Lonely Planet Writer

Branson opens first Virgin hotel in Chicago

Chicago skyline.
Chicago skyline. Image by Nick Harris / CC BY 2.0

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin brand is making its debut into the hotel business on Thursday with the opening of Virgin Hotels Chicago in the heart of the city’s Loop district. The hotel has taken over the former Old Dearborn Bank building, a 26-story art-deco landmark in Chicago, and has 250 rooms including two penthouse suites. Branson has said he is specifically hoping to attract the female traveller with safety features such as a separate room to accept deliveries, and well-lit dressing and vanity areas. “I don’t think any hotel caters to the female traveller,” he said. Read more: wsj.com