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by Michael J. Shapiro | August 19, 2016

The Ritz-Carlton Chicago unveiled a new club lounge, redesigned suites and corridors, and an upgraded fitness center this week. The enhancements are the first wave of a multiphase renovation taking place at the 434-room luxury property on Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

The new, 2,600-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge offers iconic views of the city from the hotel's 15th floor. A Club Concierge team in the lounge can assist guests with any request, as well as with hotel checkout. A particularly unique perk available to Club guests is the option for 30-minute experiential activities, such as a tour of the neighboring firehouse for kids, or tastings of local wine and brewery products for adults, in order to deepen the guests' connection to the Windy City.

The stately new lounge also offers five food-and-beverage options throughout the day, including healthy breakfasts, hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. 

The contemporary redesign of the 90 suites features upgraded bathrooms that now feature arctic-white glacier vanities, grey stone floors, and separate shower and toilet rooms. 

The reworked fitness center, which has been expanded to 2,700 square feet, now provides views of Navy Pier, Lake Michigan and downtown. New cardio and strength equipment has been added, as have studios for classes such as Zumba. Group exercises include yoga, bootcamp and a group run, and the hotel also is debuting Rooftop Voga, a blend of yoga and vogueing to '80s music.

The next phase of enhancements will kick off in January 2017 and will include updates and redesigns for the lobby, the signature restaurant, the bar, the spa and some meeting spaces. A new market café will debut as well, offering convenience items and hot drinks. Phase 2 enhancements will be completed by June 2017.