Conrad Chicago

A Stunner of a New Hotel Off the Mag Mile

A Mid-Century Modern Hotel with Virtual Reality Concierges and Bourbon Sommeliers

By Sam Eichner ·
5ecc1250481aa2557f4eddef28e3449f29 PhotosConrad Chicago
On Monday, the new 20-story Conrad Chicago hotel will open off the Mag Mile with the first-ever virtual reality concierge, a real live bourbon sommelier and—wait for it—pizza quesadillas.

As you can tell from this robust slideshow (and the phrase “pizza quesadillas”), the whole thing’s pretty damn wonderful.

Here’s how to make the most of it.

For your out-of-town guests: The way we see it, you’ve got two options this holiday season: A) host everyone at your place, or B) set everyone up at this bona fide Mies van der Rohe–inspired paradise. They’ll have access to “smart” rooms, a corresponding smartphone app (to order room service and such) and the first-ever virtual reality concierge, which is an Oculus headset programmed to preview a slew of touristy and non-touristy activities alike. Are there realistically more than two options? Yes. Does it matter? See option B.

For your much-deserved staycation: There’s a suite with a flattering view of Michigan Avenue that has your name on it. Also, a lobby on the top floor with 1,300 ceramic leaves floating against the backdrop of the Chicago skyline. If 1,300 floating ceramic leaves can’t bring two people closer together, we don’t know what can.

For entertaining clients: That’s where the bourbon-focused Baptiste & Bottle comes in. A sizable 20th-floor space clad in dark woods and burgundy leather, it’s one of three Richard Sandoval–helmed projects at the hotel (the rooftop concept opens next year). You’ll grab a table, order the bone marrow with huckleberry jus or slow-roasted duck, and settle in. Eventually, Michael, the bourbon sommelier, will stroll by with his bourbon cart. We’ll just let that fact sink in...

For lunch: The ground-floor Italian street food café, Il Tavolino, has been open for a few weeks now. For those of you who haven’t been, they have these pizza-panini fusion-y snacks called pazzettes. And, basically, they’re pizza quesadillas.

So to summarize: virtual reality, bourbon carts and pizza quesadillas.

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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