Hot Openings: Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago

The hotel marks the Radisson Blu brand's debut in North America.<br></br>
The hotel marks the Radisson Blu brand’s debut in North America.

The rebirth of the Radisson brand in North America took place on Halloween in Chicago when Carlson opened its doors to Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago. Four additional Radisson Blu hotels are under development in North America with plans to integrate this upper upscale brand globally and with sister company Rezidor Hotel Group, which started the Blu brand across Europe, Middle East and Africa in February 2009.

A joint venture between Carlson Hotels and Aqua at Lakeshore East LLC owner and developer, Magellan Development Group, the opening of the US$125 million development is the most important in Carlson Hotels’ Ambition 2015 growth strategy.

The 334-room Aqua Tower was designed by internationally acclaimed, environmentally conscious architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects. The building — recently proclaimed “Skyscraper of the Year” by Emporis, the international building database, is the largest skyscraper designed by a lead female architect.

Jim Hamilton of Graven Interiors designed the interior public spaces of the 334-room hotel, and Swedish hospitality designer Christian Lundwall designed the guestrooms.

Amenities include an 80,000 sq ft (7,342 sq m) green roof and recreation deck featuring gardens and gazebos; 8,000 sq ft (743 sq m) fitness and spa facility; outdoor pools and hot tubs with cabanas; and multiple F&B outlets.

Here is an exclusive sneak peek:

Two distinct room styles were used in Chicago, including Naturally Cool, which features splashes of color, a soft and sensual white bed, metal lamps, wood flooring and dramatic paper art versatile enough for any setting or climate, and Mansion House, which features sophisticated strong lines, deep rich timber finishes, flashes of chrome and stunning turquoise complemented by a powerful use of artwork that presents a “dark but clubby” aura.