JW Marriott Chicago Launches Multi-Million-Dollar Guestroom Renovation Led by General Manager Hassan El Neklawy

USA, Chicago, Illinois. September 30, 2019

JW Marriott Chicago (151 W. Adams St.), located in the heart of Chicago's financial district, proudly announces a redesign of all 610 guest rooms including 29 suites, hotel corridors, and the executive lounge. The hotel, which blends modern elegance into the Daniel H. Burnham Continental & Commercial National Bank Building, opened in November 2010 and will undergo a multi-million-dollar guestroom renovation to be completed a decade after its inception.

"Harkening back to the building's 1914 origin, which was constructed during an iconic period in design, we want to honor the influence early Pullman rail cars had on travel accommodations in Chicago and beyond," shared Hassan El Neklawy, General Manager of JW Marriott Chicago. "As we approach our 10-year anniversary in 2020, we thought it essential to reimagine our guests' accommodations by embracing comfort with elegant décor to continue welcoming the modern traveler."

The transformation, under the design of Looney & Associates, is a nod to a storied past. Exemplifying a luxury rail car motif, Looney & Associates' design utilizes rectilinear lines and soft curves reminiscent of travel paths both past and present. Layered metal finishes, plush wovens, and dark wood tones signal the richness of the Pullman era while soothing neutrals are accented with saturated pops of color to convey comfort and authenticity. With a new sparkle from modern lighting, reminiscent of a conductor's lantern, guests will be transported to another time.

"Working with such an iconic hotel, we wanted to redesign the guestrooms to tell the story of the building's timeless sophistication," says Gina Tomczak, Associate Managing Director in Chicago for Looney & Associates. "It's only fitting that a Chicago hotel and especially JW Marriott Chicago assume these design inspirations, as George Pullman was once synonymous with luxury travel at the turn of the century."

Perched within the hotel's 12th floor, the executive lounge will also experience a refresh inspired by the liveliness and intrigue of a train's club car. New floors and flexible furnishings transition effortlessly from morning coffee to evening spirits enticing guests to socialize and unwind.

JW Marriott Chicago will remain open for the duration of the renovation program, which is anticipated to be complete by Spring 2020.

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Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.