Hyatt Regency Chicago to reveal renovation in April
Casual Living Staff -- Casual Living, March 1, 2013
CHICAGO - Hyatt Regency Chicago, Chicago's largest hotel and the largest Hyatt in the world, is set to unveil a $168 million renovation in early April, enhancing the entire property into a sleek, modern oasis for travelers and locals alike.
Located next to the intersection of Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue - the crossroads of Chicago and on the southern shore of the Chicago River - Hyatt Regency Chicago is both an urban landmark and a flagbearer of an international hotel brand. The current renovation seeks to polish this distinguished property, bringing a building which was designed more than 30 years ago into alignment with the most recent additions to Chicago's architectural skyline including the nearby Millennium Park, the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the Chicago Historical Society and other internationally acclaimed works.
Behind the project are the architects and planners at Bentel + Bentel. "The central vision behind the renovation is that of the atrium and lobby as a grand urban space, a place where the excitement of the milling crowd is amplified by the presence of extraordinary program elements," said Paul Bentel, partner at Bentel + Bentel. "Whether it be registration and concierge, American Craft Kitchen & Bar, Market Chicago, BIG Bar or a reinvented Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi, each have been given a stronger identity within the lobby, making it the ‘heart and soul' of the hotel and a place that is easier to navigate and more energetic than ever."
The program areas and features included in this project are:
• The renovation of the lobby, including color changing LED lighting, light controlling louvers, new finishes on all surfaces and an art program designed to reflect and frame the river and city skyline
• A new, sleek registration and concierge area with windows to the exterior and guest-friendly desks
• A new 24-hour market, aptly named "Market Chicago"
• The addition of a new lobby seating area and four re-invented restaurants
• Completely renovated Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi (formally named Stetson's Chop House) with an open kitchen, sushi bar and marble fireplace
• A re-invented BIG Bar - still located at its iconic perch above the river, but now greatly enlarged to facilitate views to the exterior. New additions include: added digital components; new lighting and sound systems; a dramatic reinvention of its renowned monumental bottle display; internally illuminated liquor tower and new food preparation areas
• Renovated elevator lobbies, which carry the material elements of the new design to the East and West tower areas
• Renovated and repurposed Skybridge, including new "digital community tables," designed to allow guests to use and charge their digital devices
• New signage and digital information kiosks located throughout the lobby.
The new vision for the property was derived from three distinct Chicago-esque inspirations. First, the Chicago River is symbolically represented in a new water feature resembling the flow of a prairie stream as it falls over flatland topography. Secondly, Chicago as the historical marketplace of the nation is present throughout the re-imagining of the atrium lobby as an urban market place, in which each venue possesses the choreographed image of a store front. Finally, the design features aimed to frame the skyline of Chicago. Every effort has been made to control lighting and the reflectivity of glass to enhance the view to the exterior skyline, the river and adjacent buildings in the immediate vicinity. As guests enter the lobby, the louver ceiling will regulate both daylight and artificial light in the evening to soften that first dramatic step into the vast atrium from the exterior.
Hyatt Regency Chicago features 2,019 guest rooms, 228,000 square feet of meeting and event space and five restaurants and lounges. The hotel is located at 151 East Wacker Drive in the heart of downtown. Hyatt Regency Chicago borders the Magnificent Mile and is only blocks away from Chicago's premier theater, cultural, shopping and dining districts. For reservations, visit www.chicagoregency.hyatt.com, Facebook.com/HyattRegencyChicago or on Twitter @hyattchicago.