Hager & Associates of Vancouver Orchestrated
the Hotel’s Summer 2008 Remodel
(March 5, 2009) – The full-service hotel with the world’s best-designed
guest rooms isn’t a Hyatt Regency, W, Hilton or a flashy Las Vegas property.
It’s The Allerton Hotel Chicago, the historical
landmark-designated 1922-24 Chicago property that helped spur the redevelopment
of North Michigan Avenue into the Magnificent Mile. Fresh off last
summer’s $10-million remodel as part of $85 million in renovations since
1999, the Allerton was singled-out for having the best-designed guest rooms
of any full-service hotel in the world in the HotelWorld Global Hospitality
and Design Awards, announced March 3, 2009, in Las Vegas.
The Allerton lead this year’s field of 28 hotel
and restaurant finalists with three separate “Best Design” nominations
– in the full-service guestroom, full-service lobby/public space and full-service
restaurant/lounge categories, the later for the hotel’s sleek new M Avenue
Restaurant. No other hotel in the world was nominated in three categories,
and only two other properties received two nominations.
The Allerton’s competition in the guest room
category included Las Vegas’ Mirage Hotel and the Hyatt Regency Monterey
Hotel & Spa in Northern California.
The HotelWorld Global Hospitality and Design Awards
recognize excellence in hotel and restaurant design and leadership, and
celebrate the accomplishments of the true leaders in the hospitality industry.
Twenty-five hospitality and design awards will be presented during a dinner
ceremony March 3, 2009, in Las Vegas during the city’s International Hospitality
“Our intent with the redesign of The Allerton
was to blend the hotel’s famed Italian Renaissance exterior with a sleek,
modern-contemporary interior, thereby re-establishing it as the uniquely
Chicago destination it has been for most of its 85-year history,” explained
Andrea Mayer, general manager. “It would appear by the award for
our guest rooms – and the sheer number of nominations we received – that
our vision has become a reality.”
Working with Hager & Associates of Vancouver,
British Columbia, hotel owners completed a top-to-bottom remodel of the
property in August 2008 – encompassing a dramatic redesign of all guest
rooms and public spaces, relocation of the hotel lobby back to its original
second-floor setting, where it was combined with the new M Avenue restaurant
and lounge, and creation of elaborate new ballrooms and meeting spaces.
M Avenue lounge
The property was purchased in November 2006 by
ALT Hotel Partners, LLC, a joint venture between The Chartres Lodging Group,
LLC, of San Francisco, and Perry Capital of New York, and shed its Crowne
Plaza affiliation in February 2007 as part of the owners’ plans to reclaim
its status as one of Chicago’s legendary independent hotels – and one of
only a few historically and architecturally significant hotels directly
on Michigan Avenue.
The John Hardy Group, Inc., served as project
manager for the renovation while Kokua Hospitality, LLC, a management affiliate
of Chartres Lodging, provided onsite assistance as part of their ongoing
role as property manager.
The design by Hager & Associates updated the
hotel’s interior with clean, contemporary lines and appointments while
maintaining its architecturally significant presence at the heart of Chicago’s
famed shopping, dining and cultural district. Architects repositioned
elevators and other barriers to create a theatrical, free-flowing, second-floor
gathering space to serve as the new home for the hotel’s lobby, registration,
concierge and newly designed M Avenue.
Second-floor design additions included a monolithic,
two-sided glass fireplace; communal furniture with plug-in stations; floor-length
metallic draperies; and a series of intimate seating areas with lounge-like
chairs and ottomans. Guest rooms and suites were updated with a sophisticated
residential design encompassing tufted headboards, dramatic floor and window
treatments and other unexpected furniture and decorative elements.
Other elements of the renovation included a redesigned
first-floor motor lobby off East Huron Street, an expanded and newly-equipped
fitness center, and reappointed ballrooms and meeting spaces, including
creation of the new, 2,100-square-foot Buckingham Ballroom in the previous
site of the third-floor lobby.
Located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile,
The Allerton Hotel Chicago is steps from the shops, restaurants, museums
and galleries of the Magnificent Mile, including Bloomingdale’s, Neiman
Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Chanel, Burberry, Cole Haan, Nordstrom, American
Girl Place, NIKETOWN, Apple Store and ESPN Zone. Also within walking
distance are the Chicago campus of Northwestern University, Water Tower
Place, Chicago Children’s Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary
Art, Navy Pier and Shedd Aquarium.
Allerton Hotel History
Chicago’s first high-rise building to be built
with pronounced setbacks, towers and upper-story design elements encouraged
by the new municipal zoning laws of the 1920s, the Allerton Hotel Chicago
represents a rare Chicago example of North Italian Renaissance architecture,
featuring decorative brickwork, carved stone details and a picturesque
roofline evocative of Milan and Verona in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Built over a span of three years by the Allerton House Company, a national
chain of “club hotels” combining the services of a hotel with the sociability
of a private club, the 25-story hotel is credited with helping to turn
Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue into a chic boulevard of exclusive stores,
restaurants and clubs that was later christened the Magnificent Mile.
The Allerton is probably best known locally for
its Tip-Top-Tap, the legendary 23rd-floor cocktail lounge and club that
served as the home of Don McNeil’s “Breakfast Club” radio show in the 1950s.
The Tip-Top-Tap closed in the 1960s; however, the neon Allerton and Tip-Top-Tap
signs remain as iconic symbols of the Chicago skyline. http://www.theallertonhotel.com/
About The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC
The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC (formerly Oxford
Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC) is an investment and advisory
firm focused on the investment, asset management and renovation of high-quality
lodging assets. Chartres Lodging Group’s principals have been responsible
for more than $8 billion of lodging investments and have asset-managed
more than 100 upscale and luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers.
The firm is currently responsible for a $6-billion, 20,000-room portfolio
of luxury and upscale hotels, conference centers and resorts located throughout
the United States and Japan. Chartres’ principals and employees are
direct investors in 65% of this portfolio. Chartres Lodging is headquartered
in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo.
For more information on The Chartres Lodging Group, please visit www.chartreslodging.com.
About Perry Capital
Perry Capital is a private investment firm formed
in 1988. It currently manages $13 billion, allocated across a variety
of asset classes including publicly traded equity and debt securities,
private equity and real estate. The firm manages dedicated industry-focused
portfolios and seeks to develop strong relationships with the management
of companies in which it invests. It employs over 135 professionals
in offices in New York, London and Hong Kong.
About Kokua Hospitality, LLC
Kokua Hospitality is a property management firm
affiliated with The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, of San Francisco.
Purposely created by lodging management and operational experts as a management
company with an investors’ sensibility, Kokua Hospitality blends the attention
to detail of a customer service entity with the rigors of a real estate
investment concern. The name (pronounced “koh-kooh-ah”) is
Hawaiian for “to serve.” Based in San Francisco, Kokua Hospitality
manages a growing portfolio of hotels and resorts nationwide. For
more information on Kokua Hospitality, please visit www.kokuahospitality.com.
About Hager & Associates
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Hager
and Associates has established itself as an innovative firm that strives
to provide clients with creative and strategic interior design solutions
that produce a significant return on investment. Hager specializes
in partnering with clients to develop exclusive, individual, and distinctive
designs specific to the client’s needs and cultural location of the space.
The firm’s portfolio includes hotels, resorts, boutique hotels, restaurants,
retail stores, commercial spaces and senior living centers. Hager’s
passion for design inspires it to generate innovative spaces that
engage the user. For more information, please go to www.hagerinc.com.