By Jenny Berg Posted April 13, 2012, 3:04 PM EDT
CHICAGO In December, the Swissôtel Chicago started a $10 million renovation that wrapped up this spring. Updates to the lobby include a new earth-tone color palette and check-in pods in place of a central front desk. All front-desk agents are now equipped with laptops that allow them to roam and check guests in even when they're not stationed at the pods.
In the lobby, Amuse is a new eatery with small and large plates, specialty cocktails, and wine. With a soundtrack of DJ beats, televisions, and multimedia plug-ins, the restaurant has a semiprivate reception space that can hold 15 to 20 guests.
The so called “Classic” meeting space, which comprises a grand ballroom, a large salon, and private suites, has new wall coverings, carpeting, and technology, along with a new color palette that blends monochromatic hues with tones of red and gold. The updates were meant to make the meeting rooms more consistent with the feel of the event center, which opened in 2009 as an extension of the hotel and offers 38,000 square feet of meeting space.
The hotel is the first Chicago property to offer Nervana's Bonfire Events Management app for meeting planners and attendees. The tool allows users to track schedules, flights, and presentations, connects meeting participants through a social media site, and sends alerts for any schedule changes.
Additional updates to the hotel include a new Vitality program, which provides access to in-room exercise equipment like yoga mats and Pilates rings. Jogging tours and yoga classes are available each week, and chefs will add a larger selection of light, healthy dishes to menus later this year.