Virgin Hotels Chicago: A Cheeky, Cool + Charming Stay In The Windy City

Virgin Hotels Chicago
Cerise

Photo Credit: Virgin Hotels Chicago

Sir Richard Branson‘s cheeky, cool and upscale aesthetic in the sky has perfectly translated to the hotel leg of his business in Virgin Hotels Chicago, the first property in his portfolio. It’s been just over five years since this fun-loving hotel opened its doors in 2015, and here, we take a look at what guests can expect from a stay today.

Virgin Hotels Chicago
Penthouse lounge

Photo Credit: Virgin Hotels Chicago

The property is located in the historic, Art Deco, 26-story Old Dearborn Bank Building, a Chicago landmark in the heart of the Windy City’s Loop district. Several of the building’s original features remain intact and are showcased throughout, like a beautiful 1920s oak Cigar Bar that serves as the hotel’s front desk; an ornate plaster ceiling; brass elevator doors; the grand staircase leading up to the sliding gate in the Commons Club; and the original mail slot and chute serving all floors. Yet, thanks to the Rockwell Group Europe, it still has that distinctively playful, ultra-modern Virgin Group touch, harmoniously merging the old with the new.

Virgin Hotels Chicago
Penthouse bathroom

Photo Credit: Virgin Hotels Chicago

 

On site, there are 250 Chambers, including 42 Grand Chamber Suites and two Penthouse Suites, ranging in space from 277 to 770-square-feet, all of which can be transformed into two spaces with sliding doors. The first area—dubbed “The Dressing Room”—is comprised of a hallway and a luxurious dressing area, which includes a full vanity, make-up desk and well-lit mirror, an extra-large shower with a bench, and his and hers closets designed by Poliform. Slide open the privacy door, and guests will enter “The Lounge” with the brand’s patented ergonomically design lounge bed and headboard, a red SMEG mini-fridge, an LG Smart TV, Bluetooth audio tower, yoga mat, custom designed table that swivels and a Poltrona Frau task chair. All “chambers” (so much more fun than “rooms”!) feature custom lighting on sensors that automatically illuminate when guests move. Through the hotel’s signature “Lucy” app, guests can now control the temperature, order room service, request an extra pillow, make a dinner reservation or even live-chat the concierge easily from their mobile device.

Virgin Hotels Chicago
Commons Club

Photo Credit: Virgin Hotels Chicago

The fun continues when you leave your chamber, thanks to four F&B outlets, all created under the watchful eye of Executive Chef Moosah Reaume, formerly Carmelo Anthony‘s personal chef and a disciple of Jean Georges, as well as Executive Pastry Chef Juan Gutierrez, a rising Chicago talent who whips up custom desserts and vegan delights for all. The main eatery, Commons Club, a restaurant, bar and lounge,  has been designed to feel like a “members only” experience that’s open to all—hotel guest or local. With a strong emphasis on zones, food, cocktails, culture, social gigs and hospitality, each space achieves its own sense of exclusivity with an inviting vibe. Commons Club includes The Kitchen; Funny Library, a whimsical space that houses the hotel’s most-prized possessions and funny books; The Space, which can be open for all to see or closed off for a semi-private dinner or gathering of the minds; The Bar, a beautifully designed centerpiece offering creative drinks; and the naughty (but nice) Shag Room, a great space for an intimate reception or group cocktail experience with the luxury of private velvet curtains and mood-perfect lighting.

Virgin Hotels Chicago
Virgin rooftop

Photo Credit: Nicholas James/Virgin Hotels Chicago

Then, there’s Cerise, an indoor/outdoor rooftop which boasts breathtaking sights, perennially-cool music and craft cocktails. Refreshed elements include newly designed furniture on the exterior deck, exclusive craft beer tap take-overs, an eclectic assortment of cocktails and new “drunken” canapes. There’s also Two Zero Three (named for the hotel’s landmark address), a coffee house house that pours local brews by Dark Matter Coffee; and Upstairs, an intimate live entertainment venue that has seen the likes of Eddie Vedder, Chance The Rapper, HAIM, Win Butler of Arcade Fire and QuestLove? take to its stage.

Virgin Hotels Chicago
Cerise

Photo Credit: Virgin Hotels Chicago

Last but not least, guests who check in to the Virgin Hotels Chicago will find all the comforts of home and then some: a 24/7 gym and fitness center with internet-equipped Technogym cardio machines, free Wi-Fi for all, and, for those with four-legged friends, an unprecedented policy that pets stay for free with no size or breed restrictions… plus some bonus”Pet-Menities” including dog beds, food and water dishes and a Virgin Hotels bandana. How’s that for cool?

Virgin Hotels Chicago is located at 203 N. Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60601 

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