RE-LAUNCHING: April 2016
PENINSULA HOTELS are known for their service, their elegance and their high-tech guest offerings – and we’re a fan of all three. So it is impressive to learn that the Peninsula Chicago, relaunching this month (April) after an impressive refurbishment, has the most technologically advanced guest rooms in the world. And if it beats all the other hotels in the Peninsula Group tech-wise it must be good.
In a city renowned for its legacy of design and cutting edge architecture, the re-design better be impressive too, windy city residents and visitors are a deserning bunch when it comes to style. While Peninsula hotels tend to be safely elegant rather than cutting edge the early signs are promising.
The 339 guest rooms and suites certainly seem to be looking good. . Designer Bill Rooney of Bill Rooney Studio, Inc., conceived contemporary interiors with a ‘cosmopolitan attitude’ (we like a hotel with ‘attitude’) that syncs well with Peninsula’s setting right in the heart of Chicago. Drawing influence from the French Deco style of the hotel’s public spaces, the new room design channels luxury yachts ( think wood finishes, lush fabrics and rich leathers. Built-in desks and vanities in rich Macassar wood create a functional shipshape space with a residential feel. A small dining table positioned at the window provides panoramic views of the Chicago skyline.
A hand-crafted floral art design created by artist David Qian anchors each guest room, featuring the chrysanthemum, the official flower of Chicago (and, conveniently for an oriental hotel group, also one of the four “noble flowers” of Asia) . Bespoke chinaware featuring the chrysanthemum has been designed by French heritage company, Bernadaud - who previously created china for The Peninsula Paris and Gaddi’s at The Peninsula Hong Kong. More symbolise can be found in the signature blue and wave pattern on the custom-designed Pratesi linens which are a nod to Chicago’s connection to Lake Michigan and the Chicago River – just steps from The Peninsula.
Another connection to the local community is the Chicago-based artist, Jean-Jacques Porret, who was commissioned to create bronze sculptures for the guest rooms displayed above the vanity.
The 74 newly redesigned suites showcase a hand-embroidered silk art wall in the chrysanthemum theme, along with hand-painted artisan glass elements (in junior suites). The floral design for the glass wall, created by artist Michael Glickman, was inspired by the Orchid ( also one of the four noble flowers of Asian Art) . Coffee amenities in the suites are housed in a hand-painted Chinoiserie cabinet designed by David Qian, the same artist that produced the wall murals.
AS for that impressive technology - customized interactive digital bedside and desk tablets are preset in one of 11 languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese), and full control of all in-room functions is just a touch away, enabling control of all guest room lighting, room temperature controls, access to restaurant menus, hotel services, city information and attractions and TV channels, in addition to LED touch-screen wall panels which feature weather details, language and privacy options. Rooms are designed so that every control is located precisely where it is required without guests having to think or search. You’ll also find Peninsula’s trademark , complimentary long-distance and international VOIP calls and WiFi.
“Our renovation re-launches The Peninsula Chicago as the heart—literally and metaphorically—of Chicago and will cement the hotel’s place firmly for the future,” said Maria Razumich-Zec, The Peninsula Chicago’s General Manager and Regional Vice President. “Innovation is an attribute of The Peninsula Hotels, and the new guest rooms feature personalized technologies that elevate guest stays to a previously undefined level of bespoke and experiential luxury.” What more can we say.