Chicago is getting excited about a brand new hotel opening soon. Kinzie Hotel (20 West Kinzie Street), opening in February 2014 in the heart of Chicago’s bustling River North neighborhood in a space currently occupied by the Amalfi Hotel, reveals an urban exploration design scheme inspired by Chicago’s rich history and landscape displayed throughout the upscale, boutique property.
The design project, led by Gettys Design Group Chicago, was inspired by the city’s first settler and renowned explorer, John Kinzie. All elements from branding to design pay tribute to Kinzie’s historical role. Vintage imagery of 19th century Chicago maps and compasses are subtly displayed throughout guestroom wall coverings, paying tribute to the hotel’s exploratory namesake. The navigational branding also speaks to the hotel’s tagline, “Chicago Starts Here,” encouraging guests to explore the city as John Kinzie once did in the early 1800s.
“The Kinzie Hotel is a quintessential Chicago hotel. Inspired by the explorer and early settler John Kinzie, along with the city itself, the hotel incorporates Chicago concepts throughout the design, from intricate vintage map work in the guest rooms, to the carpeting which features a modern interpretation of the city grid,” says Design Director Ben Nicholas of the Chicago-based Gettys Group. “We are excited about the opening of this city-centric hotel – a place where guests can experience a little bit of Chicago with every turn.”
Hotel Lobby and Common Areas
Kinzie Hotel sets itself apart with three intimate, concierge-style guest check-in desks as well as warm sofa niches along each wall, inviting guests to relax after their travels. Upon arrival in the newly renovated 1,500 square foot lobby, guests’ attention will be immediately drawn to the spherical, central lighting fixtures that brighten the crisp, clean, tone-on-tone gray palette allowing the artwork to be the main focus. The metallic grey iridescent tile conjures up the sense of illuminated Chicago streets after a nighttime rainfall. The high ceilings and large windows act as a reminder and temptation for guests to get out and explore the city.
Both the lobby and common areas feature artwork commissioned by local artists, including a gallery component, displaying interpretations of Chicago’s urban landscape. Contemporary sophistication is seen throughout the hotel’s public areas, as bold navy blue and cool grey colors splash the corridor walls, boasting deep tones on one wall side and lighter accents on the other relating to the city’s architecture, lake, and modern Chicago.
Kinzie Hotel themed colors and textiles are featured throughout three renovated meeting spaces. Named after Kinzie’s close friend and colleague, Billy Caldwell a.k.a. “Sauganash,” the Sauganash Room, 26’6” x 16’, 424 square-feet is a fixed boardroom. A nod to Kinzie’s many pivotal moments at Fort Dearborn, the Dearborn Room, 26’6” x 16’, 424 square-feet is a fixed boardroom. The largest room is Wolf Point, 26’6” x 32’6”, 848 square feet, with its name inspired from James Kinzie, the son John Kinzie, who built a tavern by the same name on the west bank of the river at Wolf Point in 1828.
Business travelers will take advantage of the latest audio visual capabilities and sit comfortably in ergonomically-designed seating while attending meetings at Kinzie Hotel.
Kinzie Hotel features 210 chic, renovated standard guestrooms and five suites displaying a rich color palatte of bright teal, cobalt, crimson, and pumpkin, offsetting the room’s crisp ambiance with a contrast between old and new Chicago. An eye-catching navigational map representing Chicago in the early 1800’s is blended throughout the wall covering above the bed. Adding dimension and richness to the room are the navy blue carpet floors, outlined with hexagonal detailing inspired by Chicago’s cobblestone streets and city grid of Kinzie’s time period. Guestroom lighting is outfitted with sconces resembling city lamp posts, situated adjacent to the king and queen beds.
The guestrooms also feature long, counter height multipurpose desk units that serve as storage, a desk, and media piece allowing for an efficient workspace for business travelers. Convenience continues into renovated bathrooms with new granite countertops, fixtures, and portable vanity mirrors. Additionally, cutting-edge, in-window EcoSmart Shades keep the rooms bright and airy during the day, while blocking out the street lights at night to ensure guests enjoy a restful night’s sleep.
Kinzie Hotel has a unique appeal to many loyal business travelers, as the building was originally built for airline employees. Catering to the need for a peaceful night’s sleep, the original development of this hotel included sound-proof rooms that today’s guests know and love.
Double Cross Lounge
Kinzie Hotel pays tribute to Kinzie’s silversmith days when he created a double-barred cross by introducing guests to the Double Cross Lounge located on the sixth floor. The newly updated 689 square-foot libation locale, open from 5-8pm, provides guests with an inviting lounge space to mingle with other travelers or relax after meetings. Guests can choose to sit along the full-service bar, at high-top tables, or comfortably at lounge space across the back wall. To help guests plan activities during their stay in Chicago, a black and white map of modern Chicago with marked places of interest will help guests explore the city to its fullest.
The Kinzie Hotel, managed by Portfolio Hotels & Resorts, will open in the first quarter of 2014. The Kinzie Hotel is currently taking reservations for its February launch via the Amalfi Hotel website at www.amalfihotelchicago.com or by phone on their toll-free reservation line at 877.262.5341. Also visit www.kinziehotel.com.