Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel Review-A December to Remember

The elegantly revamped Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel, 1 West Wacker Drive has played host to a variety of fun happenings featuring local talent throughout this month. These will continue this Monday through Wednesday, December 28 through 30th, with Staytion’s Daily Bar Ritual at 6PM, which begins with an initiation bell to incept Happy Hour, and involves a mixologist blending a special punch created with local and seasonal ingredients, free for guests as long as it lasts; finally, 2015 will culminate in an all-day celebration on New Year’s. The Renaissance, Winner of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, is just minutes from State Street in the heart of Chicago’s Theatre District. It features contemporary art, the Staytion, a chic lobby bar, modern design throughout it’s 520 guestrooms and 40 suites, and the Great Street Restaurant which concentrates on farm fresh ingredients and inspired dishes.

Artist's Lounge

The December 1st event, entitled “Home for the Holidays”, ran from 5PM to 8PM and gave guests an opportunity to celebrate the different holiday traditions of various local neighborhoods and cultures, including Little Italy and Greektown. This event starred local acoustic artist Seth Bradley, who left a job at Chicago’s Board of Trade to pursue a career in music, and is the frontman for The Personnel,  a band that specializes in 90’s style music and provides party-style shows all over the country. This night, the restaurant served up such tasty edibles as sous vide short ribs, pierogis, and whipped sour cream.

On December 9th and 16th, from 4:30PM to 6:30PM, for a flat fee of $25 for two packages, the hotel hosted a Gift Wrap event for guests who could sit back in Staytion, relax, snack and sip away at their favorite libations while the staff took care of “wrapping up” their seasonal presents.

Lobby art

Also on December 16th, the regular Wine Wednesday event was raised to a new level with Renaissance’s “Bites After Dark” event, which took place in the hotels Pedway from 4:30PM to 6:30PM. Guests were given free samples of favorite treats and drinks from Staytion, located in the stunning art-filled lobby of the Renaissance. It features an eclectic menu focused on upscale versions of Chicago street food, along with local craft beers and specialty cocktails, which are described on the menu alongside the traditional version of the same drink. At “Bites After Dark”, this reviewer sampled  several different yummy treats, including the “sliders” for which the bar is already locally renowned among the after-five professionals, travellers and theatre crowd who frequent this adorable spot. Other choices were salt and pepper chips cooked in truffle oil and served with a dipping sauce of mushrooms and an artisanal flatbread that melted in one’s mouth. The music that evening was provided by “The Acoustic Generation”, known as the Midwest’s premier acoustic duo. Matt and Linsea play well-known rock, pop and country songs and also regularly perform as DJ’s. Staytion provided a really fun evening of food, drink, relaxation and music.

Lobby detail

On December 22nd, from 4PM to 8PM, the Renaissance hosted it’s “Festivus Eve” event. Guests sipped cocktail specials like “The Festive Pole”, a play on a "Rusty Nail", featuring Glenlivet Scotch, Drambuie, Luxardo, lemon, cherry and old fashioned bitters ($8), "The Airing of Grievances", a Rum Flip Cocktail made with Zaya 12 year old rum, Pimento Dram, sugar and nutmeg, the anti-eggnog ($12), and "The Feats of Strength", a shot of Fernet-Branca and a Bourbon Barrel Dragon's Milk Draft 11% ABV ($12)-all luscious confections to stir the senses.Music  was provided by DJ Wav in the Artist's Lounge.

Staytion bar

On New Year’s, this Thursday, December 31st, 2015, Renaissance will provide pub food and NFL as well as college football viewing all day. There will be live music from 6PM to 9PM and beats by DJ Wav from 9PM to 1AM. Guests are invited to nosh from a special Charcuterie Cart (pricing based on consumption), and toast the New Year with a terrific array of champagne. Come one, come all!

Seating at Staytion

For more information, contact

All images courtesy of Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel



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