Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago is an 18-story hotel in the 81-story Aqua Tower skyscraper centered in the Lakeshore East District of Chicago. Not being from Chicago, the Lakeshore East district has no meaning to me. Millennium Park is a large green zone area and there is open space with paved paths nearby the hotel when you need a break from the airspace filled with skyscrapers in downtown Chicago.
Last year I toured about 20 hotels in downtown Chicago and along the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Avenue. As a tourist I like the location of the Aqua Tower with its proximity and easy walking access to the Art Institute of Chicago, the second largest art museum in the U.S.
All the photos in this piece are courtesy of Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago.
The Aqua Tower Chicago was completed in 2009 and has the distinction of being one of the largest skyscrapers in the world built by a lead female architect, Chicago-based Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects.
The green space around the building includes a jogging path, fire pits and outdoor pools.
PETA Proggy Award 2009
In a list of architectural awards for the Aqua Tower from various architectural design organizations was one particular standout award that caught my attention.
Why would a skyscraper win an award from PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals?
Turns out the Aqua Tower was recognized for bird-friendly design in a skyscraper. Apparently some 34 million birds are killed each year flying into North America urban skyscrapers. PETA honored Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects for designing a skyscraper with bird-deflecting elements. The visually attractive exterior form for humans apparently is more visible to birds flying through the city than the typical glass exterior common to skyscrapers, including many of the skyscrapers surrounding the Aqua Tower.
There will be detailed posts of the Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago hotel rooms, facilities and restaurant to follow. I am on a three day press media FAM trip at the hotel and they have a 14-hour schedule planned for us today.
Yeah, life is tough hanging out in Chicago drinking and eating with the Radisson Blu Aqua managers and touring the city with Carlson Hotels managers and Chicago tourism representatives along with a group of journalists.
This job is for the birds.
Loyalty Traveler Disclosure
The past two nights I have stayed at the Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago. This is my first press trip to a hotel, known as FAM trips (familiarization trips) in the travel and tourism industry. I will have more to say about FAM trips when there is time to reflect on my quick three day trip to Chicago. I know there are other bloggers who want to know how this side of the industry works.
The main point to disclose here is the Radisson Blu Aqua Chicago is a sponsored trip for Loyalty Traveler and there were plenty of free perks with this trip like guided tours of Shedd Aquarium and the Art Institute of Chicago in addition to restaurant dinners with the General Manager of the hotel and Carlson Hotels managers and about a dozen other journalists. Certainly not my typical hotel stay experience.