With occupancy levels in line with other
major Chicago hotels, at roughly 70%, and a long-entrenched
position as one of O'Hare Airport's most popular group and
conference hotels, the Hyatt Regency O'Hare could have easily
coasted on its favored reputation and enviable airport location
without disturbing its dated 1970s decor.
But since the
property is "a major hotel in the Hyatt portfolio," renovations
were needed to keep up with Hyatt's standards, said Lisa Arias,
director of marketing for the hotel.
"So we've undergone
a major renovation of the public spaces that will eventually extend
to all 1,100 rooms and 41 suites," Arias said.
The first phase of
the redesign was no simple paint-and-carpet exchange. Rather, the
$40 million project was a dramatic overhaul that completely
transformed the hotel. A second, $20 million phase of renovation is
Much of the
interior's ubiquitous concrete lining is gone; so, too, is the
darkness that seemed to hang over a nondescript restaurant and bar
that felt somber and lifeless even during the most frenzied
conferences and meetings.
The new look
presents a bold, sleek, contemporary design for the Hyatt Regency
O'Hare, which featured high-lofted, atrium-style architecture when
it was built in 1971.
Highlights of the
renovation include the new O'H American Grill restaurant, a welcome
replacement for its lethargic predecessor, the Garden
"We needed a
three-meal restaurant. We wanted to compete with [nearby
restaurants] Gibson's and Carlucci's," Arias said.
The new venue's
homestyle offerings are designed to appeal to business travelers as
well as vacationers, with smartly prepared American dishes that
include a generous assortment of meat -- the barbecued ribs are a
noteworthy specialty -- fish and vegetarian options.
Red Bar, the new
lobby bar, has 21 plasma-screen TVs and eight media screens sure to
satisfy the most passionate sports fans. Those with less interest
in balls, bats and skates will find much to enjoy on the bar's
trattoria-influenced menu, a robust offering of Italian meats and
cheeses, pizzas, pastas and bar fare that accompany the bar's
traditional cocktails and more innovative creations.
upgrades are the Hub conference center, with 17 breakout rooms,
which replaces the hotel pool; the VIP Regency Club, with wines,
snacks and cozy seating; a full-service business center with
24-hour Fedex/Kinko's; and the Stay Fit Gym, a 24-hour facility
with commercial-grade cardiovascular equipment and flat-screen
"We've raised the
bar for airport hotels around the country simply because we are so
much more than just a facility in which to spend the night before
an early morning flight," said David Jacobs, the hotel's general
Call (800) 233-1234
or visit www.ohare.hyatt.com.
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