Normally when you'd book a hotel, you book it and forget until the day you arrive. With Virgin Hotels you kind of have an urge to keep checking. It's also pretty easy to want to keep checking as the Virgin Hotel team floods your inbox with information about your stay. 24-hours before arrival, I received an email that had a QR code that would allow me to check-in. 12-hours before arrival the Virgin Hotel team let me know that my upgrade had cleared. 4-hours before arrival the Virgin Hotel team helped me get from Union Station to the hotel and saved me from the mistake of making two mile walk in 30 degree temps.
I also created a Virgin Hotel "The Know" account. Unfortunately, the account would not link my reservation with my account and I didn't recognize the benefits during my stay however, the program has the possibility of being one of a kind.
I got to the hotel around 5pm and headed for the kiosk. One kiosk was down however the other kiosk worked great. The kiosk made for a speedy check-in progress and the front desk crew was very helpful and welcoming.
The Bed, Bathroom
Other In-room Amenities
The room was pretty complex and stacked with bells and whistles. Each rooms feature a Smeg mini-fridge and a tray of goodies. Those goodies are all priced at the prices you'd find them at your local Walgreens. For example, Swedish Fish were $3 not $8 like many other hotels will attempt to charge you. The goodies ranged from Twinkies to a "pleasure kit". Don't ask me what the kit included, I have no idea and don't want to know.
Pour over coffee was offered in place of the typical coffee pots. The coffee was very bold yet tasty and made the whole room smell heavenly. Premium teas are also offered.
In addition to goodies and pour over coffee, robes are offered. The TV is a LG 42" LED that was apparently equipped to let guest stream their content however, I was not able to do that. Aside from the streaming difficulties, the TV worked perfectly and was loaded with your premium cable TVs. An added bonus is the ability to learn more about what's going on at the hotel and control the room's climate.
The Hotel Grounds
The property is pretty swanky. There's two restaurants, The Commons Club and Miss Rickie's. I ate at The Commons Club where I enjoyed the cheese and meat plate (pictured) and a creme fraiche, caviar, and lobster flatbread (pictured). Miss Rickie's is an American diner-esq restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late meals. There is also a night club located on the top floor of the Virgin Hotel that features two bars, a DJ stand, and outdoor rooftop seating. In addition to the amenities mentioned, there is a coffee bar on the first floor, a gym, and a spa on the lower-level.
I hadn't been that excited to stay in a hotel in years and I was not let down. The whole experience is premium and fun. It's not the Chicago Hilton, it wreaks of something Richard Branson and the Virgin team would conjure up. The entire staff was unbelievably professional, polite, and helpful. The rooms were spectacular for the rate and the location. I was so satisfied with my stay that I booked a three night stay around New Year's Eve. Well done Virgin, another amazing venture!
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