Hotel Review: LondonHouse Chicago, a Curio Collection by Hilton Hotel
Hilton’s Curio Collection is a very exciting venture for the brand, one that is helping them breakout from what most consumers have become accustomed to from them. The collection of unique “boutique” properties is each one of a kind and nothing like the others within the collection, and that’s why they are incredibly special. I knew of the plans for LondonHouse, right in downtown Chicago, with views of the river, and when I was invited to experience the property just weeks after it opened, I jumped on that opportunity – mostly because I love the smell of new hotels.
The hotel is located within a very historic property, and then added a new building right next door that seamlessly fits, while standing out and really making a statement. The combination of the historic facade, next to the modern glass building is wonderful to look at. Entering the lobby through the main riverfront entrance, there is an enormous custom chandelier that is more a piece of art, and really shows off the modern design. The elevators use a touchpad system that assign a specific car to use for the floor you are going to, as to avoid congestion and speed up the process of getting to and from places within the hotel. The lobby, located on the 2nd floor is within what feels like a massive living room, with a bar to accompany it.
There are 452 impeccably designed rooms within the LondonHouse and the thoughtfulness of the design and accessibility was appreciated. The bathrooms are just large enough, and so beautifully designed, with spacious showers. The bed has additional storage space in the form of drawers under the bed. The televisions are equipped with ChromeCast for easy streaming from personal devices and the bedside radio is Bluetooth enabled to do the same for music. The furniture placed in each room category all can be used and there is no wasted space, making for a very sleek design. I had views of the river as well as views of the extra shiny and beautiful (the building, not the name) Trump Tower, directly across the river from the hotel.
Truth be told, I was invited to experience the hotel as well as meet the culinary team from the property while I was there. There were many special meals and events set up for me during my stay where I was able to interact with the culinary team, and was even invited to help prepare a meal with them and some very special guest chefs from other Curio properties who were flown in for the visit. That being said, I did order room service daily and the food was everything I would have wanted, and oddly was delivered a lot faster than I normally would expect. I also managed to order food from both the lobby and rooftop bars and each time, was pleasantly surprised. My favorite order was a cheese platter from the lobby where the cheese was accompanied by honey and fresh berries.
Chicago’s only tri-level rooftop bar is here, and it’s at LondonHouse. Floor 21 is a great indoor space, but floor 22 is really where the party is at. I was shocked that there was a line with a doorman, but when I saw the views, it all made sense. The atmosphere was very much a see and be seen one, and the DJ as well as cocktail menu blended in with that scene perfectly. The third level is a cupola perfect for small private events. The cupola is the ultimate in exclusivity and that extra height above the coolest rooftop terrace gives it that extra something.
About the Location in Chicago
Chicago is a massive city with distinct neighborhoods, each wonderfully different. Downtown has always been a tourist area due to the river, but it’s the architecture that makes it the place to be, and staying there and admiring the buildings from your room or just by walking outside of your hotel, is something truly remarkable. New restaurants and shopping are popping up all the time and really; it’s walking distance to some of the city’s best attractions.
Pro-tip: If you are going to do a river tour, choose the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady Cruises for the experienced volunteer docents and heavily stocked bar.
About the Author: David Duran is a Brooklyn-based luxury, hospitality, culinary, and overall freelance travel writer who contributes to such publications as Fodor's, Travel + Leisure, Destinations Weddings & Honeymoon, and Caribbean Travel + Life, among others. When not traveling 20-25 days a month for his work, he spends his free time planning more travel! To read some of his work, check out his online portfolio, and follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @mrdavidduran.
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