Gettys Design Group Chicago re-imagines Kinzie Hotel

Kinzie Hotel, located at 20 West Kinzie Street, announced its scheduled opening in February 2014 in the heart of Chicago’s River North neighborhood in a space currently occupied by the Amalfi Hotel. 

The design project, led by Gettys Design Group Chicago, was inspired by the city’s first settler and known explorer, John Kinzie. All elements from branding to design pay tribute to Kinzie’s historical role. When it opens, vintage imagery of 19th century Chicago maps and compasses will be displayed throughout guestroom wall coverings, paying tribute to the hotel’s exploratory namesake.  According to design director Ben Nicholas of the Chicago-based Gettys Group, the hotel incorporates Chicago concepts throughout the design, from vintage map work in the guestrooms to the carpeting which features a modern interpretation of the city grid.

Kinzie Hotel will have three concierge-style guest check-in desks, as well as sofa niches along each wall. Upon arrival in the newly renovated 1,500-square-foot lobby, guests’ attention will be drawn to the spherical, central lighting fixtures that brighten the gray palette that allow the artwork to be the main focus. The space will have metallic grey iridescent tile, high ceilings and large windows.


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Both the lobby and common areas will feature artwork commissioned by local artists, including a gallery component, displaying interpretations of Chicago’s urban landscape. Contemporary designs throughout the hotel’s public areas will include navy blue and grey colors on the corridor walls.

Kinzie Hotel themed colors and textiles will be used throughout three renovated meeting spaces. Named after Kinzie’s colleague Billy Caldwell a.k.a. “Sauganash,” the 424-square-foot Sauganash Room, at 26 feet and 6 inches by 16 feet,  is a fixed boardroom. The 424-square-foot Dearborn Room, at 26 feet and 6 inches by 16 feet, is a fixed boardroom. The largest room is 848-square-foot Wolf Point, at 26 feet and 6 inches by 32 feet and 6 inches, with its name inspired from James Kinzie, the son John Kinzie, who built a tavern by the same name on the west bank of the river at Wolf Point in 1828.

Kinzie Hotel will feature 210 renovated standard guestrooms and five suites displaying a color palette of teal, cobalt, crimson and pumpkin. A navigational map representing Chicago in the early 1800s will be blended throughout the wall covering above the bed. Additionally, there will be a navy blue carpet, outlined with hexagonal detailing inspired by Chicago’s cobblestone streets and city grid of Kinzie’s time period. Guestroom lighting will be outfitted with sconces resembling city lamp posts, situated adjacent to the king and queen beds.

The guestrooms will also have multipurpose desk units that serve as storage, a desk, and media piece. Renovated bathrooms will boast new granite countertops, fixtures, and portable vanity mirrors. Additionally, EcoSmart Shades will keep the rooms bright and airy during the day, while blocking out the street lights at night.

Kinzie Hotel pays tribute to Kinzie’s silversmith days when he created a double-barred cross by introducing guests to the Double Cross Lounge located on the sixth floor. The updated 689 square foot venue will provide guests with a lounge space. Guests can choose to sit along the full-service bar, at high-top tables, or at lounge space across the back wall. A black and white map of Chicago with marked places of interest will also available.

The Kinzie Hotel, managed by Portfolio Hotels & Resorts, will open in the first quarter of 2014.