CHICAGO—The recent $9 million renovation of the historic Claridge House Chicago, led by global hospitality design and development firm The Gettys Group, is the latest in a series of boutique properties the firm has reimagined as residentially inspired “homes away from home.” The newly unveiled property features a design plan that is intimate, welcoming, and evoking of a contemporary Gold Coast Chicago residence.
Oxford Capital Group enlisted The Gettys Group’s interior design team to lead the redesign of the property, which opened its doors in May 2018. The hotel’s prime Gold Coast location at 1244 N. Dearborn Parkway serves upscale leisure travelers, those visiting the city for business, and locals seeking an in-town escape.
“Claridge House truly reflects the inviting atmosphere of the Gold Coast neighborhood,” says John W. Rutledge, founder, president, and CEO of Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC and its parent company, Oxford Capital Group, LLC. “We wanted to create a place where both locals and those new to Chicago would be welcome, in one of the city’s most historic areas.”
The property first opened in 1923 as the Claridge Hotel. It was renamed in 2005 as Hotel Indigo until this past May when it reopened as the Claridge House Chicago, paying homage to its historic past. Originally designed by Chicago architect Walter Ahlschlager, the initials “CH” and the Claridge name remain inscribed on the exterior of the 12-story building.
The Gettys Group created a concept that was based on the property coming full circle and returning to its original name.
“Our interior design team was charged with transforming the hotel’s look and feel into an intimate and curated residential aesthetic in the Gold Coast neighborhood. Ideally situated within walking distance from some of the city’s best shopping and dining, Claridge House delivers a sophistication that is as inviting as it is refined,” says Ben Nicholas, principal, The Gettys Group.
The lobby has a custom chandelier comprised of silk-wrapped rings, which are a nod to the “coming full circle” inspiration. Custom millwork anchors the lobby with an elevated linear fireplace wrapped in marble and flanked in blonde oak. Juniper Spirits & Oysters, the property’s new restaurant and lobby bar, offers guests seafood fare in a chic atmosphere designed to invite locals and travelers alike.
The 165 guestrooms, each uniquely inspired by a pied-à-terre theme, were curated to offer a sophisticated city apartment feel. Images of London were hung in each room, reminding guests of the origins of the name Claridge.
“We crafted Claridge House as a relaxed, yet refined space based on the property’s tagline, ‘Our House, You’re Home.’ It was important to our team that the design felt like an extension of the Gold Coast neighborhood,” says Ali Bacon, senior project designer, The Gettys Group. “The public areas exude a residential quality that encourages guests to congregate and relax, while the guestrooms provide the experience of a bedroom in a neighboring brownstone.”
Reinforcing the hotel’s residential atmosphere, The Gettys Group’s interior design team installed accents and personal touches to the public areas with collected art and artifacts to emulate a living room at home. An art installation features travel photos from trips taken around the world that were gathered from hotel team members and the project team for the opening.