The Gray Hotel marks the Kimpton brand’s fourth hotel in the Chicago market—behind Hotel Palomar, Hotel Monaco and Hotel Allegro. And dare we say, it might be its best yet. Located in the former New York Life Insurance Building, in the city’s financial district, the property has been given a floor-to-ceiling overhaul that provides a guest experience that’s just as rich.

Here are some of our favorite things about this latest entrant in Chicago’s bristling hotel scene:

» It’s pet-friendly. Like all of Kimpton’s hotels, The Gray welcomes your pet with open arms, no matter their age, weight or breed, and at no extra charge. 

» The building is historic. The Gray is housed in a William LeBaron Jenney original, built in 1894. In case you don’t recognize the name, he’s considered the father of the American skyscraper. 

» There’s a wine hour. Every night from 5 to 6 p.m., enjoy complimentary vino in the hotel lobby. We’ll always say cheers to that!

» Meeting floors are conveniently keyless. There are meeting rooms located on the 14th and 15th floors, as well as the gorgeous Adler Ballroom, but you don’t have to be a hotel guest to access them. Elevators will bring you where you need to go without a key.

» The beauty of Boleo. The Boleo Restaurant, on the 15th floor, may be one of our favorite rooftop dining experiences of them all in the city. With lush greenery, natural lighting and wooden accents, it resembles a modern jungle. A retractable roof opens in temperate weather and planners can rent semiprivate corners or a full-on private dining space (with long table and TV) for meetings and events.

» Technology is paramount. The Gray doesn’t leave out any detail when it comes to A/V capabilities. They use local company PSAV to provide projectors, telecom systems, laptop connectivity and stage needs. Modern video boards also direct guests where to go when entering the hotel lobby. 

The home of Rockford’s new entrepreneurial event space may date back to the 1920s, but Rockford City Market is primed to showcase future creatives and makers of all kinds.

 

Want to add a literary flavor to your next event–literally? Host a gathering at a library to add a scholarly tone to your fête. You could even go all-in with a literature-themed dress code. Here are some suggestions for a “novel” approach to event planning.

Houston
Houston Public Library

 

When you're in the mountains, it’s truly difficult to be bored. From skiing and snowboarding to hiking and climbing, the U.S. Mountain West and western Canada know how to keep things interesting when it comes to outdoor activities. But sometimes, the best way to enjoy the mountains is to sit back and take in the expansive views. Take your meetings to the mountains without the heavy snow gear and winter boots by hosting your next event on a rooftop venue surrounded by breathtaking mountains.