Virgin Hotel Chicago

virgin scout life hotel chi 01

Virgin introduces its new hotel in Illionois and it prides itself on getting rid of everything you hate about hotels. Located right above the Loop portion of the Chicago L, on the corner of Lake & Wabash, it takes the space CW & George Rapp designed as the Old Dearborn Ban Building. Its new design perfectly merges the old with the new, modern chic aesthetic – you can even see where the bank tellers used to sit on the ground floor and the bank’s original cigar bar & candy stand is now the check-in desk. From its whimsical business ambiance to its delicate ceiling moldings, gilded-brass elevator doors, & room doors with original office mail slots on the bottom, the hotel still carries much character from the original building.

Each floor allocates two rooms to being pet-friendly by marking them with an obedient pooch statue chained to the outside of the room door. The mini bar is exceptional simply because they offer things you actually want and they’re at street prices [not inflated] – Peanut M&M’s are $1 on the street & $1 in the mini bar / a bottle of red wine is $24 on the street & $24 in the mini bar. The WiFi is free & open, and it’s actually decent bandwidth.

As for the rooms, they are called chambers because each space actually consists of at least two rooms – a sleeping area & a smaller area for storing clothes & getting dressed, separated by a sliding + locking door. They feel much roomier, and were designed with the woman traveler in mind, because Richard Branson believes if a room has a woman’s approval, it will typically be followed by a man’s. The sliding door allows the solo woman traveler an extra layer of protection when accepting room service, the lights on the vanity are calibrated perfectly to allow for flawless makeup application, while the showers have benches to allow for easy leg shaving. If that wasn’t convenient enough, there’s an outlet about every 3 feet, the safe is large enough to fit a laptop, it has a yoga mat for in-room exercise, the TVs are smart TVs that stream Netflix or movies from your own smart device, and if you need a ride, the house car is a Tesla & will take you anywhere within a 2-mile radius.

No need to talk about entertainment – you’re in Chicago. And to talk about entertainment – the property has a top-of-the-line spa, 5 food & beverage options, including an American diner with loops old black-and-white films, while its 2nd floor is dominated by the Commons Club whom hosts a delightful happy hour every night with free drinks, and a rooftop bar with spectacular views & dope izakaya-style dishes. So Scout Life.


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