Two Chicago hotels complete renovations

Two Chicago hotels have recently emerged from renovations.


TheWit, a Hilton Hotel, has completed a renovation conceptualized by Jackie Koo of Chicago-based KOO Architecture. Brightly colored objects are layered on a backdrop of warm colors and plush textures to combine playfulness and sophistication. 

The lobby has brightly colored 38-foot-tall columns and a 12-foot live floral installation paired with warm-colored sculptural furnishings, a white natural marble front desk and black tiled floors.

TheWit’s 310 redesigned guestrooms and suites have a soothing palette of warm earth tones with pops of color, all accented with original artwork. Accents such as origami-like light fixtures, a blue Memphis Design-inspired floor lamp and lipstick-red-trimmed mirrors are meant to capture attention, alongside polished stone and travertine finishes. Furnishings depict architectural remnants, and each room has a mannequin-inspired torso sculpture. The hotel has modern gallery-style artwork, choreographed alongside carpets with designs to resemble scribbles from an artist.

Beyond the distinctive design elements, all guestrooms now have an Amazon Echo for concierge services, hotel information, in-room dining requests and guest services on demand.

TheWit is close to the Riverwalk and the Chicago Theater. 

The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago

Between Michigan Avenue and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago completed a $100 million renovation led by San Francisco interior design firm BAMO. All 434 guestrooms received what the company is describing as “an extensive facelift,” with a navy couch and a built-in bar. 

The art deco-inspired 12th-floor lobby has floor-to-ceiling windows leading out to the hotel’s rooftop. The space connects the lobby reception and lounge areas with the restaurant, bar and cafe. Marble stone, walnut finishings and bold colors complement each other to create a relaxing vibe. Architectural design elements encourage guests to move throughout the spaces. Torali, a modern Italian steakhouse on the 12th floor, has custom light fixtures and an open layout of contemporary booths, tables and chairs. Frosted six-foot glass walls separate the restaurant from other concepts like the bar, lobby lounge and cafe while providing an open-air atmosphere.

In addition to the spa, the hotel has a full gym with windows overlooking the city and Lake Michigan as well as a pool.

Covering two floors connected by a spiral staircase, the Presidential Suite has a full-service kitchen, island and dining area. The open living room has plush sofas and lounge seating. Other highlights include a media room, a wet bar two bathrooms and a guest powder room. Upstairs, the primary bedroom has a bathroom with marble floors, a Jacuzzi bathtub and a rain shower.

Nine dot Arts used Chicago’s architecture as its primary inspiration for The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago art collection, which abstractly nods to Chicago’s skyscrapers through its combination of contemporary and modern design pieces. With the hotel’s proximity to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the collection reflects and appeals to Chicago’s art community through the juxtaposition of modern art masters with contemporary artists. Notable pieces include:

  • Tseng Kwong Chi’s Andy Warhol, New York, 1986, from the series “Artists in Their Studios.”
  • René Magritte’s Le Fils de l’Homme (The Son of Man), 2004, #103/300
  • Roy Lichtenstein’s Wallpaper with Blue Floor Interior, 1992
  • Roger Reutimann’s Perception #11, 2013-2014
  • Roy Lichtenstein’s Modern Art II, 1996, #35/50
  • James Rosenquist’s Memory Continues but the Clock Disappears, 2011, edition of 45

Meeting rooms at the hotel are spread across 25,000 square feet and range from private dining rooms of 400 square feet to the ballroom at 8,370 square feet. The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom can accommodate up to 1,200 guests and has a 400,000-crystal chandelier and floor-to-ceiling windows. Other options include the 1,450-square-foot St. Clair Foyer and the 456-square-foot Gallery.