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18 Hotels to Stay at During the Chicago Architecture Biennial

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The first ever Chicago Architecture Biennial is just a week away from its big kickoff, but the exposition will continue through the end of the year with events taking place all over Chicago. While many attendees have already figured out their lodging situation for the events of the first week, there's still plenty of time for others to do their research and plan out a trip for the remainder of the autumn months. The Chicago Architecture Biennial will bring architects and designers from all over the world to the Windy City to focus on and discuss its The State of the Art of Architecture theme, and Chicago is certainly a fitting city for such an exposition, as the Windy City's architectural history and legacy has transformed the way architects and developers design and build cities. And for those who want to fully submerse themselves in the Biennial's theme, we've highlighted 18 hotels that offer a unique Chicago-specific experience to its guests. From landmark skyscrapers to new boutique hotels that are high on interior design, these hotels offer something for everyone.


·Chicago Architecture Biennial [Official website]
·The Curbed Guide to the Chicago Architecture Biennial [Curbed Chicago]
·All previous Chicago Architecture Biennial coverage [Curbed Chicago]
·All previous Chicago Architecture Biennial coverage [Curbed National]

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Public Chicago

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Developed by famed hotelier Ian Schrager, the PUBLIC Chicago is a very stylish hotel in the heart of the Gold Coast neighborhood. Its interiors are very on-trend and the hotel is also attached at the hip to Chicago's famous Pump Room restaurant and bar.

[Photo: PUBLIC Hotels]

Thompson Chicago

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The Thompson is just a really cool, design-focused hotel that does not disappoint. With interiors by British designer Tara Bernerd, the hotel has won numerous awards, rave reviews and regularly receives praise from critics and visitors alike.

[Photo: Thompson Hotels]

The Drake Hotel

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Before Oprah Winfrey moved her operations and her show out to Los Angeles, her guests stayed at the Drake Hotel on the north end of the Magnificent Mile. Beyond Oprah's guests, the hotel has witnessed dozens of notable visitors including Charles Lindbergh, Walt Disney, Elizabeth Taylor, President Eisenhower, Winston Churchill and many others.

[Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Araceli Arroyo]

Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago

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The landmark Allerton Hotel is definitely a throwback to the days when jazz and booze-runners ruled Chicago. In the '40s and '50s, the hotel became famous for its Tip-Top-Tap bar and lounge, whose neon sign is still emblazoned at the top of the building. The hotel was purchased last year by Warwick International Hotels, who has updated the hotel and also brought back the famous Tip-Top-Tap lounge.

[Photo: Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago]

Freehand Chicago

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In the not-so-distant past, the Freehand Hostel was the divey and dingy Tokyo Hotel, but it is now a design-driven and affordable lodging option for travelers. With interiors designed by Manhattan's Roman and Williams and an offshoot of Miami's popular Broken Shaker cocktail bar, the Freehand is budget friendly but also high on design.

[Photo: Adrian Gaut]

Kinzie Hotel

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The Kinzie may not be as stylish as the Thompson or PUBLIC hotels, but its commitment to providing a unique Chicago-focused experience to its guests is certainly commendable. It's become a faux pas for out of town hoteliers to come to Chicago and promise a "local" experience to its guests, but the Kinzie was one of the first of the latest wave of boutique hotels to truly center its branding, design and amenities around Chicago history and happenings.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Trump International Hotel & Tower

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Whether you love or hate Donald Trump, the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago designed by local star architect Adrian Smith is one of the finest contemporary towers built in the last ten years in any city. The Donald is a polarizing figure, and Trump's decision to plaster his name on the side of the tower in the form of gaudy 20-foot tall lettering earned the ire of many Chicagoans, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

[Photo: TripAdvisor]

The Langham, Chicago

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The Langham occupies the building that was once known as IBM Plaza. Designed by Mies van der Rohe and built in 1973, the flat black building is a quintessential Miesian tower. The Langham is one of Chicago's priciest hotels and a mainstay of the city's five star scene.

[Photo: The Langham]

theWit Chicago

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Located in the heart of the Loop, theWit was designed by hometown star Jackie Koo and features a striking neon green glass facade. The hotel and its rooftop lounge have a clubby vibe, but its location is pretty much unbeatable.

[Photo: The Portable Mind]

Virgin Hotels Chicago

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The Virgin Hotel in Chicago is the first in the new chain of hotels for the United States. While Richard Branson and his British-based company was renovating the Old Dearborn Bank Building, the project was kept tightly under wraps, with little to no information revealed until the lead up to the opening. Now that it's open to the public, it's no secret that the new hotel is one of the best spots in the city for travelers to crash at.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Chicago Motor Club Hampton Inn

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The old Chicago Motor Club was an organization that celebrated the automobile and cross-country travel. The Art Deco tower has been very recently restored and converted into a Hampton Inn hotel with a roaring '20s-themed cocktail bar and a large mural by John Warner Norton.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Hard Rock Hotel

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Similar to other iconic Chicago towers, the Carbide & Carbon Building is now best known for being a hotel. The 37-story tower is one of the greatest Art Deco buildings in Chicago and its gold leaf spire is easily seen throughout the downtown area.

[Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Carol Smith]

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

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Designed by Chicago's Studio Gang Architects, Aqua earned prominence not only for its striking look but also for becoming the tallest tower in the world designed by a woman-led firm. The tower features apartments, condos and a Radisson Blu hotel. Jeanne Gang has become one of Chicago's most notable architects in the last decade and her studio is currently working on other major projects, including the Wanda Vista supertall tower and the landscape design for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

[Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Kymberly Janisch]

Soho House

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The Soho House is a super trendy yet casual option for travelers who are looking to get out of the Loop and explore what the city has to offer. In its previous life, the industrial brick building was once the Chicago Belting Factory. It now sports multiple restaurant offerings, a spa, a full-floor fitness center, a rooftop pool and an exclusive members lounge and cocktail bar.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Hotel Allegro

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The Hotel Allegro recently wrapped up a major renovation project that brought back its 1920s-era Art Deco flair. While some hotels are big on contemporary designs and technology, the Hotel Allegro is a throwback to the days when Chicago was on top of the world.

[Photo: TripAdvisor]

Hotel Burnham

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Without the genius of Daniel Burnham, Chicago would never have the famed architectural legacy that it is globally known for, and the Hotel Burnham pays homage to the man that put the Windy City on the map. Formerly known as the Reliance Building, the landmark tower was designed by Burnham's partner John Root and Charles B. Atwood. For anyone interested in the Chicago School and early skyscraper design, the Hotel Burnham is a must.

[Photo: Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group]

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

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What was once an elite private men's club is now a 241-room hotel on Michigan Avenue that overlooks Millennium Park. The project was one of the most hyped hotel openings in recent years, but the final result lives up to the hype. The 122-year-old Venetian Gothic building has been beautifully restored and the hotel also boasts some serious food and beverage offerings.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Palmer House

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The Palmer House is one of the most iconic hotels in Chicago. Interestingly enough, it's actually the third Palmer House for the location. The first was built in 1875 by the famed developer and merchant Palmer Potter as a wedding gift for his wife. Designed by Holabird & Roche and built in the early '20s, the Palmer House that stands on Monroe Street today is notable for its grandeur and old school luxury.

[Photo: Palmer House Hilton]

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Public Chicago

Developed by famed hotelier Ian Schrager, the PUBLIC Chicago is a very stylish hotel in the heart of the Gold Coast neighborhood. Its interiors are very on-trend and the hotel is also attached at the hip to Chicago's famous Pump Room restaurant and bar.

[Photo: PUBLIC Hotels]

Thompson Chicago

The Thompson is just a really cool, design-focused hotel that does not disappoint. With interiors by British designer Tara Bernerd, the hotel has won numerous awards, rave reviews and regularly receives praise from critics and visitors alike.

[Photo: Thompson Hotels]

The Drake Hotel

Before Oprah Winfrey moved her operations and her show out to Los Angeles, her guests stayed at the Drake Hotel on the north end of the Magnificent Mile. Beyond Oprah's guests, the hotel has witnessed dozens of notable visitors including Charles Lindbergh, Walt Disney, Elizabeth Taylor, President Eisenhower, Winston Churchill and many others.

[Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Araceli Arroyo]

Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago

The landmark Allerton Hotel is definitely a throwback to the days when jazz and booze-runners ruled Chicago. In the '40s and '50s, the hotel became famous for its Tip-Top-Tap bar and lounge, whose neon sign is still emblazoned at the top of the building. The hotel was purchased last year by Warwick International Hotels, who has updated the hotel and also brought back the famous Tip-Top-Tap lounge.

[Photo: Warwick Allerton Hotel Chicago]

Freehand Chicago

In the not-so-distant past, the Freehand Hostel was the divey and dingy Tokyo Hotel, but it is now a design-driven and affordable lodging option for travelers. With interiors designed by Manhattan's Roman and Williams and an offshoot of Miami's popular Broken Shaker cocktail bar, the Freehand is budget friendly but also high on design.

[Photo: Adrian Gaut]

Kinzie Hotel

The Kinzie may not be as stylish as the Thompson or PUBLIC hotels, but its commitment to providing a unique Chicago-focused experience to its guests is certainly commendable. It's become a faux pas for out of town hoteliers to come to Chicago and promise a "local" experience to its guests, but the Kinzie was one of the first of the latest wave of boutique hotels to truly center its branding, design and amenities around Chicago history and happenings.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Trump International Hotel & Tower

Whether you love or hate Donald Trump, the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago designed by local star architect Adrian Smith is one of the finest contemporary towers built in the last ten years in any city. The Donald is a polarizing figure, and Trump's decision to plaster his name on the side of the tower in the form of gaudy 20-foot tall lettering earned the ire of many Chicagoans, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

[Photo: TripAdvisor]

The Langham, Chicago

The Langham occupies the building that was once known as IBM Plaza. Designed by Mies van der Rohe and built in 1973, the flat black building is a quintessential Miesian tower. The Langham is one of Chicago's priciest hotels and a mainstay of the city's five star scene.

[Photo: The Langham]

theWit Chicago

Located in the heart of the Loop, theWit was designed by hometown star Jackie Koo and features a striking neon green glass facade. The hotel and its rooftop lounge have a clubby vibe, but its location is pretty much unbeatable.

[Photo: The Portable Mind]

Virgin Hotels Chicago

The Virgin Hotel in Chicago is the first in the new chain of hotels for the United States. While Richard Branson and his British-based company was renovating the Old Dearborn Bank Building, the project was kept tightly under wraps, with little to no information revealed until the lead up to the opening. Now that it's open to the public, it's no secret that the new hotel is one of the best spots in the city for travelers to crash at.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Chicago Motor Club Hampton Inn

The old Chicago Motor Club was an organization that celebrated the automobile and cross-country travel. The Art Deco tower has been very recently restored and converted into a Hampton Inn hotel with a roaring '20s-themed cocktail bar and a large mural by John Warner Norton.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Hard Rock Hotel

Similar to other iconic Chicago towers, the Carbide & Carbon Building is now best known for being a hotel. The 37-story tower is one of the greatest Art Deco buildings in Chicago and its gold leaf spire is easily seen throughout the downtown area.

[Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Carol Smith]

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

Designed by Chicago's Studio Gang Architects, Aqua earned prominence not only for its striking look but also for becoming the tallest tower in the world designed by a woman-led firm. The tower features apartments, condos and a Radisson Blu hotel. Jeanne Gang has become one of Chicago's most notable architects in the last decade and her studio is currently working on other major projects, including the Wanda Vista supertall tower and the landscape design for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

[Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Kymberly Janisch]

Soho House

The Soho House is a super trendy yet casual option for travelers who are looking to get out of the Loop and explore what the city has to offer. In its previous life, the industrial brick building was once the Chicago Belting Factory. It now sports multiple restaurant offerings, a spa, a full-floor fitness center, a rooftop pool and an exclusive members lounge and cocktail bar.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Hotel Allegro

The Hotel Allegro recently wrapped up a major renovation project that brought back its 1920s-era Art Deco flair. While some hotels are big on contemporary designs and technology, the Hotel Allegro is a throwback to the days when Chicago was on top of the world.

[Photo: TripAdvisor]

Hotel Burnham

Without the genius of Daniel Burnham, Chicago would never have the famed architectural legacy that it is globally known for, and the Hotel Burnham pays homage to the man that put the Windy City on the map. Formerly known as the Reliance Building, the landmark tower was designed by Burnham's partner John Root and Charles B. Atwood. For anyone interested in the Chicago School and early skyscraper design, the Hotel Burnham is a must.

[Photo: Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group]

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

What was once an elite private men's club is now a 241-room hotel on Michigan Avenue that overlooks Millennium Park. The project was one of the most hyped hotel openings in recent years, but the final result lives up to the hype. The 122-year-old Venetian Gothic building has been beautifully restored and the hotel also boasts some serious food and beverage offerings.

[Photo: Nick Fochtman]

Palmer House

The Palmer House is one of the most iconic hotels in Chicago. Interestingly enough, it's actually the third Palmer House for the location. The first was built in 1875 by the famed developer and merchant Palmer Potter as a wedding gift for his wife. Designed by Holabird & Roche and built in the early '20s, the Palmer House that stands on Monroe Street today is notable for its grandeur and old school luxury.

[Photo: Palmer House Hilton]