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Chicago welcomes its newest mega hotel, Marriott Marquis, opening Sunday

Chicago Tribune

There’s an operative word for the Marriott Marquis Chicago.

Big.

Big, tall, powerful and gleaming, the 40-floor, 1,205-room Marquis will be Chicago’s sixth-largest hotel when it opens on Sunday.

After nearly two years of construction, Marquis embraces, perhaps even flaunts, its scope: Spaces are broad, the lobby ceiling reaches 30 feet, the restaurant serving three meals a day seats 400, and natural light floods in through floor-to-ceiling windows.

In the era of boutique and lifestyle hotels, Marriott Marquis is sprawling and powerfully urban — albeit with the occasional boutique amenity, such as the ability to order room service on your phone and the art commissioned by 40 Chicago artists. Many of the pieces have QR codes for more information about the art and the artist.

The Chicago property marks Marriott's seventh Marquis hotel in its portfolio. Each is located in a major city and has 1,000 or more guest rooms and at least 90,000 square feet of event space. It is the largest new hotel in the Marriott chain to open this year anywhere on the planet.

The reason for all that space is the hotel’s neighbor: McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. A pedestrian bridge connects Marriott Marquis to all 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space inside McCormick Place, which makes the new hotel a natural destination for convention goers.

Marquis boasts 90,000 square feet of meeting space unto itself — including 29 smaller meeting spaces in the old American Book Co. building, a former textbook factory next to the new construction — and 50,000 square feet of ballrooms.

Another neighbor is the soon-to-open 10,000-seat Wintrust Arena, which will be home to the DePaul University basketball team.

So as not to overwhelm the sprawling space, Marquis takes on a fairly minimalist approach that includes lean aesthetics and neutral colors, especially in the guest rooms. Rooms are constructed largely in gray and white, coming off as sleek and unfussy. Each room includes a chaise longue, plus a low table designed to serve as an easy place to eat a meal or set up a laptop computer.

The average starting rate is $250.

jbnoel@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @hopnotes

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