Watch out Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton — there’s a new luxury game eyeing this town.
The Chicago-based Elysian hotel is looking to “redefine the high-end luxury marketplace,” according to CEO David Pisor.
The company’s flagship 188-room Windy City property opened in December 2009 (rates hover around $300 a night). But the company hopes to open a New York property within the next year or two. They're also looking at gateway cities like San Francisco, Boston, DC, London and other big European cities, and destination resorts.
“From our perspective, we’re going after a portion of the marketplace,” Pisor said. “Gateway cities—like New York and destination resorts. A development like what we did in Chicago is certainly on the board.”
Beyond the Carrera marble bathrooms with inset LCD televisions on the mirrors, handmade mattresses and 460-thread count Rivolta Carmignani Italian bed linens, the hotel focuses on personalized service where greetings are not scripted (you will never hear “Is there anything else I can get for you?”) and tipping is not allowed.
“I don’t believe it to be luxury to have to worry about a $5 tip and a $10 tip all the time,” Pisor said.
The design of the Chicago property was inspired by Chanel and Dior — chandeliers and lighting replicate Chanel jewelry and kick pleats in the lobby curtains recall a Dior gown.
Pisor was mum on details of the forthcoming New York hotel, but did say it would be congruent with its environment—and won’t be a carbon copy of the Windy City flagship.
“There are a lot of hotels that are so overly-designed, it looks like you’re stuck in a nightclub,” said Pisor. “We want to do something that when you get there, it feels really comfortable.”