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Virgin Hotels opens in Chicago, with a helpful app named Lucy

Virgin Hotels opens its Chicago property, a first for the brand that plans to offer moderately priced rooms.

Virgin Hotels Chicago opened last week and provided a look inside the brand's two-chamber room design and swank interior of a renovated Art Deco building in Chicago's Loop that dates to the 1920s.

The company also rolled out a companion mobile app named Lucy. It allows you to order more pillows or room service with a swipe of your phone. You can use it as a remote control for the TV and to access tunes in the hotel's music library.

Virgin's idea was to create a moderately priced hotel with style that dispenses with extra fees. Wi-Fi is free, and you won't be charged for things such as late checkout or business center services either, a statement says.

The rooms -- there are 250, which includes 40 that are pet friendly, 40 suites and two penthouses -- have wooden flooring and off-white walls and bed furnishings. The "chambers" concept allow you to pull a sliding door shut when you want some privacy in the bedroom or the dressing room areas.

Rooms also feature a vanity and mirror, mini-fridge (where water and other items  are reasonably priced, should you need them), a workspace table that swivels, and ample outlets for electronic devices.

The jaw-dropper that will make you feel as though you're in a fancy hotel is the Commons Club, a bar-restaurant that sits on what was the floor of a former bank. It takes up two stories and serves as the hotel's social hub.

Room prices in January and February cost about $200, an online check showed.

Virgin plans to open its next hotel in Nashville in 2016 and a third site in New York City in 2017.

Info: Virgin Hotels Chicago, 203 N. Wabash Ave.; (855) 946-6600

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