The transformation of the former offices of advertising giant DraftFCB (now simply called FCB) into the Conrad Chicago hotel is moving along, and now we have an early look at how the hotel will look when it opens later this summer. The 287-key Conrad will be joining an increasingly crowded downtown hotel scene, but the team behind the Conrad, lead by developer Laurence Geller, feel confident that the product they’re delivering is not only different, but will become a top choice for business travelers.
However, the 20-story hotel won’t be so different in the sense that it is looking to compete with its food and beverage offerings and its interior design. Pierre-Yves Rochon has been tapped for the hotel’s interiors, while celebrity chef Richard Sandoval will lead the food and beverage program. But whatever you do, don’t call it a hotel aimed at Millennials. "With these Millennial-focused hotels like Soho House and the Ace Hotels, it’s almost too custom-made. It’s like a Gap department store," developer Laurence Geller said in a statement. "Gap can change its shop windows according to seasonal trends, whereas these hotels can’t."
Geller doesn’t view the crowded boutique hotel market as the competition, and even goes as far as to question the business model of hotels that do cater to a younger crowd. "You worry about the successful boutiques today and you say, 'Wait a minute. What’s going to happen tomorrow?' These Millennials will grow up and move on, and the next group may want something different," Gelller adds. "If you customize these hotels too much, you’ll live and die by them."
- Conrad Chicago [Official website]
- Former DraftFCB HQ Near Mag Mile to Become a Conrad Hotel [Curbed Chicago]