Virgin Hotels Chicago: You're Going to Want to Live Here


The British have officially arrived in Chicago.

 Sir Richard Branson kicked off 2015 unveiling his first-ever Virgin hotel in the Loop. Occupying the former Dearborn Bank Building, the 26-floor, 250-room hotel shows off its historic Art Deco bronze and terra cotta features as well as some swanky upgrades. Heading to the Windy City? Take a peek and learn how you can travel kindly with Virgin Hotels Chicago.

  • Use the self-service kiosk or use the hotel’s Lucy app before you get there for quick check in. With the app, you can also control your room’s thermostat, TV, music, messages, and request room service, housekeeping, and spa appointment from your phone. (Another tech-friendly perk: free WiFi.)
  • Bring Fido along. The hotel is pet-friendly and doesn’t charge pet fees.
  • The hotel is starting a new trend with its own, patented bed. What’s so special about the Virgin Lounge Bed? Add an ergonomic headboard with an erectable footboard, and you have a piece of thoughtful design that makes for sleeping and lounging for up to three. 
  • Rooms are decorated with splashes of the brand’s signature red. Case in point: The re-purposed Vespa scooter as ergonomic swivel chair. Like it (and anything else in the room)? You can buy it online.
  • Why pack light when you have a swank walk-in closet to look forward to? The room doubles as your own private dressing room (thanks to sliding doors) complete with vanity, full-length mirror, and his-and-hers closets. 
  • Go ahead—raid the mini mar. One-dollar snacks, free water and no-service charge room service means guilt-free midnight munchies. Other finds in our Smeg mini fridge: Sugarfina Champagne gummy bears, Aloha chocolate, and made-in-Chicago Vosges chocolate bars.

Strike up your inner barista with your in-room coffee. The complete pour-over coffee setup includes local Bow Truss grounds and pour-over kettle and dripper.

  • Or leave it to the pros at the hotel’s Two Zero Three Coffee & Wine Bar. By day, the lobby coffee shop serves up coffee, vegan and gluten-free pastries, and morning sweets. By night, the bar offers wines by the glass and flight, happy hour drinks, cheese plates and light nibbles.
  • Who doesn’t love lounging with drink in hand on a day bed? Go for sky-high drinks at the hotel’s indoor-outdoor rooftop bar, Cerise.

When the sun goes down, Cerise transforms into a nighttime hot spot with a live DJ. Drinks also come with views of Chicago’s historic downtown.

  • Beat traveler’s fatigue with a circulation-boosting Jet Lag massage. The basement spa has a co-ed hammam steam room and treatments from Red Flower facials and detoxifying body scrubs to mani-pedi and waxing. (Gym rats can head upstairs to log in their reps.)
  • Your ride during your stay in Chicago? The house Tesla, which transports guests anywhere within a 2-mile radius. The LEED gold-certified Virgin also goes green with its eco-friendly housekeeping, hotel-wide recycling, LED lamps, and green roof.
  • The happy hour bell is ringing. Head to the second floor Commons Club for nightly Social Hour 7pm-8pm cocktails. Spread out throughout the bi-level bar, Shag Room, or library nightly special. And did we mention that the drinks are free?
  • Early risers and night owls will never go hungry with the hotel’s 23-hour diner. Miss Ricky’s offers around-the-clock comfort foods like (veggie) burgers, chilaquiles, and tres leches French toast.

The best part? You can now support Chicago's young artists and musicians through its local charity partner, Donda's House (or any Kind Charity), when you book your stay with us. 

Katherine Kims is a food and culture-obsessed explorer aimed at inspiring you to travel deeply while navigating your destination kindly. Love cities? Look out for her upcoming guides to metro hotspots on Kind Traveler.