collection. The 300-room property now sports a new lobby, restaurant and bar, plus the Upstairs at Gwen's terrace.•
The 191-room Hotel Monaco Chicago recently debuted the AV Serenity Suite, beautifully designed by HGTV/DIY Network star Alison Victoria to look like a posh residence.FRESH TAKE
The Hilton Chicago/Magnificent Mile Suites
is debuting a new Chicago-centric look and feel to its 345 guest suites. New fixtures and amenities complement design elements such as artful city maps.
• LondonHouse Chicago,
part of Curio--A Collection by Hilton, opened on June 1. The 452-room luxury lifestyle hotel, on North Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, is a transformation of the historic London Guarantee Building, adding a glass tower to the original building's art deco design. The on-site restaurant, LH, is a three-level rooftop venue; four private dining spaces include Etoile, which offers a patio that can host up to 80 people for a reception. The top floor also houses LH Cupola, an exclusive event space available only by reservation. The property has a total of 25,000 square feet of meeting space, including two ballrooms.•
The 560-room Renaissance Chicago Downtown
completed both phases of a $32 million renovation this spring. Phase II produced the Looking Glass Ballroom, which spans approximately 3,000 square feet and provides wonderfully expansive views over the Chicago River. The ballroom is part of a total addition of 4,000 square feet of meeting space. A new rooftop bar, Raised, also has opened and includes a private event space called Urban Blue. Phase I, which was completed in May 2015, debuted a new lobby and redesigned guest rooms. In addition, the existing Cloud Gate Ballroom was expanded from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet, and the third-floor breakout rooms were renamed the Adler (named for Chicago business leader Max Adler, who founded America's first planetarium in the Windy City), the Lyric and the Improv, to reflect Chicago history and landmarks. •
The Westin Chicago Northwest,
in the suburb of Itasca, recently wrapped up renovations of all 408 guest rooms and meeting space. The property, which is 12 miles from O'Hare International Airport and about 30 minutes from the downtown district, provides more than 50,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Following the renovations, guest rooms now feature updated furniture, lighting, artwork, décor and other enhancements. The hotel also offers a fitness center, an on-site restaurant and an indoor pool, as well as complimentary access to the adjoining Hamilton Lakes Athletic Club.