Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel)
||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (August 2009)|
Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) is a part of the Toronto-based Four Seasons chain of luxury hotels and resorts. Ritz-Carlton Chicago, an American Automobile Association (AAA) Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star hotel, is located atop Water Tower Place in the heart of downtown Chicago, Illinois. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago is one of two properties under management by Four Seasons in the North Michigan Avenue area, as their namesake hotel Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is located a few blocks away. The hotel is not part of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, the name is used under special licensing agreements.
Originally constructed in 1975, Four Seasons acquired the management contract for Ritz-Carlton Chicago in 1977. In 1985 it was decided that the number of guest rooms would be reduced to 435. Ritz-Carlton Chicago was designed and decorated in a classic luxury style with marble floorings and grand floral arrangements. Believing they lacked the brand recognition at the time in the area to attract a satisfactory client base they decided that with the purchase agreement that they would be able to maintain the historic Ritz-Carlton name indefinitely. Also under terms of the agreement, no other hotel is permitted to hold The-Ritz Carlton flag in the area (including The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company) while the agreement is still in effect. Note the new Ritz-Carlton Residences will lack a hotel component.
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago currently houses 435 guest rooms, including 91 suites between floors 15 and 30 in Water Tower Place along the city’s elite shopping district, the Magnificent Mile.
As with most Four Seasons properties, Ritz-Carlton Chicago is known for its services and amenities. Some of the amenities include deca Restaurant + bar featuring executive chef Mark Payne. Ritz-Carlton Chicago was voted as a “Top Large Hotel” by Zagat Survey in 2007, and ranks 61st on the Top 100 Hotels in the World by Institutional Investor. Other amenities include a pool, spa services, on-site shopping and fitness facilities.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences
South of the current hotel, construction is to begin shortly on a new 40-story, 86-unit upscale residential tower at 664 North Michigan Avenue carrying the Ritz-Carlton name, with services provided by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Construction is slated to begin in September 2008, the location is currently occupied by several local retailers (Garrett's Popcorn & Hanig Shoes) which are in the process of relocating to allow for construction. The property was last the site of the Terra Museum of American Art (which has now relocated to the Art Institute Chicago in a complicated partnership).
Financing has been secured for the project, and to-date (May 2008) 33 of the 86 units have been sold.
The tower is to include the facade of the historic Farwell Building to the south of the new tower (utilising it mostly for parking starting on the 3rd floor).
Nearby attractions and activities
Ritz-Carlton Chicago is located within walking distance of the following locations:
- Lincoln Park Zoo
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- The Hancock Observatory
- Shakespeare Theater
- Water Tower Place Shopping Center
- Navy Pier
- Lake Michigan
- Art Institute of Chicago
In addition, the hotel is located within a short drive of other notable Chicago attractions:
- Soldier Field
- Sears Tower
- Wrigley Field
- U.S. Cellular Field
- Museum of Science and Industry
- The John Shedd Aquarium
- Field Museum of Natural History
- The United Center