Virgin preparing to launch its first hotel in January in Chicago


Reservations are being accepted for the first Virgin Hotel, which is to open Jan. 15 in a historic building in the Chicago Loop. The company says it won’t the be the last, either.

Guests can book for that date and beyond for room starting at $209 a night.

Virgin Hotels is pitching features such as its room design of two “chambers,” or sections, one for sleeping, one for primping; reasonably priced mini-bar (looks as though you can raid the fridge for $15); and an app that controls such diverse features as in-room entertainment and checkout.

The hotel will open in a 1928-era Art Deco building known as the Old Dearborn Bank Building at 203 N. Wabash Ave. It will have 250 rooms, 40 one-bedroom suites and two suites labeled “rock star.”


Even after watching a video that points out hip features, including a “bed that does tricks,” classified as “brilliant,” as opposed to the “unbrilliant” “bed that lies there,” I still haven’t seen actual photos.

The website doesn’t show many either, though I like the looks of a dog sculpture that appears to be guarding a red-doored room. And the lobby looks pretty glam too.

So what’s next? Hotels in Nashville in 2016 and New York City in 2017. That is a much slower rollout than the 25 hotels in seven years announced in 2010, the New York Times said.

“Douglas Carrillo, vice president of sales and marketing of Virgin Hotels, said in an interview last week that the brand — which has been extremely tight-lipped about its plans — was now aiming to have 20 hotels, around the United States and in London, within the next 10 years,” the newspaper reports on its Media blog.

A mobile app that can be used to check in and order food is due out at year’s end, the announcement says.

Info: Virgin Hotels