(CHICAGO, IL; April 6, 2021)—Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC, the Chicago-based hotel management affiliate of Oxford Capital Group, LLC, today announces the rebranding of Hotel Essex, the luxury lifestyle hotel located on Michigan Avenue adjacent to Grant Park, as Le Méridien Essex Chicago. The property, owned by an Oxford joint venture with Quadrum Global, and managed by Oxford Hotels & Resorts, will continue to operate as an independent hotel until it officially joins the Marriott Bonvoy family this summer.
“We are excited to join forces with Marriott International to marry our midcentury modern landmark Hotel Essex with the internationally-renowned Le Méridien brand,” says John W. Rutledge, Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC and its parent company, Oxford Capital Group, LLC. “We’re always looking for ways to optimize the performance and value of our hotels and as leisure and business travel regains momentum this year, and in the years ahead, we felt combining forces with Le Méridien was a prudent, strategic move. We look forward to our property becoming a top choice for Marriott Bonvoy members looking to explore Downtown Chicago and everything our beautiful city has to offer.”
The landmark hotel re-opened in 2019 after undergoing a multi-million-dollar transformation from Essex Inn into Hotel Essex, giving new life to the iconic Michigan Avenue building. Its original midcentury modern aesthetic was re-imagined for the 21st century, drawing on the building’s International Style architectural roots in the 1960s. The property’s interiors convey a sophisticated yet comfortable style, with authentic materials and unexpected pops of color incorporated into the spaces, leveraging the floor-to-ceiling windows to maintain focal points of Grant Park, Lake Michigan, and the cityscape.
The hotel speaks to the spirit of Le Méridien, which celebrates the glamorous halcyon days of travel with a distinctly European flair and a mid-century modern design aesthetic. Guests at the brand’s 100+ hotels around the world can enjoy chic signature programmes that put a playful twist on art, coffee, sparkling cocktails, summer and family, inspiring creative-minded travelers to explore the world in style.
“When we began speaking with Marriott International around potential collaboration opportunities, Hotel Essex’s midcentury modern design was an obvious fit for the Le Méridien brand, which champions this aesthetic across its portfolio,” says Sarang Peruri, Chief Operating Officer, Oxford Capital Group, and Partner, Oxford Hotels & Resorts. “We believe the Le Méridien Essex Chicago is a complementary positioning within this mixed-use project with clear synergies with the apartments and retail.”
“We are pleased to work with Oxford Capital Group, LLC. to introduce the Le Méridien brand to downtown Chicago,” said Tom Brinkman, Senior Vice President, Lodging Development, Marriott International. “This transformed modern landmark will serve as an excellent addition to our portfolio offering guests a prime location in the heart of the city.”
Each of Le Méridien Essex Chicago’s 274 king and double guestrooms include a work station, 55-inch smart TVs, SmartFridges, 300-count luxury linens, hand-held garment steamers, and Frette robes and Trussardi bath products made exclusively for the property. Guests keep connected with high-speed WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled bathroom mirrors with hidden speakers. The hotel’s onsite, state-of-the-art fitness center houses top-tier workout equipment by Peloton, Star Trac, Life Fitness, and Powermill. Guests can enjoy connections to Hulu and Netflix on all cardio equipment.
Guests’ dining needs, from breakfast to late-night, are fulfilled by Grant Park Bistro and SX Sky Bar. The ground-floor Grant Park Bistro is a modern French grill open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving a menu focused on grilled meats and vegetables and French wines. SX Sky Bar is a bi-level lounge, which houses expansive space for meetings and events, including sectioned lounge areas and a spacious private dining room. Additional meeting rooms are available on the second floor, offering flexible AV capabilities and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Grant Park.
About Le Méridien Essex Chicago
Formerly the Essex Inn, Le Méridien Essex Chicago is a reimagined and transformed mid-century landmark along Chicago’s Cultural Mile, overlooking Michigan Avenue and Grant Park. The historic hotel is a part of a mixed-use lifestyle development, including the 479-unit Essex on the Park luxury apartment tower, bi-level, indoor-outdoor lounge SX Sky Bar, and ground floor, chef-driven French restaurant Grant Park Bistro. The hotel offers 274 sophisticatedly designed rooms, upscale guest amenities, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and unparalleled views of the city and its lakefront. In the South Loop and adjacent to some of Chicago’s major attractions—Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the “Bean,” and the Magnificent Mile shopping district—Le Méridien Essex Chicago serves as a gateway for the city’s exploration. Le Méridien Essex Chicago participates in Marriott Bonvoy, which offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including earning points toward free hotel stays and nights toward Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com.
Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Born in 1960s Paris during an era of glamorous travel, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts continues to celebrate cultures around the world through the distinctly European spirit of savouring the good life. With over 100 hotels and resorts in 30+ countries and territories, spanning from Mauritius to Monaco and from Santa Monica to Sichuan, Le Méridien’s engaging mid-century designed spaces coupled with chic signature programmes put a playful twist on art, coffee, sparkling cocktails, summer and family and inspire creative-minded travellers to explore the world in style. Stay connected to Le Méridien on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Le Méridien is proud to participate in Marriott BonvoyÔ, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com.
About Oxford Capital Group, LLC and Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC
Oxford Capital Group, LLC is an award-winning international real estate investment, development, and management firm that focuses on large-scale acquisitions, developments, redevelopments, and operationally-intensive real estate. Oxford and its affiliates have been involved in over $3 billion of real estate and private equity investments, with a primary focus on hospitality (15,000+ hotel rooms); hospitality anchored mixed use projects including multi-family (1,000+ units); senior housing (3,000+ units); urban retail; and parking. Oxford Hotels & Resorts, LLC is its wholly owned hotel management affiliate, which specializes in operating, managing, and branding distinctive, high design luxury lifestyle hotels, and food & beverage venues. Its growing national portfolio of lifestyle hotel brands include Audrey, Cass, Essex, Felix, Godfrey, Julian, LondonHouse, and Versey. It also has a growing collection of restaurants, rooftops, bars and pool-centric food & beverage venues. These include About Last Knife (ALK), I|O Rooftop, LH Rooftop, Ruka, Spa Boutique, SX Sky Bar, and WTR. Oxford Living, LLC is its senior housing investment and management platform. Oxford Residential, LLC is its multi-family development affiliate.
Quadrum Global is a global real estate development, investment and management firm focused on value-add opportunities. Since 2009, the group has invested over $1 billion in equity capital in US real estate. For more information, visit www.quadrumglobal.com