The NEW Ritz Carlton Chicago

by Cathy Demetropoulos

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending a grand fête at the "new" Ritz Carlton Chicago that only the Ritz Carlton could host. Among live art models, musicians and a grand champagne toast, guests enjoyed an oyster and caviar station, various food stations peppered throughout and a beautiful cart presentation of gourmet pastries and desserts to top off the night. 

Over 2,000 media personnel and industry notables attended the lavish unveiling of the updated luxury hotel that boasted a stark contrast to its previous, understated look and feel. Upon arriving to the 12th floor lobby, the first thing I looked for - and a design decision that was kept under wraps until the unveiling - was to see if the signature lobby fountain was kept intact. As you can see, the decision was made to remove it to make way for a more open layout with a contemporary design that still stays true to the classic feel that Ritz Carlton is known for.

The Lobby

In addition to the common areas, the two banquet rooms also saw a major overhaul, starting with the removal of its equally signature koi fish pond in the cocktail promenade allowing for a wide open, modernized space.

The banquet room promenade 

More than 25,000 square feet of event space has been revitalized and now offers the largest luxury ballroom in Chicago. Contemporary in design and flexible in its layout, The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom and its adjacent Grand Foyer total 14,000 square feet, and can host events for up to 600 guests. Boasting sweeping city views, the awe-inspiring ballroom is awash in metallic leafing and natural light, and its centerpiece—the opulent chandelier with 400,000 illuminating crystals—has been exquisitely restored to its original glory. 

An exciting new addition, the 3,500-square-foot St. Clair Ballroom, is the perfect space for mid-size meetings and weddings, holding up to 220 guests.

The St. Clair Ballroom

The revitalization of the Ritz Carlton Chicago evokes a modern, updated feel with a hint of contemporary and all of the classic luxury one is accustomed to receiving from this prestigious hotel chain.


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