Joie de Vivre Hotels is almost ready to unveil Hotel Lincoln, the company’s first Midwest outpost. In Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood — known for its historic homes and bustling bar scene — Hotel Lincoln gives travelers a lodging option outside of hotel-heavy downtown. The hotel is accepting reservations for March 23.
Hotel Lincoln’s location across from grassy Lincoln Park — the city’s largest park is where the area gets its name — gives it a more residential vibe. Another draw is that it sits above foodie hot spot Perennial Virant, from James Beard Award-nominated chef Paul Virant.
We recently toured the renovated space, which had been shuttered for the last six years, to give you a sneak peek of what else you can expect at the new boutique hotel. The 184-room hotel will blend contemporary and classic elements. In the lobby, a coffee and doughnut shop will be alongside community boards and iPad “concierges,” which will offer up-to-date information on things like local farmers markets (Green City Market takes place across the street and is a popular produce spot for top local chefs) and the hotel’s ever-changing dining menus. In addition to turning out seasonal, local fare at the restaurant, chef Virant will create the hotel’s in-room dining menu. Virant says his goal is to maintain the integrity of the restaurant — and its food — inside Hotel Lincoln.
He also hopes to secure a license to produce in-house charcuterie for the hotel’s rooftop bar and lounge. Set to open in June, the 12th-floor rooftop will be accessed via a separate express elevator in the lobby and will open up into an enclosed-glass area for year-round eating and drinking. Boasting clear views of Lake Michigan, the rooftop will include fire elements, communal seating and a seven-foot-high glass wrap-around wall. The outdoor space will also host yoga classes in the warmer months.
The design of the guest rooms is a nod to the homes surrounding the hotel. The aim is for you to feel like you’re staying over someone’s house rather than a cookie-cutter hotel. Rooms are cozy and preppy, with a mix of vintage and contemporary décor and artwork. Three family suites will be decked out with bunk beds, a door to close off the master bedroom and an Xbox Kinect. Joie de Vivre’s penchant for giving back to the community continues here, too: Each room will have a Jeff Koons-designed balloon animal piggy bank where you can donate spare change to help local charities. While Hotel Lincoln is a bit farther away from downtown, a hotel house car, bike rentals and a Pedicab service are all on hand to transport you to nearby attractions. But you needn’t go far to find something to do; the hotel is steps away from the Lincoln Park Zoo, park and beach.
Photos courtesy of Hotel Lincoln