Last week that mythical beast in River North dubbed "the tri-hotels" bared itself to the world. A single structure in three parts, the 180-foot-tall building fills the block of North Clark between Grand & Illinois. Its 650+ rooms are a combination of an Aloft Hotel, Hyatt Place, and Fairfield Inn & Suites, made possible through an unusual development partnership among rivals. It may work out since the parent companies (Starwood, Hyatt, Marriott) aren't competing so much on price point (standard Kings & Queens start in the low-$200s across the board) but rather on aesthetic and experience, creating clear distinctions in customer base.
At Wednesday's grand opening bash, people were literally pulled off the street to sample the goods. Aloft put on the biggest show— a natural fit for the brand's personality, as it has the sexiest decor, largest lounge, and the complex' only complete restaurant in Beatrix. Also wed to the lounge/restaurant are a pair of bars, a coffee & pastry purveyor, and a cooler section w/ grab-and-go meals and treats. Over at Hyatt's quarters, the party simmered down, but the mellow and conservative lobby and lounge area still boasted a sizable bar, range of seating, and TVs for tracking Stanley Cup action (one of the main reasons people lingered here). After a quick shoot, we headed for Fairfield. The decor at Fairfield is something of a cross between the electric vibe of Aloft and the staid vibe of Hyatt. Though small, it features colorful furnishings and flooring, a large TV, and an obligatory bar.
All three hotels had escorts to show rooms on the 12th floor, and we obliged in each instance. There was less variation in room decor, layout, and price than one would've guessed from the lobby spreads. Aloft's rooms had a little bit more built-in technology, Hyatt's rooms were perhaps the coziest, and Fairfield's were simple and comfortable. All shared surprisingly good views of River North and beyond, as the building is not suffocated by other high-rises.
·Aloft Hotel Leading the Charge for Clark & Grand Hotel Project [Curbed Chicago]
·Take a Sneak Peek at Beatrix, Opening Next Week [Eater Chicago]
·Aloft Chicago City Center [official]
·Hyatt Place River North [official]
·Fairfield Inn & Suites River North [official]