Big news announcement in hotel branding as Hilton signs Chicago LondonHouse Hotel to Curio Collection. There is good reason you likely never heard of LondonHouse Hotel. The hotel will not open for another year in spring 2016. The big deal is its location on the Chicago River in the historic London Guarantee Building designed and completed in 1923 by Chicago architect Alfred S. Alschuler for an insurance company. The building is one of the four 1920s architectural anchors located on the corners to the Michigan Avenue Bridge.
This is my photo of the London Guarantee Building as seen from a boat on the Chicago River during a Chicago Architecture cruise in 2011.
Loyalty Traveler – Chicago River Architecture Tour
A 22-story glass tower is being erected to harmonize with the historic building and serve as the main entrance and gateway lobby for the 452-room hotel with a grand second floor check-in lobby and bar. The remodeled cupola at the top of the hotel will offer rooftop dining and event space.
LondonHouse Hotel on south side of Chicago River with glass Trump Tower and Hotel on north side of river.
The design scheme of LondonHouse, led by Simeone Deary Design Group, will speak to the London Guarantee Building’s roots with the use of historic detail, while adopting the progressive thinking of the 1920s to create modern and chic accents. The color palette will feature warm greys and crisp whites, punctuated by jewel tones and rich fumed eucalyptus woods. The guestroom design is inspired by the luxurious automobiles of that era – clean, sleek, and elegant. The hotel will be outfitted with modern furniture upholstered in lavish materials, paying homage to the opulence of the 1920’s. The lines of the furniture will be contemporary, but embellished with classic touches, providing an overall feeling of serenity and elegance.
Hilton press release
Another interesting feature of the Hilton press release is a closing statement about HHonors members:
As members of the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, Curio hotels will offer guests the benefits of Hilton HHonors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program serving more than 44 million members. Hilton HHonors offers more ways to redeem points than any other guest-loyalty program. LondonHouse will participate in Hilton HHonors, the only hotel rewards program that offers Points & Miles® and No Blackout Dates.
Hilton rocks in Chicago with several high profile and historic hotels. I have reviewed several of them. Last year I photographed the Palmer Hilton, Chicago’s oldest hotel (1871) and Hilton Chicago, the largest hotel in the world for many years after it was constructed in 1927.
Waldorf Astoria Chicago was rebranded by Hilton in February 2012. This came a few months after the new the Zell Fund bought the well-regarded 5-star hotel Elysian for $95 million in November 2011, setting the highest per room purchase rate for a Chicago Hotel, $505,000 per room. Zell Fund put the 188-room Waldorf Astoria on the market last month. The hotel is expected to fetch a record breaking room price. This is a hotel I have not seen.
Loyalty Traveler – Palmer House Hilton history of Chicago’s oldest hotel (April 14, 2014)
Loyalty Traveler – Hilton Chicago and its Stevens Hotel scandalous history (April 16, 2014) was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1927.
Loyalty Traveler – Palmer House and The Drake: Historic Chicago in Hilton Hotels (November 10, 2010)
CurioCollection.com, Curio, a collection by Hilton