Newcomer breaks ground as the first to tackle a hunger for hospitality in Chicago’s Wicker Park Neighborhood.
Written by Jacquelyn Lumley
Photography Adrian Gaut (courtesy of Grupo Habita)
The modern-expeditioner is equipped to tackle unfamiliar grounds with a cultured curiosity. Travelers crave to witness and learn about what’s current and relevant in the cities they choose to visit. This offers opportunity for a new kind of lodging. One that is inviting and distinctive in nature. Grupo Habita’s latest property understands this. The Robey is a boutique hotel with a sister concept, The Hollander, next door. Where the Robey eludes modern class and a cordial high style, The Hollander articulates a social experience with a handsomely designed community lodging space. Together, these newcomers break ground as the first to tackle a hunger for hospitality in Chicago’s Wicker Park Neighborhood.
The hotel is situated on the forefront of the neighborhoods liveliest intersection, referred to as “6 corners” where 3 streets crisscross paths. This layout offers dynamic views and palpable energy.
The building was originally constructed in 1929 and the hotel reconstruction by Belgian design duo Nicolas Schuybroek Architects and Marc Merckx Interiors spotlight many of the key foundational features of the building. The Robey plays host to 69 sunlight rooms and The Hollander offers options for private or group stays. The rooftop of The Robey highlights an exceptional cityscape backdrop with an intimate indoor/outdoor lounge stacked with provisions.
In the Robey, the cafe sits on the first floor and is open to both locals and visitors, the same goes for the bar/lounges on the 6th and 13th floor. Overall, the space introduces 4 new neighborhood additions, all open to both locals and travelers.
The Robey is part of a larger hospitality group with headquarters in Mexico City. Grupo Habita owns and operates 15 hotels worldwide. The group has a track record of being rewarded for their great risk taking in where they have chosen to open their doors. With original concepts in Mexico City and Playa Del Carmen, all of the properties focus on design and disrupt the space around them. So far only 3 properties have opened statewide and all favor the modern travelers desire to engage in a local experience. Grupo Habita is distinctive in modern minimalist design, always paying mind to the surrounding neighborhood and history of each property. The Hollander perched next door to the Robey offers a more laid back atmosphere, with café-goers posted up on laptops sipping local-brew. The hostel encourages social groups and extended stays, paying tribute to the new wave of travel which demands familiarity and firsthand exploration. The idea of breaking ground with a unique business concept is nothing new to Wicker Park. Still, the boutique luxury hotel is the first of its kind in the Chicago Neighborhood.
The decision to open a hotel outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown proper predicts followers to come within the Wicker Park neighborhood. It has some of the most independently owned shops in Chicago, with new businesses opening their doors left and right. In the words of 1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno: “The diversity, art and music, and independent business atmosphere of the neighborhood is pretty much unmatched in the country” giving explanation as to why people come to Wicker Park. A European design team paired with Groupo Habita’s trendsetting track record lay grounds for a modern expedition in Chicago sending waves beyond the lakefront and into focus for seasoned experience seekers.