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.
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.
GET THEM MOVING
Groups at the 241-room Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
can arrange for customized physical activity breaks or nutrition seminars from On Your Mark Coaching + Training.
ONE YEAR IN
Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago -- the first of Hyatt's Centric brand to debut -- marked its one-year anniversary this spring with the opening of Aire, a new rooftop bar that hosts classes, events and art exhibits, and is available for buyouts. The 257-room hotel offers 2,500 square feet of meeting space.
Meeting Hotels: Among the city's largest properties with meeting space are the 2,019-room Hyatt Regency Chicago; 1,639-room Palmer House Hilton; 1,544-room Hilton Chicago; 1,258-room Hyatt Regency McCormick Place; 1,218-room Sheraton Grand Chicago; 1,173-room Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile; 839-room Congress Plaza Hotel; 792-room InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile; 752-room Westin Michigan Avenue; 687-room Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park; 661-room Swissotel Chicago; 610-room JW Marriott Chicago; 560-room Renaissance Chicago Downtown; 535-room Drake Hotel; 483-room Allegro Chicago, a Kimpton Hotel; 452-room LondonHouse Chicago; 443-room Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago; 434-room Ritz-Carlton Chicago; 417-room Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile; 415-room Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, and 403-room W Chicago City Center.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.
Convention Center: McCormick Place; exhibit space, approximately 2.6 million square feet; meeting space, 600,000 square feet; total number of meeting rooms, 173; (312) 791-7000
Taxes: Room tax, 17.4%; sales tax, 10.25%; total tax on hotel rooms, 17.4%
Group Venue: One of the city's most exciting new hotels and a popular draw for the late-night hip crowd, the 250-room Virgin Hotels Chicago offers three meeting spaces to accommodate a variety of group sizes and events. The largest of the sleek, flexible spaces, known as The Manor, can seat up to 120 people, while The Sandbox holds up to 40 for creative meetings and brainstorming sessions. The Founder's Room can host up to a dozen guests for a business meeting. The two smaller rooms may be rented in tandem, along with a connecting hallway for receptions. (312) 940-4400
Contact: Choose Chicago, (312) 567-8486