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Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago Reinvents The Lobby Experience

Chicago hotel welcomes a vibrant new look and fresh programming to its public spaces.

Monday, March 31, 2014
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The Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago (221 N. Columbus Drive) unveils plan for lobby transformation. In an effort to accommodate and engage the modern traveler, the upper-upscale hotel will revamp its lobby and public areas to create an epicenter of social energy for guests. The new lobby will feature an open flow design and introduce engaging innovative programs, such as weekly social hours, culinary events, and a one-of-a-kind art tour to convert the hotel lobby into a social hub.

U.K.-based designer Jim Hamilton of Graven Images, who designed the hotel’s modern interiors and public spaces, returns to update the lobby’s new look. An attempt to change the traditional view of hotel lobbies as waiting areas, the new lobby design promotes socializing and relaxing in an environment where guests would want to stay a while. The lobby will have a more conducive layout consisting of comfortable seating and flexible furnishings that can be adapted for different gatherings and any work or play scenarios. With this change, travelers can comfortably work, browse the web, or congregate for drinks by the hotel’s spectacular, 50-foot-long fireplace.

“We are so excited to present our new lobby. The public spaces have evolved to cater to the changing tastes of today’s traveler,” said Pierre-Louis Giacotto, General Manager of the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago. “With so many new appealing features onsite, guests can use the multi-functioning space as a one-stop-shop to work, relax, and gather with friends.”

Beyond changing the look and feel of the physical space, the hotel’s public space will also come with new concepts and programming. Perhaps the most notable change is the addition of a complimentary audio art tour available for download to guest’s smart phone or iPad. One of the many amenities available at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel is a permanent art gallery featuring Chicago artists. Located between the exquisite lobby and the spacious ballroom and meeting rooms, the gallery hosts several pieces of art ranging from oil canvas work to larger sculptures. This airy space in the hotel's lobby features artworks and a long bench upon which to contemplate them, just like in a museum. Starting this fall, travelers looking to catch a glimpse of Chicago’s art can take a guided audio tour to learn about each artwork in the gallery. The hotel will also expand on its art collection with the addition of Vivian Maier’s Chicago street photography, which will be displayed in the hotel’s public space and also incorporated into the art tour.

Another new hotel feature includes the Blu Bar, an 8-seat bar adjacent to the lobby. It operates as a European coffee bar from 6 a.m.–12 p.m. and a wine bar from 5-11 p.m. with a selection of highly rated domestic wines. To entice hotel guests to return to the lobby instead of retreating to their rooms, the executive hotel team will host a social hour, Bytes, starting this spring. Bytes will be held at the Blu Bar every Tuesday between 5 - 6 p.m. with complimentary small bites of dishes offered to guests who are spending time in the lobby.

“During their trip, travelers are looking for curated activities that give them an extra dose of culture,” says Giacotto. “The new programming will encourage guests to spend more time in the lobby and offer experiences that guests will want to share.”

About Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago
Situated in Chicago’s iconic Aqua Tower (221 North Columbus) just steps away from Millennium Park and Magnificent Mile, the award-winning Radisson Blu Aqua holds the distinction of being the first Radisson Blu hotel in North America. Built to LEED Silver certification standards, the hotel features 334 fashion-inspired guestrooms; 28,000 square feet of meeting and event space; an 80,000 square foot recreation deck and green roof; state-of-the-art fitness center; and on-site dining at the modern Italian Filini Bar & Restaurant. For reservations, visit www.radissonbluchicago.com or call 1 (312) 565-5258.

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