Virgin Hotels Chicago occupies a very nice location near the heart of downtown Chicago. Situated on bustling Wabash Avenue, just one block west of Michigan Avenue’s unforgettable mixture of shopping, dining, and tourist sites, Virgin Hotels Chicago is home to a significant number of distinctive guestrooms and suites. Here you’ll be staying in a uniquely designed room—the floor plans here aren’t that much like a lot of other typical accommodations—in a lively hotel that aims to be itself a destination. A great many of Chicago’s most iconic attractions are to be found nearby, while throughout the hotel you’ll have your choice of several different amenities—including three separate on-site bars/restaurants, a 25th floor fitness center with 24-hour access, complimentary high-speed wireless Internet service, and more.
Virgin Hotels Chicago Ambiance
Glitz and glamour with a bit of that decadent, devil-may-care attitude is the name of the game here at Virgin Hotels Chicago. From the red-neon-light sign on the side of the building that spells out the hotel’s name, to the giant couches shaped like ruby-red lips that are found on the sidewalk just outside the hotel’s front entrance, everything here is about larger-than-life fun. The lobby is a mixture of gold light fixtures, red-carpet-like rugs, and framed wall art featuring stuffed animals striking the poses of characters captured in famous/classic paintings. This vibe extends to two of the facilities’ core amenities, the on-site bars/restaurants, Commons Club and Cerise. These are vibrant, nightclub-like spaces that convey the general atmosphere of snazzy, bright festiveness Virgin Hotels Chicago is trying to create for its guests.
Virgin Hotels Chicago Rooms
The famously flashy Virgin Brands style is in evidence throughout individual guestrooms at Virgin Hotels Chicago. Here your accommodations are referred to as “Chambers,” and the difference you will experience is genuinely more than just a matter of a name change. Chambers come with one king bed or two double beds, but the layout design is not your typical format. Instead, the room is split into two distinct spaces: the “Dressing Room” area, which includes an entry hallway, closet, and bathroom; and then a “Sleeping Lounge” area, where you’ll find your bed(s), desk, and other amenities. The two areas are separated by a large sliding door.
“Grand Chamber” suites are also available at Virgin Hotels Chicago. These luxurious accommodations have a similarly unique layout as the regular chambers, with a few notable exceptions. There is more space in a suite here, of course, but it’s how this space is used that is important. In a Virgin suite you’ll also find a living area, complete with comfy couch and armchair, as well as a personal dining area.
Guestroom décor at Virgin Hotels Chicago is charming and distinctive. Think lots of blond wood, off-white walls, and pops of light blue alternating with that trademark Virgin red. Various in-room amenities here include complimentary Wi-Fi services, mini-bar (featuring items being sold at actual retail value), a “smart closet” designed by Poliform, a small desk-and-chair combo, and a bed custom-designed for Virgin properties.
The bathroom area here, as mentioned above, is part of the “Dressing Room” space. This makes for a unique but spacious bathroom experience. Each bathroom here is fully stocked with complimentary Red Flower Palo Santo-label bath products, and the red-and-white checked tiled shower features a delightful rainfall showerhead. In addition to the traditional sink-and-mirror set-up, there is also a separate sit-down vanity area that is perfect for groups/families traveling together that need to have multiple people preparing for the day at roughly the same time.
Virgin Hotels Chicago Amenities
Virgin Hotels Chicago proudly offers a number of hotel-wide amenities. The hotel itself is pet-friendly: there are special Chambers available for guests who want to travel with their pets—these accommodations come arrayed with various features such as a cozy dog bed, a food-and-water dish pre-stocked with treats, and a Virgin Hotels keepsake bandana.
A 24-hour fitness center is located on the 25th floor of the hotel. It features floor-to-ceiling windows that let you take in a great deal of natural light while exercising, and a quality assortment of treadmills, ellipticals, and free weights.
There are several on-site dining options available at Virgin Hotels Chicago. The Commons Club offers contemporary takes on classic American cuisine in a playful setting that often hosts DJ sets, private parties, live entertainment, and more; it is open Sundays through Wednesdays from 10:30am to 11:00pm, and Thursdays through Saturdays from 10:30am until Midnight. Cerise is a lively spot for nightlife that serves a nice variety of drinks and small plates from a limited menu; located some 26 floors above street-level, it has lovely views from its rooftop bar, and opens in the mid-afternoon 7 days a week. Miss Ricky’s is a self-styled upscale diner that serves breakfast and lunch every day between the hours of 7:00am and 2:30pm.
Virgin Hotels Chicago also contains some 10 different meeting rooms that can be reserved for all manner of private events. These flexible spaces range anywhere from 12-person conference room-like arrangements to larger, banquet hall-esque spaces that can host upwards of 150 guests. Virgin Hotels Chicago also offers personalized catering services for any of these meeting rooms.
Virgin Hotels Chicago Neighborhood
Virgin Hotels Chicago is fabulously well-situated in a prime area of downtown Chicago: it is located just one block west of the world-famous, Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue); three blocks south of the Riverwalk along the south bank of the Chicago River; and a five-minute walk from lovely Millennium Park. Nearby popular attractions include the acclaimed Chicago Theater District, the brand-new American Writers Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, Skydeck at Willis Tower, Navy Pier, as well as the whole of the Museum Campus—Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium. Suitable local accommodations also found in the general vicinity of Virgin Hotels Chicago include Park Hyatt Chicago, Sheraton Grand Chicago, Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile, Swissôtel Chicago, Loews Chicago Hotel, JW Marriott Chicago, Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago, and many, many more.
How is it Ecofriendly?
At present, Virgin Hotels Chicago is one of only a few hotel properties in the entire United States owned and operated by Virgin Group; as a result, they have paid special attention to designing every detail of this unique facility in a way that exhibits full consciousness of its environmental impact. As part of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson’s “Change Business for Good” mission statement, Virgin Hotels Chicago’s entire staff, as they lead the hotel’s day-to-day operations, are devoted to realizing the goal of a “net-zero” hotel experience; that is, a hotel facility that leaves no net carbon footprint whatsoever, and that has zero net post-operations waste.
This eco-friendly building is special in a number of ways. Virgin Hotels Chicago has been certified Gold by the United States Green Building Councils LEED Certification process—a designation given for “high performance” in the design, construction, and operation of an environmentally friendly facility. At Virgin Hotels Chicago there are hotel-wide recycling efforts taking place at all times, while 35% of the buildings entire electrical-energy consumption comes from renewable sources. Additional energy waste is reduced here by the utilization of energy-efficient lighting sources, energy-efficient appliances, and lighting-sensor controls that eliminate unnecessary daytime use; 90% of the interior space of the entire hotel features access to windows and natural-light sources, thereby generally decreasing the need for as significant amounts of energy usage in the production of artificial light. Additionally, water usage at Virgin Hotels Chicago is 20% below the typical industry standard; this reduction in water usage/waste is on account of such factors as the installation of water-efficient toilets and faucets, the implementation of opt-out housekeeping services, the existence of on-site energy-efficient kitchens and laundry facilities, and the building’s “green roof.”