Virgin Hotels Are Just About to Arrive in Chicago

Details on rebellious Virgin Chicago emerge

By Jeff Weinstein on 10/8/2014
Virgin Hotels has gone live with its responsive design website to finally announce the opening of its first hotel in Chicago, now scheduled to open January 15, 2015, with “chambers” starting at a US$209 rate.

The brand the industry has been anxiously awaiting has some unique features and, not surprisingly, a very Richard Branson-esque cheeky brand essence. Virgin wasted no time poking fun at its competitors, highlighting traveler pain points and its plans to eliminate those frustrations. For example, Virgin plays up that is has no surprise fees and points out its differences in this new video.

Virgin Hotels - Brilliant  For too long, we’ve had to put up with unbrilliant accommodations that ignore our most basic comforts. This animated short shows how we're bringing back the comfort and the fun – re-imagining not only what a hotel room can look like, but what it can do.

“The video goes beyond just a tour of the two-chamber concept — it’s our anthem for rebellion in the name of the guest,” said Doug Carrillo, vice president of sales and marketing for Virgin Hotels. “For too long, guests have put up with hidden or absurd fees for common services, outrageous minibar prices and slow Wi-Fi at ridiculous prices. And they’ve settled for a room that’s focused on form, rather than function. Virgin Hotels is here to change that and set a new standard.”

Chief among the differentiating features in the Chicago property can be found in the guestroom, starting with the “chambers” that combine the hallway, closet and bathroom into one dressing-room area, while privacy doors close to create a personal Sleeping Lounge.

A custom-designed hybrid bed features an ergonomic headboard and erectable footboard that allows for a multitude of positions. There is also a sit-down makeup vanity outside the bathroom featuring an oversized mirror and flattering lights. Elevated Poliform-designed closets feature ample shelving, hanging space, shoe storage, drawers and a full-length mirror. Virgin is also stocking minibar snacks at "street" prices.

Virgin Chicago "chambers" have an ergonomic headboard and erectable footboard that allows for a multitude of positions, and they will be pet-friendly.

Virgin is launching a mobile app in December that allows guests to check in and out of the hotel, order room service, control the climate, make dinner reservations, valet the car and live chat with the concierge and other guests. Also, there will be no delivery charge for room service.

There will be no upcharge with Wi-Fi connections, nor any bandwidth restrictions. In-room entertainment will allow guests to stream their movies and shows as well as music from their personal devices. On-demand content will be available from Virgin’s curated media library, which can be downloaded to personal devices.

The Virgin Chicago’s F&B concepts — many of which will open in February — will include The Commons Club bar and restaurant on the lobby level; Miss Ricky's will be a modern American diner experience; The Rooftop Bar will open in the spring and serve Izakaya-inspired tapas; and Two Zero Three will be a newsstand-inspired coffee bar that transitions into a wine bar at night.

The hotel with 250 guestrooms, 40 one-bedroom suites and two "rock star" suites will also have a large gym on the top floor of the building as well as a spa that will open in the spring.

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