From the sit-down vanity and sliding shoe racks to the built-in bench in the oversized shower, clever design touches abound in the Virgin Hotels Chicago guestroom. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the room is the patent-pending Lounge Bed, which reinvents the standard hotel bed.
Co-designers Virgin Hotels and Rockwell Group Europe explored how guests actually use their hotel bed, to optimize its design and create a focal point for the guestroom. They observed that people increasingly like to work, read the news, or check email in bed, so they engineered one that is particularly well suited for that. In addition to a soft padded ergonomic headboard, the bed features a second headboard in the form of a corner seat at the foot. This appeals to couples who want to sit facing each other while talking or using their handheld devices. It also ensures that two people (or up to four Richard Bransons!) can share the bed comfortably.
“We wanted to go beyond what’s on bed and reimagine the bed itself,” Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal told Lodging. “How could we make it a place where someone can sit without having to prop her back with pillows, or where two people can sit comfortably at the same time? That was an easy fix and didn’t necessarily cost us more money.”