New Godfrey Chicago offers getaway from winter


February 21, 2014 3:30PM

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Updated: April 14, 2014 4:37PM

After all the snow, sleet, rain — not to mention the Polar Vortex — we all deserve a little day-cation that takes us far away from the blustery winter. Seriously, how great would it be to rest your bones after a deep massage, sitting poolside with a mojito and enjoying panoramic views of the city skyline? It can be done at the brand-new Godfrey Hotel Chicago, a mid-luxury property from Oxford Hotels & Resorts that translates to “peace and welcome,” the hotel debuted Feb. 18 in River North.

One of its crowning achievements is its claim to the largest indoor-outdoor patio in all of Chicago, measuring at 15,000 square feet and with a genius retractable wall-to-ceiling roof that can be enjoyed in all seasons. “The Godfrey is a true lifestyle hotel; it was built from the ground up with that tradition,” says Food and Beverage Director Matthew McCahill, which means it caters to more than just the tourist market.

Here are eight ways McCahill says locals can enjoy the property, too, even if just for a day—or night.

1. The retractable roof. We live in Chicago, so we’re not always blessed with good weather, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay inside all the time. The I|O Urban Roofscape, Godfrey’s year-round playground, offers two full-service bars with seating that faces unobstructed views of the city skyline. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. for early risers and late-night crawlers.

2. Fire and ice. Part of the appeal of the rooftop is the chill spaces you can relax with your food and drink. On one side is a fire pit and freestanding flame that guests can mingle around while another area features a zero-depth pool with bubbling brooks at your feet.

3. Live entertainment. McCahill is planning on bringing in bands weekly for happy hour performances; in the summer and on weekends, McCahill will look to DJs who will spin records from a hidden booth. “I’m thinking of the Chandelier Room at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas as our model,” he says.

4. Privacy, please. Want to host a birthday party or super exclusive date? There is one VIP room and a number of leather booths (seating 10) that can be reserved during the Roofscape’s hours of operation. Even better, McCahill says, “We offer high-end Champagne that is actually reasonable.”

5. Chef Riley Huddleston. After honing his time in the kitchen at The Aviary, Huddleston brings his talents to The Godfrey, including simple menus of Wagu Beef Sliders and pastrami sandwiches as well as a variety of “math cocktails.” “There is a fine art to mixing liquids, which chefs know better than anyone,” says McCahill, noting that Huddleston will craft blended drinks like margaritas that will be available by the glass or pitcher.

6. Formal dining. No official word has been given on who the noted chef is that will take over the downstairs fine dining restaurant, but expect it to be an impressive name when it opens later this year.

7. Spa! From massages to scalp therapies, facials and eye treatments, the onsite spa boutique (open to the public) is a divine way to relax. Each massage service also allows you to choose from a variety of therapeutic oils for a calming experience.

8. Special offers. For all of 2014, residents and those who work in the hotel’s 60654 zip code will receive a 15 percent discount on all guest rooms by showing an ID. The property also may consider options like the app Hotel Tonight for fly-by-the-night patrons, according to McCahill.

The Godfrey is at 127 W. Huron; call (312) 649.2000 for reservations.

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