Multimillion-dollar renovation brings a modern retreat to Chicago’s Gold Coast this spring
(CHICAGO; April 23, 2018)—Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC , the Chicago-based hotel management and branding affiliate of Oxford Capital Group, LLC, announces the comprehensive redevelopment, repositioning, and rebranding of the hotel at 1244 N. Dearborn Pkwy. into Claridge House. Currently known as Hotel Indigo, the hotel’s extensive $9 million renovation, set to be complete this spring, transforms the property into a modern, urban oasis in the heart of the Gold Coast neighborhood.
“Claridge House has been an integral part of the Gold Coast community for almost a century, providing a ’home away from home‘ for residents and travelers alike,” says John W. Rutledge, founder, president, and chief executive officer of Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC and its parent company, Oxford Capital Group, LLC. “We’re excited to reimagine and expand upon the hotel’s role in the city and neighborhood, and welcome guests to a fresh but familiar place to stay, eat, drink, and immerse themselves in one of Chicago’s most historic neighborhoods.”
Oxford’s corporate staff and on-site management team are working closely with investor Interwest Capital to implement the strategic multi-phased repositioning of the property, allowing the hotel to remain open for guests and reservations.
The Storied History
Designed in 1923 by native Chicago architect Walter Ahlschlager, Claridge House has long been a part of Chicago and Gold Coast history. The building’s first use was as a residential hotel, as many new Chicago residents with substantial incomes would move to the city and live in a hotel as a permanent residence.
Throughout its nearly 90-year history, the hotel and residence has been known by many names and has even housed an ice skating rink on its rooftop for guests and community members. Until 2005, the property was called the Claridge Hotel. Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC reinvents that past name with Claridge House, as the initials “CH” and the word “Claridge” remain inscribed on the hotel’s exterior.
A New Inviting Atmosphere
Claridge House’s new design, led by The Gettys Group , a Chicago-based hotel design and development firm, imparts a contemporary, charming look and feel. Preserving the 1923 building’s classical architecture, Claridge House is currently undergoing a comprehensive redevelopment to its 165 guestrooms, lobby, meeting space, and fitness center as it transitions from Hotel Indigo to Claridge House.
Fit for the traveler who blends work and play, the hotel’s renovated ground-floor lobby welcomes guests into a communal space that feels like home, maintaining a collected, residential feeling.
“We wanted the lobby to be an extension of the guestroom,” says Project Designer Ali Bacon. “It felt natural for this communal space to be the ‘living room’ of the hotel, and by extension, the entire Gold Coast neighborhood.”
Throughout the property, guests will notice elements inspired by Claridge House coming “full circle”― completing a cycle and returning to its original namesake and beginnings as a hotel for locals and travelers alike. The full circle motif will be seen in design items such as a custom chandelier comprised of silk-wrapped, circular rings hanging over a large, communal table in the lobby. This communal seating will sit in front of a statement, marble fireplace—a place to work in the day or gather for drinks at night. Circle components also appear in pendant lights suspended over the bar with brass accent rings and round sconces hanging in the lobby.
The entire property houses original artwork and sculptures embodying an inviting, warm ambiance, leaving guests feeling at home in the Gold Coast neighborhood. A large photo gallery wall, featuring images of real travel adventures and trips, offers a sense of humanity and reality to the homey lobby.
“The guestroom, inspired by a pied-à-terre, ties back to the building previously being a residential hotel,” says Bacon. “As guests leave the living-room-esque lobby, they enter dimmer, moody guestrooms to set the tone for a peaceful, relaxing room stay with a city apartment feel.”
Guestroom artwork draws inspiration from the London roots of the name Claridge. Guests will be welcomed into rooms displaying images of a London street with window-box flowers and two small maps of London and Claridge House’s cross-streets.
Introducing Juniper Spirits & Oysters
The lobby’s transformation includes the addition of on-site restaurant and bar Juniper Spirits & Oysters . Oxford Executive Chef Nathaniel Cayer leads the culinary team, creating a seafood-focused menu of approachable, yet sophisticated fare, including a wide selection of fresh oysters, flatbreads,
sandwiches, and classic martinis. The neighborhood spot seats 48 in the dining room, 45 in the lobby lounge and bar, and 24 on a Dearborn Street-adjacent patio, welcoming guests with the Ernest-Hemingway-inspired mantra, “Be Happy, Make Plans.”
Upscale Guest Amenities
Crafted with guest convenience in mind, the Claridge House experience offers amenities that aid in a sophisticated and comfortable stay. Guestrooms provide a refined home base, allowing guests to transition seamlessly from work to relaxation. Each room boasts Samsung HDTVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a neat and efficiently designed work station. Standard and executive guestrooms offer a tea and coffee maker, while suites house mini refrigerators, sofa beds, and sleeper couches. Many of the guestrooms offer views of Lake Michigan and the Gold Coast.
The hotel’s on-site fitness center, open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, offers state-of-the-art cardio equipment and free weights. On the fourth floor of Claridge House, the boutique Gold Coast Spa offers manicures, pedicures, and facial treatments.
A 24-hour business center on Claridge House’s lower level offers guests the use of a PC computer for internet, copying, fax, and printing services. The property’s meeting space, the DaVinci room, can host up to 60 people for a reception-style event with upgraded audio and visual capabilities. Pets are welcome at Claridge House, permitting they are on a leash when outside of the guestrooms.
Hotel guests are steps from the Gold Coast’s premiere retailers on Oak Street, Rush Street, and North Michigan Avenue. The hotel is a short walk from Oak Street Beach and the picturesque lake shore’s running, walking, and biking paths. Claridge House guests are also mere blocks from River North and Downtown Chicago’s dining, attractions, and entertainment.
About Oxford Capital Group, LLC and Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC
Oxford Capital Group, LLC is a national real estate investment, development and management firm specializing in high value-added acquisitions, developments and redevelopments, with an emphasis on hospitality, mixed-use, senior housing and other operationally intensive real estate. Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC is Oxford’s wholly owned hotel management company specializing in operating, managing, and branding distinctive high-design lifestyle hotels. Oxford focuses on the nation’s top 50 MSA’s including Chicago, New York City, metro Washington D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Minneapolis and other select markets with unique attributes including Charleston, New Orleans and several markets in Florida. Oxford’s national developments have included Hotel Lexington NYC, Metropolitan Hotel NYC, National Conference Center in Northern Virginia, the Godfrey Hotel’s Boston, Tampa and Hollywood. Claridge House Chicago is Oxford’s 13th Chicago hotel project, others include: The Langham, LondonHouse, The Godfrey, Hotel Julian, Hotel Essex, Hotel Felix, Hyatt Magnificent Mile, Hotel Cass, Renaissance North Shore, Doubletree North Shore, Hyatt House Northwest, and The Versey. It is also currently developing a 56-story, nearly 500-unit, luxury apartment building on Michigan Avenue, next to its Hotel Essex, overlooking Grant Park called Essex on the Park. For more information, visit www.oxford-capital.com & www.ohrllc.com
Interwest Capital is a privately-held firm founded in early 2003 by executives with diversified backgrounds and extensive knowledge in the real estate and financial industries. Interwest specializes in the acquisition, repositioning, and asset management of commercial real estate as well as debt collateralized by real estate. It has become an industry leader through its extensive experience in sourcing and restructuring investments involving significantly underperforming properties and through the execution of value-add business plans. Providing exceptional results is made possible by the creativity and knowledge base of its highly experienced team, dynamic partners, and skilled advisors. www.interwestcapital.com
About The Gettys Group
The Gettys Group operates at the intersection of strategy, design, and implementation, providing innovative and authentic solutions and unparalleled value to the hospitality industry through a unique combination of interior design, development, branding, and procurement services. Serving clients from offices in the Americas, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, each with its own point of view and understanding of global trends and local culture, The Gettys Group creates differentiated and desirable hospitality brands and meaningful and memorable guest experiences. The Gettys Group’s influence on hospitality is pervasive. For nearly 30 years, The Gettys Group has delivered more than 1,000 hospitality projects in 32 countries across 16 time zones. For more information, visit gettys.com.