By Stephen Ostrowski| December 5, 2017 |
With an ambitious aesthetic that’s both slickly contemporary and mindful of the past, the Viceroy Chicago hotel brings serious edge to the Gold Coast.
If rebirth and renewal is the tale of any city, consider the 180-room Viceroy hotel the latest chapter in Chicago’s story: Anchoring the intersection of State and Cedar streets, the Convexity Properties-developed, 18-story building wows with an undulating glass tower that dramatically soars out of the original brick and terra-cotta facade of the historic Cedar Hotel. As GM Tijs Klerx observes, “It’s a brand-new building, but really in restored wrapping.”
That “wrapping” gives way to an equally wow-worthy interior conceived by principal designer Todd-Avery Lenahan, owner and founder of award-winning TAL Studio, who culled inspiration from the 18th-century French literary archetype of the flâneur (a freewheeling traveler) to orchestrate a “surprise-and-delight” atmosphere for guests. “The flâneur is that person that steps out of the hotel without any plan, [who] experiences everything on the go,” explains Klerx. “This is being translated in the hotel with all these unexpected moments”—like different colored guest room doors and a dizzyingly impressive, 30-foot-tall “Poem Wall” of selected quotes by Marcel Proust that greets guests in the lobby upon entry.
Yet the space, whose street-level and rooftop dining concepts, Somerset and Devereaux, are independently operated by the white-hot Boka Restaurant Group, is still unmistakably local: Next to the reception desk, a wall of black-and-white photography showcases retro Windy City sites, while in-room, midcentury-inspired headboard walls (digital reproductions of an original work by London artist Tim Modus) recall the city’s architectural heyday. Says Klerx, “That’s where the emphasis is—to celebrate the best of Chicago.” 1118 N. State St., 312.586.2000, viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/chicago