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The Gray Hotel marks the Kimpton brand’s fourth hotel in the Chicago market—behind Hotel Palomar, Hotel Monaco and Hotel Allegro. And dare we say, it might be its best yet. Located in the former New York Life Insurance Building, in the city’s financial district, the property has been given a floor-to-ceiling overhaul that provides a guest experience that’s just as rich.

Here are some of our favorite things about this latest entrant in Chicago’s bristling hotel scene:

» It’s pet-friendly. Like all of Kimpton’s hotels, The Gray welcomes your pet with open arms, no matter their age, weight or breed, and at no extra charge. 

» The building is historic. The Gray is housed in a William LeBaron Jenney original, built in 1894. In case you don’t recognize the name, he’s considered the father of the American skyscraper. 

» There’s a wine hour. Every night from 5 to 6 p.m., enjoy complimentary vino in the hotel lobby. We’ll always say cheers to that!

» Meeting floors are conveniently keyless. There are meeting rooms located on the 14th and 15th floors, as well as the gorgeous Adler Ballroom, but you don’t have to be a hotel guest to access them. Elevators will bring you where you need to go without a key.

» The beauty of Boleo. The Boleo Restaurant, on the 15th floor, may be one of our favorite rooftop dining experiences of them all in the city. With lush greenery, natural lighting and wooden accents, it resembles a modern jungle. A retractable roof opens in temperate weather and planners can rent semiprivate corners or a full-on private dining space (with long table and TV) for meetings and events.

» Technology is paramount. The Gray doesn’t leave out any detail when it comes to A/V capabilities. They use local company PSAV to provide projectors, telecom systems, laptop connectivity and stage needs. Modern video boards also direct guests where to go when entering the hotel lobby. 

Autograph Collection Hotels announced The Blackstone will join the brand's portfolio of more than 100 independent hotels across the globe on June 7.

 

Calling all wannabe spies! SafeHouse and EscapeHouse are now open in Chicago. These fully immersive experiences take a cue from America’s time honored intelligence operations, offering team-building entertainment alongside savory food and drink. Here are 10 things we’ve been cleared to tell you about these “top secret” destinations.

 

Olympia Hotel Management has been chosen to manage Hyatt Place & Hyatt House Quad Cities in East Moline, Illinois. The showcase hotel project features the 134-room Hyatt Place hotel and 99-room Hyatt House hotel.