Where? Chicago, USA
Exactly? The Virgin Hotel – I was super lucky to be invited out to Chicago by Richard Branson, for the launch of the world’s first Virgin Hotel.
Strike a pose! When the invite said ‘in bed with Richard Branson’ I didn’t think it meant literally!
In true Branson style the launch event at the Virgin Hotel, involved the streets of Chicago being cordoned off, a dance troop, floats and Richard himself singing rock and roll tunes, to crowds of revellers outside the hotel.
Futuristic interiors in the Commons Club Bar
Sleeping – Where to stay
Set in a classic 1920’s, skyscraper, like the ones you see in the gangster movies, Richard Branson’s first foray into hotels, comes equipped with exactly the sort of tongue-in-cheek British humour, that you’d expect. The first thing you notice as you enter the high-ceilinged lobby, is the atmospheric crimson lighting, scarlet carpets and a range of classic masterpieces hanging on the wall, recreated with stuffed toy subjects. Seductive, chill out music plays on the speakers, oh and there’s a Union Jack dog basket on the grand, spiral staircase. Standard!
Quirky decor in the Commons Club
Lounging around in the Commons Club – casual
Eating and drinking
After dark find the secret hideaway bar, hosting intimate gigs on the 25th floor, hidden behind an unmarked door. The Austin Powers inspired ‘Shag Room’ (it’s all about the pile carpet), is perfect for intimate drinks. Lounge in the spectacular, Commons Club bar, with 60’s style, leather paneling and futuristic lighting, which feels rather like being on the set of The Jetsons. Or head to Miss Ricky’s restaurant, serving up a mix of European and classic American diner food. Alternatively, on the 26th floor, the crowning glory of the hotel, the roof top terrace bar, Cerise, offers spectacular views over the glittering city.
Retro red bedroom decor
The bedrooms (or chambers as they’re called here) are modern, bright and spacious, with a ‘rule Britannia’ themed décor. Pillar-box red Vespa seats, London Underground logo rugs and of course, the quintessentially British pot of tea, complete with hobnob biscuits, perfect for dunking. The bedroom doors are guarded by porcelain, bulldog and grey hound statues. And a very large ‘Yes’ button beams up at you from the phone, for summoning room service. Who’re always on hand to say….
Food at Miss Ricky’s
Posing with the other journos in the ‘Shag Room’Red Carpet street style – What to wear when you’re there
For the StyleTraveller 24 hour style guide to Chicago click here.
For What to wear when you’re there and packing, check out the fashion shoot on the rooftop here.
Say cheese! I have no idea who the motley crew (below) were, but we all had a lot of fun :) Thanks for a super fun stay Richard, can’t wait to party in Chicago again soon…
Virgin Atlantic flies daily from London Heathrow to Chicago seasonally between April and October and is offering return Economy fares from £541.00 per person. Flights will begin operating on 29th April 2015. For further information contact www.virginatlantic.com or call 0844 2092 770.
Three nights in Chicago from £1,249pp Three nights in Chicago with Virgin Holidays, including scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow direct to Chicago and bed and breakfast accommodation at the 4V Virgin Hotel Chicago starts from £1,249. Price is per person based on two adults travelling and sharing a Chamber room and includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Virgin Holidays is a member of ABTA and is ATOL protected. To book: www.virginholidays.co.uk , 0844 557 3859
Chambers starting from £129 per night – Reservations – 00 1 855.946.6600
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