While no stranger to the Windy City, one hotel has recently upped its game and is able to join the ranks with Chicago’s finest; and that is the newly remodeled downtown Chicago Renaissance Hotel. I was fortunate to get a peek at the new space, as members of the media were given quite the welcoming reception with decadent cuisine and bubbly champagne.
With $27 Million dollars worth of renovations, visitors of the new Renaissance can expect a wide array of changes for the hotel. In just the lobby alone, guests can expect a VIP Club Lounge, Artist Studios, Staytion, and the Coffee Bar and Library. Upon my visit, I immediately noticed that many visitors have already made themselves feel quite at home in the new space.
The bar was bustling with business execs as they grabbed a drink around the art laden space. Right beneath the sign “If You Can’t Be Famous Be Infamous” those seeking a quiet resting place could be seen studying in this slightly hidden nook. And scattered throughout the lobby were just individuals catching up using the cozy lounge chairs to chat with a friend.
The vibe is subdued with dark hues decorating the space. Many of the featured works of art only contain tones of white, gray and black. The works of art subtly placed in the background of the bar, are the faces of many famous Chicagoans. It makes perfect sense that the Renaissance would have such a strong art presence, as it is surrounded by the Chicago theater district and located on the always busy State Street.
As one of the only hotels that pay direct homage to Chicago, scattered throughout the hotel are symbols of Chicago’s past and present. As one embarks on each floor, one may notice that each of the floors is named after a line on the CTA. Even Chicago cabs get some recognition from a 3-D art installation located in the lobby. For the natives of Chicago, they can even play a game of spot the “Y” of the Chicago River as it is scattered everywhere in the hotel from the tiles to the pillars.
While there a lot of new exciting changes on the horizon, I am most excited about the launch of Renaissance Presents. With Renaissance Presents, visitors will have a wide array of exciting activities such as mixology demos, wine tastings, art exhibits, and live performances located right in the lobby. That way if someone wasn’t able to get tickets to one of Chicago’s sold out shows, one can always count on the Renaissance to leave you entertained.
I think Staytion, is also another great addition to the hotel. If someone just wants a quick bite to eat, one can count on Staytion to deliver quite the delicious treat. I had previewed a few items from the Staytion menu and you will not be disappointed. Still staying true to the impeccable cuisine of Chicago, who knew that you would be able to get a fine dining experience on the go?
For a more robust meal, one can make their way upstairs to the incredibly gorgeous Great Street. This is by far my favorite feature of the hotel and I can’t wait to dine here. The setting features a giant skylight letting in absolutely all of the sunlight imaginable. With plenty of seating, one can sit anywhere and have a magnificent view.
By looking at the pictures you are probably thinking to yourself, wow all Renaissance needs is a Rooftop. Well have no worries, as in 2016, The Renaissance also has plans to join the ranks of Chicago rooftops as they plan to open up one of their own. I can already tell they have some tricks up their sleeve, as this rooftop will certainly be a force to be reckoned with.
As I’ve told you about all of the amenities, I think it’s a given that the newly upgraded rooms would also be quite the treat. Continuing with the theme of modernity, the rooms feature a simplistic luxury. I would recommend staying in the suite even if it’s just for a day because the features are quite intriguing. It’s ideal for business execs as there is a meeting table, but I think a family would enjoy splitting the room.
I’ve never stayed at the Renaissance but based on these new changes, I think it’s time, that I check it out for myself. Whether you are a guest of The Renaissance or just passing through, it’s safe to say that The Renaissance is yet another reminder as to why Chicago is such a great happening place to be.