Boleo at The Kimpton Gray Hotel Chicago

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants opened its fifth 4-star Chicago boutique hotel with fanfare and bespoke sizzle. The Kimpton Gray Hotel, formerly the landmark New York Life Insurance building, is located in the city's business district, but it is anything but stiff shirts and haughty looks. Instead, it is the perfect mix of contemporary luxury and chic city fun. Here's a few reasons why this might be the perfect place to stay for your next visit to downtown Chicago: [more]


1. Location, location, location

Cadillac Palace Theatre
 
The Gray Hotel is by tons of shopping on State and Wabash streets in the downtown Loop, convenient to the Financial District for business, and is an easy walk to dinner, cocktails and the Chicago Theatre District. Depending on the time, day, and good old fashioned luck, you may even score parking less than a block away — though public transit is at your doorstop as well.
 
 

2. The Head Bartender and her drink programk1Jess Lambert’s eyes light up when she talks about the importance of her cocktails tasting authentic. For example, when you taste her meticulously crafted Pisco Sour, she wants the flavor to transport you to Peru. Speaking of which, Jess actually went to Peru to research, and came back so inspired that she makes a custom blend of citrus to make certain the cocktails are balanced perfectly. 
Negroni
Another must try is the Coconut Negroni: the flavor of this reimagined twist on an old favorite is divine. Between both the lobby bar Vol. 39 and the South American-inspired Boleo, there's a lot of her research to cover.

 
 

3. Their rooftop restaurant Boleo 

Boleo at The Kimpton Gray Hotel Chicago

Boleo at The Kimpton Gray Hotel Chicago
 
The authentic menu at Boleo, designed by Chef de Cuisine Alexis Hernandez, features flavorful street food from Peru and Argentina like tangy and colorful ceviche, and meat or veggie empanadas. Pair those empanadas up with one of Jess’s cocktails, and it will take you on a journey of taste that you normally need a passport for.

Plus, the retractable roof is just plain cool. 
 
 

4. The music

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Director of Music and Social Programming Janice Bond deftly orchestrates the sound throughout the hotel to take it beyond basic ambient and makes it just funky enough to groove to. Creating an environment that allows you to delight in a specially-curated global playlist while enjoying a conversation at normal speaking levels takes some real talent. 
 
  

5. A perfect mix of historic and hot

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Although The Kimpton Gray is imbued with style; you can still enjoy the building’s bones from the 1800’s. The hotel’s design is a respectful and innovative fusion of both the old and new school flavor that makes Chicago architecture so special. 
 
 

6. Vol. 39

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The Gray’s lobby adjacent bar Vol. 39 could double as the best law library (with craft cocktails) EVER. Its warm decor features actual leather-bound legal books from the previous tenant, plush seating, a robust wine and inventive cocktail list, and posh offerings on gilded silver carts like caviar and charcuterie. Not to be missed is the "6-Martini Happy Hour”… a perfect way to wind down after a busy day.
 
  

7. If you love wine, the sommelier has your back

Lauren Parton

Sommelier Lauren Parton has a wine and cocktail list that can stand up to diverse and discriminating tastes… and she is always on the hunt for the next amazing bottle that will make your palate dance. In addition to her extensive industry background, Lauren has experience serving as Steve Harvey’s libationist, so you can feel confident that she has some pretty exciting sips in store for you.
 
  

8. That consistent Kimpton client service

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A friendly greeting when you walk through the door; a smile when you approach the front desk, the consistent professionalism of the staff, little sprinkles of cool everywhere you look, and traveler-friendly delights like the wine hour and free WiFi… these are the experiences and amenities Kimpton is known for. The Gray takes these niceties we’ve come to expect and serves them up with an extra touch of elegance. 
 
For more information, visit grayhotelchicago.com.
 

 
Images courtesy of Kimpton Hotels/Sarah Joyce, Jetta Bates Vasilatos, and Janice Bond