Chicago’s The Gwen Hotel Offers Sophisticated Style With Its New Look

The hotel, located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, combines elegance and comfort in a 1930s aesthetic

The Art Deco-inspired lobby of the renovated hotel.

Tucked just behind bustling Michigan Avenue, mere steps away from flagship stores and Chicago landmarks, you’ll find The Gwen, an upscale hotel from the Luxury Collection brand. After undergoing a complete renovation, we were invited to experience its brand-new look.

Named after pioneering Chicago sculptor Gwen Lux, known for deftly combining abstraction and realism in her work, The Gwen seduces with a modern take on 1930s décor. The Art Deco aesthetic brings straight lines and gleaming details, softened by plush textures throughout the hotel. The lobby is a beautiful and sophisticated space in which to relax, work, or meet up with friends.

Courtesy of the hotel

The rooms follow in style but offer a more soothing take. Slate grey leads the palette, the balancing counter point to clean, white walls. A simple, elegant mural graces the bedroom wall, reminiscent of imagery from Greek mythology. The Art Deco feels present in a geometrically patterned carpet and metallic details, but an upholstered headboard and soft fabrics keep the overall look gentle. The space isn’t overstuffed with furniture, leaving guests plenty of room to spread out and relax.

Small touches make the stay feel special. A postcard on the bed introduces guests to the hotel’s namesake with a brief bio and picture of Gwen Lux’s work. Upon returning to the room for bed, a mat and slippers are laid out, along with a chocolate for a sweet cap on the night. In the well-equipped fitness room, complimentary fruit and packaged earbuds ensure you’ll get the most out of your vacation workout.

The Gwen wins big on location. Whether your plan is to sightsee at Navy Pier, shop the Magnificent Mile, or enjoy the nightlife in the River North neighborhood, this hotel is a perfectly situated hub for all your Chicago plans. Award-winning restaurants, lively bars, movie theaters, and Lake Michigan are all within walking distance, making The Gwen a great choice for visitors who really want to dive into the city.

Should you want to stay in, however, you can sidle up to the bar at The Gwen’s own Circa Lounge. The cocktails here are flavorful and balanced, with both classics and original concoctions available to put you in a good mood. Its two signature drinks, the Urban Buzz and the Creole Maple Old Fashioned, are worth the sip. Chicago craft beers dominate the taps, offering some local buzz.

Lauren Knight

For food, we recommend sticking with the “Curated Bites” section of the menu, a collection of sharable dishes. Standouts include the roasted mushroom toast, accompanied with a tantalizing tarragon yogurt spread and a poached quail egg, and the bacon-wrapped dates, topped off with a bright yuzu pickle.

Private dining is also available, as are ballrooms and meeting rooms for larger events. When the weather turns beautiful, Upstairs at The Gwen, an outdoor terrace on the fifth floor, is a prime place to take in the unique Chicago skyline. The hotel offers ideal spaces for a multitude of occasions.


The Luxury Collection has made the most of The Gwen’s renovation, presenting a hotel with sophisticated style and warm, welcoming touches. Guests to the Windy City will certainly find it a comfortable and satisfying home away from home.