OAK BROOK, IL—Following a multi-million-dollar, top-to-bottom renovation, The Drake Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Illinois, has joined the Autograph Collection—a Marriott brand comprising more than 180 independent hotels around the world.
Built in 1961 as an extension of The Drake Hotel in Downtown Chicago, the property has hosted guests like Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, and Prince Charles of Wales. The 154-room, four-story property sits on 10 acres of landscaped grounds in the suburban enclave of Oak Brook, Illinois, adjacent to the Butler National Golf Course and Oak Brook Polo Club.
The renovation includes newly designed rooms across two wings; 12 revamped meeting rooms totaling 12,432 square feet of indoor space and 34,000 square feet of gardens, fountains, and gazebo; a signature upscale American cuisine restaurant led by Ezequiel Dominguez; a modernized lobby bar with leather seating; an intimate reception space inspired by Frank Sinatra; a library featuring the favorite books of past American Presidents; and a fitness center. A spa and pool are coming this spring.
Led by interior design firm Celano Design Inc., the hotel’s accommodations and interiors are updated with hues of blues, grays, and burgundy; natural materials including various woodwork; leather touches; and touches of gold accents. The rooms have dark wood furnishings and brushed gold accents, while the bathrooms include a bright marble vanity accentuated with Bvlgari amenities. Guests are greeted in-room with a description of past guests’ experiences at the property, including celebrities and locals who frequented the hotel growing up. A menu branded with an “E”-shaped skeleton key (the hotel is situated inside a former building where keys were once made) unlocks celebratory experiences like a specialty cocktail menu in the Polo Lounge. The hotel offers a customized bar cart, menu, bottle service, and private bartending services in-room upon request.
The hotel’s lobby includes the original 1960 Terrsazzo floor, eight chairs, velvet chaises, and more than 20 pieces of art selected from 15 artists and spread throughout the Grand Ballroom hallway. The interiors house the work of some of Mexico’s most celebrated artists, including a handcrafted wooden reception desk weighing one ton that was exclusively carved by Oscar Martin Garcia Crisanto. The hotel’s Flower Room vibrantly displays hundreds of glass flowers weighing 18,000 pounds in a floor-to-ceiling, glass-enclosed terrace overlooking acres of gardens and fountains.
“I grew up walking through these halls with my grandfather, so these walls hold a dear place in my heart and the world deserves to see it the way I do,” said Jim Nagle, the hotel’s owner.
“We’re committed to honoring the hotel’s history in an authentic way, which will serve as the foundation for our brand identity—from our cultural programming and personalized design to our elevated service. My wife and I have embraced its vintage, European feel, enhanced the wood trim, refurbished the rooms, added oversized furniture throughout, hung custom-made artwork, and now are eager to welcome guests into the new Drake Oak Brook.”
Guests of the hotel are greeted by hosts in fedoras and are welcomed by a daily tea ceremony featuring customized blends in partnership with locally sourced Todd & Holland, while Frank Sinatra melodies from vinyl records on the gramophone fill the lobby. The hotel infuses its storied past with the rhythm of a modern traveler through amenities including vintage board games such as Backgammon in the lobby; a tea blending workshop; a tea menu with sleepy time, nausea, sore throat, flu, energized, and anti-inflammatory tea selections; classic lawn games like bocce ball and cricket; in-room bottle service; boozy upside down high tea service; yoga to Frank Sinatra tunes; an in-room fitness kit; a running trail map; and seasonal activities such as wreath and greeting card making workshops.
“The Drake Oak Brook is a very special property and its unique charm will shine as part of Autograph Collection Hotels,” said David Duncan, president and CEO of First Hospitality. “We’ve assembled an excellent team to ensure every guest experience lives up to the hotel’s distinguished reputation. First Hospitality is thrilled to add another Autograph Collection hotel to our growing portfolio of full-service, lifestyle hotels.”