CHICAGO—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has opened Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center, a Rockbridge Portfolio property, here following a $25-million renovation.
Brian Povinelli, global brand leader, Le Méridien and Westin, said, “We are on track to triple our North American portfolio since Starwood first acquired Le Méridien in 2005. With shared passions for culture, the arts and cuisine, Chicago has long been on our short list, and the location is a great backdrop for our Le Méridien brand promise to unlock the destination for the curious and creative-minded traveler.”
The 172-key property features a Presidential Suite and six Executive Suites with contemporary and mid-century inspired furnishings. 3,500 sq. ft. of event space is available, as well as two contemporary Spa Suites with custom stone and marble decor, a stone-tiled rain shower steam room with a 32-in. heated mosaic tile bed amongst ten body sprayers, a soaking tub and a relaxation lounge.
The hotel features a new modern facade and the Le Méridien Hub arrival experience, which consists of large-scale artwork; the brand’s signature scent, sound and use of light; “Unlock Art” program with artist-designed key card collections that offer access to the Elmhurst Art Museum; and a 24-hour curated soundtrack from French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague. Additionally, the Hub features the signature Master Barista, a new initiative from the brand where Master Baristas lead coffee-related initiatives at each property, serve as coffee cultural ambassadors and maintain knowledge of current, local coffee trends, according to the company.
The property features the work of local artists and abstract installations that represent Chicago symbols, such as bicycles and the Ferris wheel, which debuted at Chicago’s World’s Fair in 1893. Upon arrival, there is a large-scale, one-of-a-kind mural depicting the city’s architecture by contemporary artist Justus Roe of the Chicago Artists Coalition. The Hub also features a deconstructed bicycle, as a nod to Oak Brook’s biking trails, with the bike chain fashioned in the shape of Illinois and the headlight representing Chicago. Each floor of the hotel’s elevator lobbies showcases images of Chicago’s “L” train, including the mileage and direction from the hotel in relation to where each shot was taken. The Executive Club Lounge features eight photographs by Chicago native Satoki Nagata that portray locals caught in the rain. Starwood’s design team created custom graphic patterns that are featured property-wide, abstract designs of local contextual nuances such as Daniel Burnham’s original city plans and maps of the city’s public spaces.
The hotel’s ninth floor features a 3,000-sq.-ft. Grand Salon Ballroom and Executive Club Lounge in addition to the 58-seat El Tapeo restaurant, which features floor-to-ceiling windows. The dining option offers Spanish cuisine from Chicago native Chef Franco Diaz. The hotel’s 25-seat lounge and 12-seat bar feature handcrafted cocktails and light, tapas-style appetizers.