A Look Back…2015

A Look Back…2015
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By Virgin Hotels

Not to toot our own horns, but 2015 was a banner year for us. It seems apropos to take a look back on the year that was. It’s been joyous, ridiculous, inspiring and most of all, a raucous good time.

From rolling out the red carpet with the opening of our first property in Chicago, to taking over The Loop with our #BransonsDayOff Parade, to the ground breaking of our New York hotel, 2015 is definitely something to revisit.

Here’s our synopsis of 2015 written in superlatives.

First Best Guest Ever
When we opened our doors on January 15,  we welcomed our very first guest, Topher Bice (@tophersterling), with a massive, never-expiring room key. He’s already booked his second stay to celebrate our anniversary.
first guestMost Shag-Worthy Performance
We lit up The Shag Room in The Commons Club full of live music back in January. We had everything from an intimate performance from Virgin Records’ own Seinabo Sey, Grizfolk, Gavin James, to Escondido, to brother and sister duo Wild Belle spinning vinyl.
shagworthy 1 shagworthy 2Best Bueller Impression
Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Remember that? Yeah, we remember. We did just that. In April, we wanted to kick-off the Grand Opening of Virgin Hotels in style…so we opted for the most iconic of ways with the one and only Sir Richard Branson.

Biggest Disruptor
According to Sir Richard Branson, “After a great start to life in Chicago, it was the perfect way to announce Virgin Hotels’ official arrival in the city. Then it was onto the party, the after party and the after-after-party back inside. I’d tell you everything that happened, but you wouldn’t believe it.” He even caused a little bit of mischief and mayhem with a few city tickets.
richard ticket copyBest Fest(s)
It’s a tie…we really couldn’t decide. Pitchfork and Lollapalooza are so big, that they’ve been bestowed their own season, culture, and category of roundups, or as we like to call it – Fest Season. What truly made us fall in love with the festivals this year were all of the faces we saw at the after parties, like: Vic Mensa, HAIM, The Orwells, Parquet Courts, Hot Chip, Lolawolf, Chris Holmes (Paul McCartney’s DJ!), Father John Misty, Circa Waves, and Lion Babe.
fest 1 fest 2
Most Photogenic
Whoever said Chicago wasn’t a fashion city? We wanted to showcase our city’s budding fashion designers as well as famed photographer, Simon Perry’s talent. Simon’s latest fashion photography exhibit was conceptualized and shot in the hotel featuring clothing and accessories from local Chicago designers. The photography was on display for all to see in The Shag Room throughout the summer. #SimonPerryxVirgin
simonMost Awkward Moment
Okay. Well, The Orwells got a little wild and crazy on Upstairs during their live performance. All we can say is that it was a raucous good time – and if you were there, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
orwellsBest Hair
We really like to ‘go with the fro’ and when we opened Cerise Rooftop in April, we called upon our good friend Questlove to kick-off the party.

Best Chat Served Over Drinks
Some things are truly best served over ice. And some come with a good chat. We welcomed a long list of amazing artists, actors and photographers to the hotel for some Q&As during our A Drink With Series. Our personal favorite? At first blush (and trust us, “blush” is the right word), Miguel’s presence permeated with carnal emotions.dwc_miguel-8781EmilyKinney_header2Best Surprise Visit
And surprise it was! The one and only front man of Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder walked into Upstairs and belted out a few of his famous baritone vocals for a very surprised intimate crowd. Drop the mic.eddie vBest Old School Dance Moves
One word, three very smooth sisters: HAIM. We ended a wildly fun Pitchfork weekend with a HAIM DJ set up in Cerise. We all got down and cut a rug to the sounds of Tupac, TLC, and even a little R.Kelly.hiamPeople We’d Want to Spend the Apocalypse With
Well, there are always rumors flying about the end of the world…so if it were to happen, who would we want in our corner? After their End of Times press conference Upstairs, we’d have to go with the most unlikely duo (because a) they probably already have a good plan in place, and b) they’d probably know how to celebrate properly), Marilyn Manson and Billy Corgan.marilyn mansonBest in Bed (especially our bed!)
You never forget your first time. Our first performance Behind the Red Door was one to remember. Power pop trio Jukebox the Ghost cozied up and sang one of our favorite jams, “Sound of a Broken Heart.” All of our Behind The Red Door make us want to curl right up in bed.jukebox copyParty of the Year Century?
After #BransonsDayOff, we threw ourselves a little #GrandSpankinNew Opening Party. With a party on quite literally every floor of the hotel, we danced the night away with the best of the best. Shout out to A-Trak, Este Haim, Ryan Hemsworth for providing the beats, and Vashtie and Matt McGorry for teaching us their moves on the dance floor. And the rest may be a little hazy, but as Dr. Yes (a.k.a. Richard Branson) says, “If you remember a Virgin party, you probably weren’t there.”gop 3 gop 2 gop 1

2015, you’ve surely been one for the books. Leave your favorite memory in the comments below. And keep your eyes open for 2016 – here we come!

A look back: Live music at Virgin Hotels Chicago 2015

  • HAIM (DJ set)
  • Emily Kinney
  • Marilyn Manson (press conference)
  • Billy Corgan (press conference)
  • Quest Love DJ Set
  • Best Coast
  • The Cathedrals
  • The Orwells
  • Parquet Courts
  • Zola Jesus
  • Lolawolf
  • Win Butler from Arcade Fire (DJ set)
  • Hot Chip (DJ set)
  • Vic Mensa
  • Father John Misty
  • Future Islands
  • Lionbabe (DJ set)
  • Jukebox the Ghost
  • Grizfolk
  • Seinabo Sey
  • Gavin James
  • Marvin Tate
  • Pure Bathing Culture
  • Kero Kero Bonito
  • Michelangelo (DJ set)
  • Wild Belle (DJ set)
  • Hannah Bronfman (DJ set)
  • Stefan Ponce (DJ set)
  • Coasts
  • Broods
  • Ex Hex
  • Escort
  • Holy Ghost! (DJ set)
  • Daniel Knox
  • Atrak (DJ set)
  • Twin Peaks
  • Mayer Hawthorne (DJ set)
  • JMSN
  • Marian Hill
  • Escondido
  • Circa Waves
  • Yacht
  • BadBadNotGood
  • Hanni El Khatib
  • Viet Cong
  • Hippo Campus
  • LANY
  • COIN
  • DJ Sam Blacky
  • DJ Kyle Woods
  • Nancy Whang
  • Liam Hayes
  • Sasha Grey
  • Britt Daniels
  • Bob Mould

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