The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago’s thoughtful, two-year transformation was planned as a tribute to the city of Chicago, bringing the outside in and celebrating the city’s long history as an architectural innovator. With this guiding principle, the JLL project management team undertook a complex modernization with an eye on both ownership’s interests and a luxury customer experience.
Click below for our Project Profile on The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago, a hospitality icon that’s inspiring life’s most meaningful journeys.
Project scope included a new lobby, bar, cafe, restaurant, ballrooms, meeting rooms, guestroom suites (plus eight luxury apartments) renovation, corridors, club lounge, spa, fitness center and pool, along with mechanical central plant upgrades. One of the team’s most important tasks was the structural modification necessary to open up views in the public areas, the most visible way to elevate design and comfort for the Ritz-Carlton’s next phase of success.
Renovating an operational hotel comes with unique construction and safety challenges. We scheduled the dual-phase project deliberately during low season, minimizing the number of guests affected and ensuring that the hotel’s brief closure did not come at the cost of significant business. Taking a holistic approach to staying on schedule and on budget, the project team employed creative strategies like awarding subcontractors early and leveraging unusual building materials like quick-setting, thin, natural stone.
Having separate building and hotel owners required collaboration and transparency, bringing everyone together to make important decisions related to structural modifications and building mechanicals. Relying on our hospitality expertise and investigative demo, we retrofitted the hotel to comply with new operator Marriott’s strict life safety standards. This behind-the-scenes work laid the foundation for the upgraded customer experience, which brings simplified wayfinding and luxe amenities to a hotel icon.
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