Hotels in Chicago, Honolulu rebrand

Oxford Hotels & Resorts has rebranded the former Hotel Essex as Le Méridien Essex Chicago. Photo credit: Oxford Hotels & Resorts

A historic Chicago hotel and a property on Waikiki are getting new names.

Chicago

Oxford Hotels & Resorts, the Chicago-based hotel management affiliate of Oxford Capital Group, has rebranded the former Hotel Essex as Le Méridien Essex Chicago. The property, owned by an Oxford joint venture with Quadrum Global and managed by Oxford Hotels & Resorts, will continue to operate as an independent hotel until it officially joins the Marriott International family this summer.

"We are excited to join forces with Marriott International to marry our midcentury modern landmark Hotel Essex with the internationally renowned Le Méridien brand," said John W. Rutledge, founder, president and CEO of Oxford Hotels & Resorts and Oxford Capital Group. "We're always looking for ways to optimize the performance and value of our hotels and as leisure and business travel regains momentum this year, and in the years ahead, we felt combining forces with Le Méridien was a prudent, strategic move."

The landmarked hotel, which dates back to 1961, reopened in 2019 after undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation from Essex Inn into Hotel Essex. Its original midcentury modern aesthetic was reimagined for the 21st century, drawing on the building's International Style architectural roots in the 1960s. The property's interiors leverage the floor-to-ceiling windows to maintain focal points of Grant Park, Lake Michigan and the cityscape.

"When we began speaking with Marriott International around potential collaboration opportunities, Hotel Essex's midcentury modern design was an obvious fit for the Le Méridien brand, which champions this aesthetic across its portfolio," said Sarang Peruri, COO of Oxford Capital Group and partner at Oxford Hotels & Resorts. "We believe the Le Méridien Essex Chicago is a complementary positioning within this mixed-use project with clear synergies with the apartments and retail."

Le Méridien Essex Chicago has 274 king and double guestrooms, a fitness center and two dining spaces.

Honolulu

Hotel owner, developer, and operator Dovetail + Co has moved into Hawaii with the acquisition of Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel in Honolulu. Located along the Ala Wai Canal within walking distance to Waikiki Beach, the hotel will be rebranded as the Wayfinder Waikiki following a renovation of the property's 228 rooms, 70-foot saltwater lagoon pool and multiple bar and restaurant spaces. 

Led by Dovetail + Co founder and CEO Phil Hospod, the company will lead the renovations while Springboard Hospitality will oversee daily management and operations. “Travelers are hungry for exciting yet approachable lifestyle hotels that help them dig deeper into the destinations they're visiting,” Hospod said. “The acquisition of Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel is the first of what we believe will be an active year as we build toward a promising future.”

In March 2020, the company opened Urban Cowboy Lodge in New York's Catskill Mountains followed by the Wayfinder Hotel in Newport, R.I., in May of 2020. Dovetail has a third project under development on New York City’s historic Bowery.