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Rail Car Renovation

JW Marriott Chicago, located in the heart of Chicago’s financial district, is in the process of redesigning all 610 guestrooms including 29 suites, hotel corridors and the executive lounge, set to be completed in spring 2020. The hotel, which blends modern elegance into the Daniel H. Burnham Continental & Commercial National Bank Building, opened in November 2010 and will undergo a multimillion-dollar guestroom renovation to be completed a decade after its inception.

The transformation, under the design of Looney & Associates, is a nod to a storied past. Exemplifying a luxury rail car motif, Looney & Associates’ design utilizes rectilinear lines and soft curves reminiscent of travel paths both past and present. Layered metal finishes, plush wovens and dark wood tones signal the richness of the Pullman era, while soothing neutrals are accented with saturated pops of color to convey comfort and authenticity. With a new sparkle from modern lighting, reminiscent of a conductor’s lantern, guests will be transported to another time.

“Beneath the hotel lies a story that we felt we had to tap into,” said Gina Tomczak, associate/managing director Chicago for Looney & Associates. “Remnants of train tracks exist below the hotel and just outside the rattle of the El train can be heard. Train travel has always been an important part of city life in Chicago. The Pullman Era of train car travel spoke to us in that it was a luxury hotel on wheels. And, with JW Marriott Chicago being one of Marriott’s luxury brands, we thought this inspiration was fitting. You will see carpet patterns inspired by rail lines, furniture with soft curves representative of a train car interior and saturated accent colors once found in luxury sleeping cars.”

Perched within the hotel’s 12th floor, the executive lounge will also experience a refresh inspired by the liveliness and intrigue of a train’s club car. New floors and flexible furnishings transition effortlessly from morning coffee to evening spirits, enticing guests to socialize and unwind.

“The hotel is nestled in the heart of the financial district; its classical revival style architecture is a symbol of grandeur and is a destination for many business travelers. Its thoughtful room layout and desk configuration with power makes this a comfortable place to office outside of the meeting room,” Tomczak said.

JW Marriott Chicago will remain open for the duration of the renovation program, which is anticipated to be complete by spring 2020.

“The local culture is rich with an exemplary culinary scene, theaters and museums, all within steps from the hotel,” she said. “We chose a palette with a soothing neutral envelope and ivy green accents, representing renewal and creating a restorative experience, becoming a travelers sanctuary promising repose after an exciting day out on the town.”