W Hotels Worldwide and Chesapeake Lodging Trust unveiled the full-scale, $38-million renovation of W Chicago – Lakeshore, which combines influences from the “Windy City” with the waters of Lake Michigan.
The only hotel located on iconic Lake Shore Drive in the heart of the city, W Chicago – Lakeshore transformed all 520 guestrooms and its signature Living Room experience; expanded its 14,000 square feet of meeting and event space to include three new outdoor spaces; and introduced a new restaurant, Current, with executive chef Gregory Elliott at the helm.
The transformation of W Chicago – Lakeshore is a key project in the second wave of renovation projects, part of the W brand’s plan to reinvigorate its North American portfolio. The strategy includes an investment by the W brand and its ownership groups with updates to public spaces, new bar and restaurant concepts and guestroom refreshes in key markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Mexico City and Washington DC.
New York-based interior design and architecture firm Meyer Davis Design and Starwood's design team collaborated to redesign W Chicago – Lakeshore.
The guestrooms draw the eye to the lake’s reflections and the illumination of Chicago with each window having a window frame. The color palette is a blend of soft tones, which allow for the views to pop and serve as the focal point of the room. Additionally, the light fixtures were changed to chandeliers to reflect and amplify the light and views, and mirrors were added to the walls for yet another reflective design element.
The décor in the public spaces reflect the W brand’s urban New York City roots, merged with the vibrancy of Chicago. The Living Room underwent a transformation, including a completely revamped layout to increase the space flow and energy. A spray can mural acts as an accent behind the welcome desk, a historical nod to the aerosol can, which originated in Chicago and is now used in modern day street art. The Living Room was broken into smaller circular lounges that have the opportunity to create social gathering spaces. A central point to the lounge is a circular DJ booth, that creates a space for guests to enjoy activities of the restaurant, bar and Living Room.
The hotel also expanded its 14,000 square feet of meeting space to include an additional venue on the two top floor spaces; Altitude and Skyline. Altitude offers 360 degree views of the lake and city with floor to ceiling windows, and Skyline, a new adjacent space for even more flexibility with meetings and social events.
Current was also designed by Meyer Davis.