Viceroy Hotel Group, Convexity Properties Cut The Ribbon On The Viceroy Chicago
In today's hospitality environment, there is a premium on individuality. Hotel guests, especially those who book rooms in luxury hotels, are demanding a bespoke experience. And that is what Viceroy Hotel Group and Convexity Properties are promising with the newly opened Viceroy Chicago hotel at 1118 North State St.
Viceroy Hotel CEO Bill Walshe flew to Chicago for Wednesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony for Viceroy's first Chicago hotel, the 18-story, 180-room project in the heart of the Gold Coast's "Viagra Triangle." Walshe said design features like floor-to-ceiling windows in every room, meditation, yoga and personal styling and tailoring sessions, and the new Somerset restaurant from Boka Restaurant Group each contribute to a hospitality experience that is unique not only to Chicago, but the world.
"We intend to be great corporate citizens, to add to the Gold Coast experience, and to deliver a standard of hospitality never seen in Chicago," Walshe said.
The Viceroy Chicago replaces the Cedar Hotel, a former four-story hotel that was popular with Gold Coast habitués for its expansive outdoor patio. Convexity Properties founder Don Wilson said there was lengthy debate over whether to preserve the Cedar Hotel's facade.
Goettsch Partners principal Paul De Santis, who leads the design team for the building, said it cost a pretty penny to restore the facade. But it was worth it.
"We believe we made the right decision," Wilson said.
The Cedar Hotel's argyle pattern inspired the outside design of the new building.
Guests at the Viceroy Chicago will be immediately greeted by a spacious, three-story lobby highlighted by a 30-foot-high poem wall inscribed with quotes from French poet Marcel Proust. Hotel designer Todd-Avery Lenahan drew from mid-20th century design and Flâneur, a French literary figure known for having a free spirit and knack for exploring while wandering, for the Viceroy Chicago's design.
The Viceroy Chicago features three separate rooftop decks. The pool deck and rooftop bar, Devereaux, on the 18th floor offers views of the surrounding Gold Coast and lakefront. The Viceroy's 2,200 SF Cedar Ballroom opens up to a rooftop terrace on top of the Cedar Hotel facade on the fourth floor. De Santis said three suites on the Viceroy's top floor have private outdoor decks for guests to enjoy the views.
Boka Restaurant Group co-founder Kevin Boehm said his group and the hospitality design team AvroKO drew from 1960s and 1970s country club elements for the interior design of Somerset. The fabric inside the booths on the restaurant's lower level were inspired by tennis fashion. Darts and chess pieces add texture to accent walls on Somerset's second floor, while brass accents on handrails are intended to resemble croquet mallets. In another nod to the site's past, Boka and AvroKO had the Cedar Hotel's neon sign refurbished and installed on Somerset's upper level.
Boka and AvroKO approached Somerset as a different entity from the Viceroy Chicago.
"We have two separate addresses and projects here that happen to work well together," Boehm said.