Chicago is a hot hotel scene right now. LondonHouse opens next year. The Westin River North just completed a refresh. Virgin Hotels opened their first property in the city in January. The Windy City is also expecting a new property from The Luxury Collection, Starwood’s high-end portfolio of independent hotel brands. The Gwen, A Luxury Collection Hotel, is slated to open to guests September 1 in River North at North Rush St and E Grand. It’s the first luxury tier property for Starwood Preferred Guest members in Chicago and it pays homage to the city’s legacy, steeped in the art deco of the 1930s. All the usual luxury bells and whistles (fine linens, soaking tubs, pillow menus, craft cocktails) will be part of the lineup, as well as some pretty spiffily designed guest rooms and public areas, in addition to some fun surprises like turndown quotes from famous Gwens like Gwyneth Paltrow and Gwen Stefani.
For locals, there’s a a pretty chic rooftop terrace that’s worth a look as well. Here are some photos.
Lobbying for style
The hotel is a conversion from a former Conrad property (itself an adaptive reuse of the McGraw-Hill building), but the design here takes art deco design elements from the 1930s to evoke an earlier if not slightly grittier and more stylish lakefront city. with clean lines and sumptuous polished marble.
Guest rooms have been retrofitted with the Luxury Collection bed and updated to maintain the retro theme found in public spaces throughout the hotel. Guests will also have access to “Dressing Room to Guest Room” clothing delivery services and an in-room art studio setup.
That tub, though!
This photo really should be on the front of the brochure. “Stay at this hotel for this bath tub.” All rooms have separate showers and tubs, so guests need not fear the dreaded bath/shower combo.
Up on the roof
What the hotel calls “a rarity in Chicago” is an open-air terrace for several suite accommodations. There’s also a rooftop bar and lounge. The hotel promises design participation from local Chicago artisans and brands.
The Terrace, indoors
The Terrace rooftop bar and restaurant also has indoor seating and a Giggle Juice cocktail menu, as well as an “elevated culinary experience” and an Artist’s Table dining experience.
The Terrace, outdoors
Ostensibly open in fine weather, the Terrace has outdoor seating for dining and drinking al fresco high above the Magnificent Mile and Chicago River.