Chicago’s Hottest New Hotels

By Derek Gale
Travelers heading to Chicago have a hearty crop of new lodging options to consider. We’re most excited about Public, plus having Virgin Hotel plan its first-ever property in the city. But there are plenty of others, too, and so here’s a look at what else is on the horizon.

Public Chicago

You might assume that for a Gold Coast hotel done by Ian Schrager—which includes the Jean-Georges restaurant, Pump Room—you’d have to fork over big bucks for a night’s stay. Not so. Public is surprisingly reasonably priced, with rates starting at $135 for a standard room. Be sure to check out the warmly-lit living room and library.
Insider tip: Brown-bag room service meals are available—and arrive quickly without a delivery charge.

Radisson Blu Aqua

Making its debut Nov. 1, this 334-room fashion-forward hotel will offer outstanding views of the Park at Lakeshore East and Millennium Park. The hotel occupies the first 18 floors of the Jeanne Gang-designed Aqua Tower, and features include a 50-foot long fireplace, a lobby-level bar, and a sleekly-designed contemporary Italian restaurant.
Insider tip: A quiet game room with a pool and poker tables is open to guests. There’s also a 23-person screening room that can be reserved.

JW Marriott

This 610-room financial district hotel, just shy of a year old, is housed in the Daniel Burnham-designed Continental & Commercial National Bank building. And after a $396 million restoration, all of the gorgeous elements of its neoclassical design shine through. On the second floor, the modern Italian restaurant overlooking LaSalle Street—The Florentine—is a contrast in style and well worth a visit.
Insider tip: Early morning walks are offered, weather-permitting, with stops at top architectural and historical landmarks.

Hotel Palomar

The best parts of this 261-room art-themed River North hotel are its restaurant and rooftop. Sable Kitchen & Bar, a gastro-lounge, offers handcrafted cocktails, a variety of small plates, and a good whisky selection. Upstairs, be sure to check out the indoor rooftop pool.
Insider tip: The hotel isn’t just pet-friendly—at Palomar they’re practically guests. Services such as walking and grooming are available.

Virgin Hotel Chicago

The Windy City will welcome the first-ever Virgin Hotel, due to open in a downtown Chicago landmark in fall, 2013. Virgin’s bought the Old Dearborn Bank Building earlier this week, and plans to convert it into a 250-room hotel that will include lounges and a restaurant. The 27-story Art Deco structure is located in the north Loop at 203 N. Wabash Ave. Read more about the forthcoming Virgin Hotel here.

Heading to Chicago soon? Check out our Chicago Travel Guide for the best planning information and more.

Photo credit: courtesy Public Chicago