Site Visit: Chicago’s The Gwen

By Anna Dunn, October 1, 2015

If The Gwen’s eye-catching, art deco exterior isn’t enough of a draw for meetings, its 1,000-sq.-ft. terrace—which can be rented for private events—does the trick at the Starwood Luxury Collection property, opened in Chicago in September 2015, replacing the former Conrad Chicago.

In 1928, sculptor Gwen Lux created the intricate facade of the landmark McGraw-Hill building (a major feat for a female during that time), where The Gwen resides along the Magnificent Mile today. Heavily influenced by art and the era in which it came to be, the 300-room property puts major emphasis on its service and tailored amenities, and is focused on drawing a Millennial crowd with its communal lobby feel.

Group Sales Director Althea Allen says The Gwen’s most prominent association clients are within the legal, medical, pharma, health care and real estate sectors. The property has 15 meeting rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space across four floors, allowing multiple groups of 10 to 200 people to meet simultaneously without compromising privacy. The fifth-floor Terrace Rooftop can be rented as a private or semiprivate space, and a 1,000-sq.-ft. suite on the 16th floor overlooking Michigan Avenue can hold up to 75 guests.

Thanks to a partnership with Nordstrom at The Shops at North Bridge (connected to the hotel), the property’s Dressing Room to Guest Room clothing delivery service allows guests to order items online and have them delivered to their guest room upon arrival.

Insider Tip
The Gwen’s mixologists serve double duty as entertainment while crafting the hotel’s signature Urban Buzz cocktail, made with local Koval bourbon.

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