The Five Most Anticipated Chicago Hotels of 2014

New options in River North, near Millennium Park, on Restaurant Row, and just off Wacker Drive

(From left) The Godfrey Hotel Chicago, Kinzie Hotel, and renderings of Hotel Indigo Chicago-Millennium Park and Soho House Chicago   Photos: (Godfrey) Courtesy of Papadakis Photography; (Indigo) Daniel P. Coffey & Associates

Last week, we brought you the best new Chicago hotels to open in 2013. Now, here’s a look at the big hotels expected to make the scene this year:

1. The Godfrey Hotel Chicago

127 W. Huron St., 312-649-2000

The details: Opening in River North on February 1, the industrial, Cubist-inspired Godfrey is easily the most architecturally distinctive of any Chicago hotels to open in 2014. Architect David Jennerjahn of Chicago-based Valerio Dewalt Train, the firm that designed the new 16-story building, says the provocative façade is meant to catch the eye. “We conceived of the hotel’s design as a taut wrapping of Cubist forms that shift inward and outward to reveal the building’s expressive structural frame.” Inside the 221-room hotel, modern and light interiors include 12 executive king rooms and 27 one-bedroom suites dressed in contrasting textiles, a marble- and white-clad lobby, a full service restaurant, and a two-treatment room spa. But Godfrey’s buzzy selling point will probably be its fourth-floor I|O Urban Roofscape, an indoor-outdoor lounge featuring uninterrupted views of the Chicago skyline and LaSalle Street below, a two-level fire pit, slick retractable roof, and cabanas. The hotel’s food and beverage program will also be led by Aviary alum chef Riley Huddleston, who plans for a precise delivery of every sip and bite down the refractometer.
The brag: The 15,000-square-foot I|U Roofscape will be the largest all-season rooftop lounge in the city.

2. Kinzie Hotel

20 W. Kinzie St., 312-395-9000

The details: Just days after the Godfrey and also in River North, the new 215-room Kinzie opens on February 4 inside the former Hotel Amalfi, with rates from $109. The renovation is less structural than it is aesthetic, but it’s a clever change that pays homage by way of name and visual storytelling to the 19th-century explorer considered Chicago’s first civilian, John Kinzie. The renovated hotel—decorated with maps of Chicago, vintage fixtures, and compasses—will include five suites and a sixth-floor lounge.
The brag: Chicago history plays out in a thoughtful design from the Gettys Design Group: Pre-Chicago-Fire maps will be painted on the walls behind guestroom beds, interpretive artwork comes from local artists, and the hotel’s floors mimic Chicago streets through hexagonal patterned carpets and grey iridescent tiles.

3. Hotel Indigo Chicago-Millennium Park

168 N. Michigan Ave.

The details: A third Hotel Indigo, the affordable-locavore boutique brand from the InterContinental Hotels Group, is set to open in Chicago this spring on Michigan Avenue just north of Millennium Park. Taking over the Atlantic Bank Building, which opened in 1912 as the Federal Life Building, the 156-room Hotel Indigo Chicago-Millennium Park plans a $20-million renovation that will keep some historic features and a central business district vibe (the Hotel Indigo shtick is to reflect the neighborhoods in which they stand). The hotel will also add four floors (for a total of 16 stories), a rooftop bar, and a first-floor restaurant.
The brag: The man behind the restaurant is chef David Burke. In a departure from David Burke’s Primehouse, Burke will bring a Midwestern farm-to-fork concept to the 150-seat restaurant and its basement lounge and wine room, parts of which will occupy the building’s existing bank vault.

4. Soho House Chicago

113-125 N. Green St.

The details: Wrapped in the 1907 shell of the Chicago Belting Factory, the new 35-room boutique will open in August 2014 as the third Soho House in the country. A $50-million overhaul will retain some historic features, including an ornamental entrance and open floor plan with exposed concrete. But, the hotel will be largely remodelled with its new spaces artfully designed in line with the London-based brand’s comfy, airy ethos. Offerings will feature a rustic Cowshed Spa with five treatment rooms, 12,000-square-foot gym and full-size pool, 40-seat screening room, glass-enclosed rooftop bar and courtyard, and three casual British-inspired eateries: Pizza East, Chicken Shack, and a burger bar.
The brag: A location near the corner of Green Street and Randolph puts Soho House in the heart of buzzing, hotel-less Restaurant Row, just a stone’s throw from Girl & The Goat and Little Goat, Nellcôte, and Au Cheval.

5. Virgin Hotel

203 N. Wabash Ave.

The details: Sir Richard Branson has been hush-hush about the interior of this new Chicago hotel since it was first announced more than two years ago in October 2011. But all will at last be revealed by late summer when Virgin Hotel opens just south of the Chicago River in the former Dearborn Bank Building. In the meantime, here’s what we know: The 27-story landmark will have 250 guest rooms, 40 one-bedroom suites, two “rock star” suites, and public spaces that include restaurants and lounges. The Bank Building was originally erected in 1928 and a Virgin Hotel rep says the hotel will restore and, in some cases, recreate its significant historic and architectural elements. Wonder where they’ll put the brand’s signature neon purple and red?
The brag: Living up to its name, the Virgin Hotel in Chicago will be the first in the world for the brand. The next property is planned for New York’s NoMad neighborhood in 2016.

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