8-Mar-13 River Norths latest luxury hotel is on schedule for a soft opening just four months away and an official opening on September 10. Although a ribbon cutting ceremony is not scheduled until the official opening, the hotels director of public relations says the entire hotel will be open in mid July.
When some hotels open softly they may open without all of their rooms in inventory or a fitness center not complete, explains Rebecca Werner. This is not our case.
From offices on the 15th floor of 330 North Wabash, The Langham Chicago is already booking rooms on the 12 floors it owns in the 52-story riverfront building designed by Mies van der Rohe.
The floors were previously owned by LaSalle Hotel Properties, the real estate investment trust that owns nearby Hotel Sax and other commercial property at Marina City. After doing nothing with them during a slow two years in the hotel industry, LaSalle sold floors 2-13 on December 29, 2010 for $58.8 million.
LaSalle CEO Michael Barnello said a few days later it would have cost another $100-120 million to turn the 375,000 square feet into a luxury hotel.
He predicted Langham would do well with the property. I think what [Langham] is seeing is that Chicago is starting to come back and if they act quickly on it then theyre going to be able to redevelop it and open it pretty quick and get the tail winds of how Chicago is getting better and better every day and be able to capitalize on it.
(Above) This guest room on the 13th floor will overlook Marina Citys east tower. (Below) Rendering of a typical room at The Langham.
Epicenter of luxury hotels moving closer to Chicago River
Directly across Wabash Avenue will be another luxury hotel, Trump International Hotel & Tower, which is welcoming the competition. I think its great for us, said Donald Trump in March 2012. I think well work together. I think its going to be great for the hotel business.
The 316-room Langham Chicago will be the third U.S. location for Langham Hospitality Group, a subsidiary of Great Eagle Holdings, which is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. They have one hotel in Boston, another in Pasadena, California, and 25 other hotels worldwide, including one in London that opened in 1865.
At the building formerly known as IBM Plaza, the hotel will occupy portions of the first floor and riverfront plaza, where alfresco dining will be offered in the summers starting in 2014. Guestrooms will be among the largest in Chicago, with nine-and-a-half foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Rooms will start at 516 square feet and offer views of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.
A London-based design firm, Richmond International, is designing the hotels interior. The company has worked with Langham before, designing a spa and a suite at its hotel in London.
Last December, Joe Aguilera was promoted from director of sales and marketing to hotel manager. Aguilera has more than 25 years of experience in operating and marketing hotels that include Chicagos Elysian, Four Seasons, and Ritz-Carlton.
Dr. Lo Ka Shui, a medical doctor who is executive chairman of Langham Hospitality Group, will be in Chicago for the official opening.
(Below) A modest suite on the east side of the hotel, across Wabash Avenue from Trump International Hotel & Tower.