Virgin Hotels gears up for Chicago opening

13 Jan 2015 by Clement Huang

Virgin Hotels will begin operations later this week when its flagship property opens in Chicago.

First announced in 2011, the 250-room hotel is housed within the Old Dearborn Bank Building at 203 North Wabash Avenue.

In keeping with the brands proposition to design a hotel that benefits the guest, wifi will be absolutely free, while the prices of snacks and beverages stocked in the minibar will be similar to those one would find at a local store.

Raul Leal, chief executive of Virgin Hotels, said: "We're shaking up the hotel industry even before we open our doors by offering free, uninhibited wifi. We believe that bandwidth is a right, not just a revenue stream.

"Along with no charge for room service delivery, no charge for late check-out and fair minibar prices, we're designing our hotels for the true benefit of the guest”.

Embracing technology, Virgin Hotels Chicago will also introduce a mobile service that allows guests to use their personal smartphones to order room service, making bookings for the restaurant or spa, and even adjust the room’s temperature.

A notable highlight will be the “Commons Club”,  a designated social space where tourists and locals can socialise with eachother.    

As a nod to its geographic location, Virgin Hotels Chicago will also be home to a good old-fashioned American diner – Miss Ricky’s that will be opened 23 hours a day. Meanwhile, Two Zero Three bar is the place to go for coffee in the day or wine at night.

A spa is also in the works, with the facility due to open in the spring.

Since its inception in 2010, Virgin Hotels has announced plans for a 300-plus-room hotel in New York, due to be opened in 2016. The company is also looking to break into other prominent US cities, such as Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Virgin Hotels is also eyeing global expansion outside of the US, with London being a top priority given the company’s reputation within the country. Other sites that may be on the cards include Paris and Spain.

For more information, visit

Clement Huang

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