If you’ve kept up with the hotel for the past few months, you’ve probably noticed that the Renaissance is pulling out all the stops immersing guests into a one of a kind experience. They have even created a #5-9 Passport ( 5 pm- 9 pm) package which allows guests to experience the best sites, tastes and sounds of Chicago.
With millions of dollars in renovations, weekly events, and a lobby that’s always bustling with energy; I think it’s safe to say that Renaissance Chicago is the new “It” destination.
One should also boast about their impressive marketing efforts which include a coffee table book that features A-list stars such as Shailene Woodley and Jared Leto, and a culinary series that follows along star of Bizarre Foods Andrew Zimmern. Needless to say, I knew that I was in for a night to remember when I received an invitation to attend the world première of Renaissance Chicago’s Business Unusual.
To prove their “It” destination status, Renaissance put on a grand affair in honor of their new film. For the première, guests indulged in an endless supply of Staytion Bar’s famous specialty cocktails. My friend Jillian and I enjoyed our fair share of the Basil Blood Orange Gimlet and the Blue Oil. In addition, to the cocktails, event sponsor Perrier also prepared a flavorful punch with florals that made us long for Spring. While sipping on the libations, guests enjoyed various passed bites ranging from shrimp cocktail to bruschetta. With a steady rotation of delectable bites, Renaissance ensured that guests would have a delightful culinary experience.
The cocktail hour was bustling with lively conversations, but a few steps away there was a black carpet complete with famous TV personalities and the flashing bulbs of photographers. The black carpet dazzled with stars such as foodie favorite Andrew Zimmern, Power Ranger and stunt performer Yoshua Sudarso, and Tia Carrere of Wayne’s World. My friend Nicole and Andrew Zimmern even managed to squeeze in a conversation about his trip to Ghana.
After the stars mingled with the guests, it was then time to discover why we all gathered on that Monday night. We were about to discover, the meaning behind Business Unusual. As we head to the viewing area, we are lead to a grand reception hall where on our seats lie a bottle of Perrier and a bag of the famous Garrett’s Popcorn. Of course, no movie is complete without popcorn and in true Chicago fashion, Garrett’s was the obvious number one choice.
For the 12 minute duration, we were going to follow the story of David a young ad exec who finds himself in some unusual circumstances. While he’s in Chicago on business to pitch to a new potential client Albright Glass, David finds himself competing with the boss who fired him and stole his idea. While it appeared a terrible situation, with Business Unusual we learn that it’s all a matter of perspective. Instead of moping around, David heads to Renaissance Chicago and enjoys the scene with a night of drinks and dancing. As he sits at the bar genius strikes when he meets a woman named Ella. David’s confidence soars and (spoiler alert) he came out on top in the end.
With the film, Renaissance reveals that they are not trying to market to the consumer by the age-old pamphlets and commercials. Instead, they are letting their creative side run wild.
Throughout the film, guests were able to get a glimpse of the types of experiences one may have while exploring Renaissance Chicago. The film even highlights Staytion’s daily bar ritual, which is also how we kicked off the party.
While the film ended, the show went on with live performances from Parkour and breakdancing troupe Substance Over Hype. Following a few musical acts, past contestants from So You Think You Can Dance hopped up on the stage and wowed guests with their impressive dance moves.
After the performance, it was then time for the after party. Lining the room is a smorgasbord of delectable bites ranging from Pierogies to miniature hotdogs. A giant ice sculpture by Perrier dazzled guests. Accompanying the awe-inducing sculpture were two delicious specialty cocktails that featured splashes of Perrier. Like any good night, it ended on a sweet note with a wide array of donuts and candies spread across multiple tables.
As the night concludes and we part with our Renaissance coffee table book, my friends and I turn to each other and say “they did all of this for a 12-minute movie?”
While the film was short, Renaissance created an experience that will last a lifetime. One thing is for sure, things will only get bigger and better for Renaissance Chicago.
If they did all of this for a movie première, can you just imagine what it’ll be like when they open their rooftop? Guess we’ll have to stay tuned for Spring to see even more exciting changes that are coming to Renaissance.