The Vibe: Modernist.
The Area: Hip West Loop/Fulton Market.
The DNA: The Emily Hotel (previously the Ace Hotel) takes its inspiration from the Windy City’s rich design heritage; Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s iconic work at the Illinois Institute of Technology marries strong Midwestern craftsmanship with utilitarian design. Plywood, a nod to van der Rohe’s affinity for wood paneling, is used throughout and often paired with linoleum to evoke a modernist feel. Take the lobby where the simple material forms the ceiling with a white brick-clad wall recalling the exterior. Black terrazzo floors finish the look, while indigo-dyed canvas panels that evoke the city’s history of jazz from artist Chad Kouri are flexible dividers that encourage both intimacy and conviviality. The reception, Fora restaurant, coffee bar and gallery are connected with wide, sweeping entrances, allowing each space to operate in dialogue with one another. Original artwork from local artists can be found throughout the building. Meanwhile, the seventh floor is home to Selva rooftop bar, which offers panoramic views of the city.
Suite-Me-Up: Like the public spaces, guestrooms and suites are overflowed with natural light – a big plus in Chicago. Plywood pops up there through a desk that spans the length of the window, a novel choice meant to provide unfiltered light while guests work. Chrome tubing in wall hooks hints to Bauhaus, while mountain chairs in denim have a democratic, urban feel. An exposed concrete ceiling juxtaposes the headboard made of inlaid blue linoleum and a throw blanket in blue, gray, and green stripes – a play on the hotel’s palette. Suites take a bolder turn, however, with mustard yellow sofas and earthy but vibrant rugs inspired by midcentury icon George Nakashima’s textile work.
Accolades: Wallpaper* Best Urban Hotels 2018
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 159 rooms & suites (27-80m2) • hotel opened: July 2017 • architecture: GREC Architects • interior design: Commune Design • bathroom amenities: bespoke • parking possible on-site (charged) • pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible