Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel has been the reigning king of the boutique hotel scene in Chicago, but two new challengers are competing for the throne, according to Forbes. Richard Branson thinks people just can’t get enough Virgins and is expanding the brand to include Virgin Hotel which will open its doors on Wabash Avenue on January 15th. The hotel has smartphone controlled thermostats and other “smart” and “internet of things” stuff, including an uber modern design and an almost unbelievable about of convenience for $219 a night.
Close to the West Loop will be the location of the Ace hotel, with a lot of buzz about its unique atmosphere, which is geared for the more extroverted traveler with public rooms that won’t make freelancers working on laptops sipping coffee after coffee feel weird. There are some hurdles to jump over before the Ace can be constructed, but it is likely to attract the cool, affluent devotees of wanderlust.