Chicago’s JW Marriott opens its doors

The JW Marriott in downtown Chicago made it’s official debut this month, the 50th JW to open among of a flurry of expansion in the luxury brand. With Gadling Labs just up the road in Chicago, the team stopped by for the opening gala to see what all of the buzz was about.

On the surface, Chicago’s JW Marriott conforms well to the brand’s standard — that is to say, it is really nice. Despite a modest front foyer, ballrooms are deep, tall and vaulted and the signature Italian restaurant Florentine and the spa Valeo are each well appointed and expertly curated.

Most enticing about this building, however, is its history. Legendary Chicago architect Danial Burnham was the original mastermind behind this building, the same figure who helped create the White City in the early 1900’s (and the centerpiece of Erik Larson’s Devil in the White City). With the column spacing of this building slightly larger than most modern structures, architect Lucien Lagrange was able to experiment more in the room layouts, resulting in wider rooms, and dynamic layouts.

Opening festivities included special guests from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet and even a special appearance by Shameless star and opera singer Emmy Rossum. We even got the chance to hang out with our favorite jetsetting hero, Johnny Jet. Check out Gadling Labs’ gallery of the event for the full scoop.