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21C Museum Hotel Conference Room; photo courtesy of 21C Museum Hotel
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21C Museum Hotel Chicago Opens

21c Museum Hotel Chicago, one of the newest hotels in downtown Chicago, offers travelers a one-of-a-kind experience that blurs the line between contemporary art museum and boutique hotel. Boasting 297 beautifully appointed rooms, the hotel is located at 55 East Ontario Street, just blocks from the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute ofChicago. 21c Museum Hotel Chicago joins eight other renowned 21c Hotel locations across the country, each building on the mission of founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson to bring contemporary art to the public through innovative exhibitions and programming. 21c Museum Hotel Chicago has dedicated more than 10,000 square feet of gallery space to exhibit the works of notable contemporary artists. The current exhibition on view, This We Believe, is open for public visits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, free of charge.
Rooms are now available for reservations with rates starting at $129 per night. Visitors driving to Chicago can receive free parking by using the “Free Self-Parking Package” when booking their stay. Guests can earn and redeem reward points for their stays at 21c Chicago through theAccor Live Limitless (ALL) lifestyle loyalty program.
Guest rooms are bright and airy, with a soothing color palette inspired by the sky and nearbyLake Michigan, creating a welcoming sanctuary from the busy city and energetic exhibition spaces below. Beds are accented by leather and velvet covered headboards, which extend across the full height of the wall. Rooms feature original artwork, MALIN+GOETZ bath amenities and luxurious bedding. The property features 297 spacious guest rooms including 106 suites and two signature 21c Suites, each offering sweeping views of downtown Chicago, an open concept floor plan with a sectional couch, dining table for six, a bathroom with a large soaking tub and an abundance of natural light.
One of nine locations that form North America’s only multi-venue museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the art of the 21st century, 21c Chicago’s 10,000+ square feet of exhibition space features rotating solo and group exhibitions and installations is curated by Museum Director and Chief Curator Alice Gray Stites. 21c Chicago also hosts regular cultural programming, currently offered virtually, enabling guests and the public to deepen their engagement with the contemporary artwork on view.
The exhibition on view, This We Believe, features the work of more than 50 notable contemporary artists, including Kara Walker, Yinka Shonibare, and Titus Kaphar. The exhibition explores the power and evolution of belief systems—religious, political, economic—and how allegiance to ideology has influenced our current global culture of divisiveness and polarization.
Installed in the elevator lobbies on floors 2-17, Nick Cave and Bob Faust’s Wallworks are diptychs of two complimentary patterns that are designed from individual detail photos from Cave’s iconic Sound suits and Tondos. Each photo was chosen for formal reasons, such as color and composition, but also to showcase the variety of materials Cave uses throughout his work, such as synthetic hair, sequined fabric, buttons, wire, and vintage toile. The patterns themselves are designed to convey the performative aspects of Cave’s practice, which are difficult to capture in still photography. When tasked with activating the elevator lobbies throughout 21c Chicago, Cave and Faust quickly conceived of each landing as part of a portal system to define and make memorable each embarkation and debarkation.
Synonymous with the brand, all 21c properties feature a Penguin sculpture made from recycled plastic by the art collective Cracking Art. Emblematic of 21c’s mission to make thought-provoking contemporary art more accessible to the public, each property’s Penguin takes on a color that embodies the singular identity of their city. 21c Chicago’s Evergreen Penguin flock symbolizes growth, nature, renewal, preservation, and hope. The penguins greet visitors throughout the hotel: in the lobby, elevators, hallways, guest rooms, often where you least expect them.
Open seven days a week and free of charge to the public,21c Chicago offers guided docent tours of current exhibitions, adding another must-see cultural destination to the city’s art scene for both travelers and residents. Guided docent tours begin in the hotel lobby every Thursday at 6 p.m.
Lure Fishbar Chicago is an upscale seafood restaurant offering fresh fish from around the world, a raw bar with a rotating oyster selection, and a distinguished sushi program. The lively yet intimate setting by award-winning design firm Avro KO features a rich palette of warm woods and tonal blue with subtle nautical nods and a burgundy sushi clad in hand-glazed ceramic tiles. Part of Mercer Street Hospitality, the SoHo Institution also has an outpost in South Beach.
The newly opened Chicago location is led by Executive Chef John Comerford, Executive Sushi Chef Brandon Lee, and Beverage Director Josh King. Lure is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 4 to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 11 p.m.
21c Museum Hotel Chicago has partnered with Soothe to offer in-room massages, allowing guests to recharge and relax during their stay. Services are available between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. and require booking at least 24 hours in advance. Appointments can be booked online via www.21cchicago.com. A variety of massage options are available, including Swedish, deep tissue, sports and prenatal.
As the most prominent and world-renowned wellness provider, Soothe adheres to the local public health requirements as well as their own Soothe Safe protocols created by their award-winning Trust & Safety team.
21c Museum Hotel Chicago offers an unforgettable venue for once-in-a-lifetime events. The hotel’s 10,000 square feet of art-filled event space sets the stage for a memorable celebration, with an on-site team to oversee every detail. The hotel’s Main Gallery accommodates up to 250 guests, with five additional galleries available for more intimate events.
For a limited time, 21c Museum Hotel Chicago is offering a special wedding package. Upon booking their wedding at the hotel, couples will receive their choice of a romantic getaway for two to Nashville, or a bachelor or bachelorette weekend at 21c Chicago. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/NashxChi.
The property’s 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space is also a distinctive option for a wide variety of events, from company retreats to receptions accommodating up to 300 guests.Unique to 21c, the meeting and event spaces are appointed with one-of-a-kind contemporary art.
21c Chicago’s design team, led by New York-based Design Architect Deborah Berke Partners and GREC Architects of Chicago, sought to create both a destination for contemporary culture and a serene refuge for guests. Capitalizing fully on the building’s open, natural light-filled spaces, visitors enter the hotel into a new double-height lobby, featuring a signature staircase leading to exhibition and event spaces above. Contemporary art is integrated throughout the public areas, in keeping with 21c’s perspective that culture and hospitality enhance each other, while floor-to-ceiling windows offer passersby a view into the art experience inside the hotel.
Originally the Croydon Hotel, a gathering spot for vaudeville actors and other colorful characters, and later The James Hotel, Deborah Berke Partners spent several months reimagining the hotel as a 21c property. This is Berke’s ninth project with 21c since designing the brand’s first property, which opened in Louisville in 2006.
Upon reopening in September 2020, 21c Chicago adapted new operational standards to prioritize the wellness of guests in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The wellness standards currently implemented at 21c Chicago and all 21c properties were developed and vetted by a team of expert advisors to ensure maximum efficacy in preventing the spread of all viruses and pathogens, including COVID-19, with oversight by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing, inspections and certification; Dr. Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security & fellow with the Infectious Diseases Society of America; and Ruth Petran, Ph.D., CFS, Senior Corporate Scientist, Food Safety and Public Health, for Ecolab, global leaders in cleaning and hygiene, and trusted advisors to the CDC.
Throughout 21c Chicago, extensive measures are being taken to ensure the safety of guests and staff including:
  • Physical distancing markers in public spaces
  • Mandatory screening for all employees
  • Distribution of masks to guests and masks worn by all employees while on-site at the hotel
  • 48 hour “resting period” for soft goods (i.e. pillows & duvets) between guest stays; achieved via 48 hour “resting period” of room or replacement and holding of soft goods after each stay.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning & disinfecting, with a focus on high-touch points
  • Continued use of EPA registered disinfecting chemicals, proven effective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19
  • Wellness kits with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes provided in-room
For more info, visit 21cMuseumHotels.com.
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