Virgin Hotels Chicago appoints Paul Cardona as GM

Virgin Hotels Chicago. Photo credit: Virgin Hotels

Virgin Hotels Chicago, Virgin Hotels’ first property located in the city’s Loop neighborhood, appointed Paul Cardona as GM. Cardona oversees day-to-day operations of the hotel, and brings with him a history of experience from more than 20 years in the hospitality industry across luxury and lifestyle brands.

“I am thrilled to join the Virgin Hotels Chicago team,” Cardona said in a statement. “In only a few short years, the hotel has become a mainstay in Chicago and is recognized as one of the leading hotels in the country, with multiple national award recognitions. I look forward to bringing continued success to the property with a focus on heartfelt service, unique guest experiences and fostering a positive work culture for all team members.”

As GM, Cardona is responsible for strategic planning and leadership of all departments to ensure guest expectations are exceeded throughout all touch points of the hotel. He is committed to creating a communal and authentic experience that will appeal to both locals and travelers alike.


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“Paul has worked with an impressive portfolio of hospitality brands in Chicago and around the country," Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels, said in a statement. "We’re confident he’ll continue to deliver the exceptional guest experience our hotel has been recognized for, while adding value through a fresh perspective.”

Throughout his career, Cardona gained a wealth of knowledge in the hospitality, lifestyle and food-and-beverage industries. Cardona joins Virgin Hotels Chicago from The James Chicago, a Denihan Hospitality hotel, where he served as GM. Prior to The James Chicago, Cardona managed operations at Le Meridien Chicago - Oakbrook Center, and also oversaw projects at multiple upscale Le Meridien and Luxury Collection hotels. His previous management experience at lifestyle properties include SLS South Beach, Soho Beach House and Park Hyatt Chicago, where he led the team to achieve one Michelin star for NoMi as director of food & beverage.

Cardona’s experience with food-and-beverage operations was integral to his appointment to the Virgin Hotels Chicago because the hotel offers a variety of dining and drinking outlets, including Commons Club, the hotel’s flagship second floor restaurant, bar and social club concept; Miss Ricky’s, the hotel’s diner; Cerise, a rooftop bar and lounge; Two Zero Three, its first floor coffee shop and wine bar; and Upstairs, the hotel's live entertainment venue.

Virgin Hotels Chicago is located in Chicago's Loop district in the historic Old Dearborn Bank Building at 203 N. Wabash Ave, steps from Millennium Park, the Chicago Riverwalk and the Art Institute of Chicago. The 26-story art deco building, a Chicago landmark, offers 250 guestrooms, including 40 one-bedroom suites and two penthouse suites.

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