Date: October 2018
Location: East Ontario Street, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Name: Aloft Chicago Mag Mile
No. of Keys: 337
Seller: The property occupies the site of the original location of the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Buyer: Aloft Hotels, along with Tishman Hotel Corporation and MetLife Investment Management, opened the Aloft Chicago Mag Mile.
Tishman is a vertically integrated real estate owner, developer, operator and advisor, with some 25 hotels including The Hay-Adams, New York, The St. Regis San Francisco, two Walt Disney hotels, Westin NY, InterContinental NY and several other presitigious US hotels.
MetLife also owns a number of hotel assets like the 415 room Fairmont Washington DC, acquired in 2014 for US$180m, the three hotel portfolio at Universal Orlando Resort.
The newly built hotel consists of more than 5,600 square feet of art-inspired meeting spaces, making this the largest Aloft property in North America.
Guests have access to amenities such as Splash, an indoor pool perched atop the hotel on the 19th floor; Aloft’s signature W XYZ Bar; Re:fuel by Aloft, serving gourmet grab-and-go options; and the Re:charge fitness centre.
This property is the first urban example of the updated brand design vision. The hotel’s guestrooms offer 65-inch LED televisions, plush platform beds, in-room mini refrigerators, custom Aloft bath amenities by Bliss Spa and walk-in showers with rainfall shower heads.
The hotel’s atmosphere is infused with art, recalling the gallery shows the museum once hosted there.
A photo of the original MCA will welcome guests in the lobby with the background on how the art program was approached for Aloft Chicago Mag Mile.
This theme is most notably displayed in Aloft Chicago Mag Mile’s meeting and event spaces, which are named after contemporary artists who had exhibited at MCA in the past: Warhol, Escher, Mondrian and Lichtenstein.
The various reproduced works from the artists are now on display in each of their namesake meeting rooms. The Warhol room, for example, has poppy flowers as the focal point, displayed as an expansive wall covering. At that time, the museum’s on-staff photographer captured all the shows’ works, mostly in black and white. Fast forward nearly 50 years: the design team has recreated large-scale reproductions of this archival footage with mono-colour enhancements.
These works can be seen throughout the corridors on floors three through 19.
Other nods to artist history weaving the theme throughout the hotel include: reproductions of a Chuck Close show in the Presidential Suite and a rooftop-level event space named after Jan van der Marck, who was the first director of the MCA.
The 19th floor showcases a “Party People” exhibit that shows patrons of the gallery shows at MCA donning tiaras and ballgowns at the sought-after events during that time. Art plaques accompany each piece to tell a bit about the artist and the show that this particular work was featured in.
“We knew we had something special with the history of this site, and it was important for us to capture that history and keep it alive in the story of Aloft Chicago Mag Mile,” Robert Snyder, president of Tishman Hotel Corporation, which owns and manages the property, said in a statement. “Tishman is committed to supporting our local neighborhood and creating unique art and music-inspired experiences as the company deepens its presence in Chicago.”
Just as art is a part of the hotel’s DNA, so is music—something that is reflected in the new design on display at Aloft Chicago Mag Mile, with features such as built-in outlets for amps and microphones.
Aloft Hotels offers global music programming and a commitment to emerging talent, which Aloft Chicago Mag Mile will infuse into its programming with Aloft’s signature live music series, Live at Aloft Hotels.
As a further commitment to rising musicians, Aloft’s annual Project: Aloft Star global talent competition is aimed at discovering the world’s hottest new music acts.
This year’s winner—who will win the chance to record a single with Universal Music Group at Capitol Records—will be playing at the hotel’s grand opening event on Nov. 7. On Nov. 8, the hotel will play host to an event on the Future of Music in partnership with The Verge, where attendees can find out about the latest technology transforming the music industry and enjoy a performance from Chicago electronic music trio Autograf.
“Aloft Hotels are designed with the next generation of travelers in mind, and we’re excited to be unveiling the Aloft Hotel of the future at Chicago Mag Mile—the first urban location to feature the new design vision,” Bridget Higgins, senior global brand director, Aloft Hotels, said in a statement.
THPT Comment: Serious players like Tishman and MetLife obviously like Marriott’s Aloft brand.
First Seen: Hotel Management