One hundred twentytwo W. Monroe Street in Chicago, in the heart of the financial district, was once the location of a building, designed by the engineer William LeBaron Jenney, which was one of the buildings that paved the way for the skyscraper in the late nineteenth century. This location is now home to the new Kimpton Gray Hotel. The Beleco firm in Los Angeles designed the interior, focusing on three different aspects: the history and architecture of the original office building, the traditions and culture of the city and the fashion sense of professionals who work in the center of Chicago.
Taking inspiration from the sophisticated clothes that characterize London’s Savile Row, the architects opted for sartorial fabrics such as tweed, flannel, wool, felt and velvet, all classic materials, like the classic textural choice of herringbone and the combination of black and navy blue. The first and second floors feature a mix of Beaux Arts and Art Deco style, which is more restrained on the upper floors. Fabrics and decorations balance out the prominent Georgia Gray marble (from which the hotel takes its name), which was preserved from the previous building and restored, like the black and white marble finishes in the elevator lobbies.
The fourth Kimpton hotel in Chicago features 293 rooms, in which the city itself dictates the style with the blue of its flag, used for curtains and the desk chairs. The rest of the colors and materials are neutral, providing the right background for the carefully chosen artworks and witty phrases that decorate the bathroom, such as the remind to brush your teeth, “Relax, it’s just garlic”, which alludes to the origin of the name Chicago, which derives from the word “Checagou” (garlic). The 13 suites have a similar design, but in a larger space of over 55 sq m. The Presidential Suite and One-Bedroom Suite feature large bathrooms with a double sink and bathtub with pedestals. The Gray collaborates with various luxury brands, such as The Tie Bar, which presents a mini-bar in every room that offers men’s accessories such as ties, pins and handkerchiefs.
Four lunch, dinner and cocktails, there is a choice between three sophisticated restaurants. For a South American dinner, you can visit Boleo at the top of the hotel, on the 15th floor with an openable glass vault that reveals the Chicago sky, under which guests can listen to live music. For those who prefer a vintage atmosphere, Vol. 39 is the curious name of the bar in the hall, which offers a wide selection of high-end wines and spirits that you can sip while browsing through a precious period encyclopaedia, discovered inside the property during renovation work. Finally, Steadfast on the ground floor is an innovative restaurant by The Fifty/50 Group with a wood-burning rotisserie, charcuterie room and open kitchen.