“City gal’s” family comes to town

I grew up in a small town just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and most of my family still lives in the area. I left home to go to college & never moved back. Working in the hotel business has put me in many interesting places since leaving Pittsburgh – Washington, DC, Boston, LA. However, not until I landed in Chicago did they even consider coming to visit.

Last fall, I was so excited about their trip. It was going to be short but it was the first time I could “show off” one of the great cities I’ve resided in to my folks. Our visit wasn’t as planned though; my dad got sick & we spent the entire time in the hotel room.

Today starts our second attempt at them seeing Chicago. Suddenly, I realized…….what do I do with them after they check-in? They’ll be in this magnificent city in a premiere hotel (Hotel Felix, obviously) and then what? How do you even begin to choose what to do with so many options? So I went to the experts – my concierge staff. The staff gave me amazing information – what day/time to go enjoy Taste of Chicago, where to get the best view of the fireworks, which tours allow you to see the most of town and which restaurants run specials on what nights. Not only do these guys make me look good day-to-day but also they are now going to make me look good to the toughest critics – my parents.

P.S. if you want to know these secrets & many more, you’ll have to check-in for yourself. Book now at www.hotelfelixchicago.com.

(JB)

Go Green + Hotel Felix = One Great Evening

Go Green Management and the Hotel Felix joined forces once again this past Wednesday (June 24) to co-host a cocktail reception. We had no idea the event would be the talk of the town even before it began.

When Facebook had hundreds of responses, we were curious to say the least. (Don’t forget to become a Hotel Felix Facebook fan.) Sure, we’re the first hotel in Chicago to be designed for Silver LEED certification. Sure, we’re the most eco-friendly hotel in town. Sure, we’re fabulous (if we do say so ourselves.) But we were thrilled with how many people wanted to come to see our “home.”

People from all different industries & interests showed up to dine on MaiChef Catering’s Tea Cured Salmon on Brioche with Lemon Grass Aioli, Ginger Chicken with Mango Relish & Mini Tiramisu Shots. Yummy! Our guest then went to see our amazingly appointed guest rooms and get pampered with mini services in The SPA at the Hotel Felix. Tired from your day? A hand massage was just one of the services waiting.

When the crowd had cleared, the Hotel Felix team sat down to toast a successful evening and new eco-friends. Swollen feet and hoarse voices led us to ask…..where did those masseuses go?

(JB)

Happy what?

Happy. Naturally.

Sure it’s a fun catch phrase. Here at the Hotel Felix though it’s more than that….we really are happy naturally. Don’t believe me? Walk by & talk to our doormen. Benjamin, Julian, Tim, Dave & Chuck are contagious. If they can’t brighten your day, get checked in by Errol or Dan then get to your room and run into Maria cleaning next door to you. This staff will override any lost luggage, bad traffic or awful meeting. Think I’m biased? Check out these remarks from our comment cards:

“The entire hotel staff is extremely friendly.”

“Your service was excellent. Best of any hotel I’ve stayed at in Chicago.”

“Chuck, Dave & Julian made me feel like I was in my own home.”

“I’ve stayed all over the US & this is the best I’ve ever had. The three doorman were exceptional workers & gentlemen.”

“Yuan was so sweet & she did a great job cleaning our room. Can we take her home?”

“Maria is a jewel. I loved her!”

“Errol went out of his way to make my staff more comfortable. Thanks!”

“Robin, Claudia, Konrad…thanks for the birthday card. You made my day!”

With comments like these, why stay anywhere else? Our staff will make your next trip to Chicago the best ever. Just when you thought customer service was a luxury gone with videos on MTV, along comes the Hotel Felix to make you Happy. Naturally. too.

(JB)

A Gem of an Evening

This past Saturday the Hotel Felix was honored to attend the 4th Annual Emerald Gala hosted by our Chicago Chapter of the US Green Building Council. For those of you who do not know, the US Green Building Council, according to their website, is “a 501(c)(3) non-profit community of leaders working to make green buildings available to everyone within a generation”, but we know they do much more. It’s appropriate that 4 years ago, the USGBC gave birth to this event in May, a month which boasts the emerald as its official birthstone.  However, something tells me that our hosts had something else in mind when envisioning the moniker for this truly special event… 

 

Saturday night began with a cocktail reception, silent auction, and raffle.  The generosity of Chicago’s Green Business community was on full display as several dozen high-end auction items were furiously bid upon. From a very chic water-conserving porcelain toilet to Cross-Town classic tickets between the Cubs and White Sox to, yes, a complimentary night stay at The Hotel Felix Chicago, party goers had quite a variety to choose from.  In addition to money raised through the Auction, each $25 raffle ticket that was purchased will go toward supporting Chapter programs, events, and initiatives throughout the year.

 

As the band struck up a happy tune (naturally), the Hotel Felix made our way inside the ballroom to our table. The first course was a delicious salad of greens, fruits, and nuts. As we sat drizzling our raspberry vinaigrette onto our salads, it occurred to me that tonight was a special night not just for the Hotel Felix to be among such a great group of people, but a time for all of Chicagoland’s Green Building Community to shine (or shall I say, sparkle?).  One of the main purposes for the evening, is to honor individuals and businesses with a Natural Leaders Award Presentation.  Recipients were recognized in categories such as EnvironMotion, Re-Generation, Intent to Matter, and Small Feet, Big Feat.  Our congratulations go out to Uncommon Ground (coffee shop), Vincent Iturralde (Principal of a Chicago Public School), Environmental Law & Policy Center, and Xavier University respectively.  These individuals and organizations are the spirit of the evening, and an inspiration to many I am sure. Hotel Felix left feeling inspired to do our part, in our way, to share in the responsibility of caring for our earth. Hotel Felix encourages you to ask yourself, how can I show my green spirit and shine today? Book a reservation here, of course!

(AB)

Unique Experiences 101

Like many, I’m a curious person. I want to broaden my perspective of life. It’s like when a friend or family member tells you about a vacation spot you’ve never gone to or a restarant you’ve never dined in.

When I signed on to be part of the Hotel Felix project in December 2007, I got a unique experience of my own. I’d never worked in an eco-friendly hotel that’s designed to be LEED Silver certified. In fact, I couldn’t have told you what that meant at the time. I didn’t know I’d see guests from literally all over the world just a month into opening the hotel. I’ve even had the opportunity to coordinate extensive marketing, sales & PR.

Those unique experiences spoke to me & with the team, we decided to ensure our guests recieved ones of their own. For example, our very first check-in was a 40th birthday party for a gentleman named Stan. He & his family and friends planned a weekend of fun. When they asked us for a van cab so everyone could travel together to dinner, we booked a limo at no additional cost & made sure there was champagne. I think Stan will remember his 40th birthday at the Hotel Felix! (See you for your 41st, Stan.) We want to make your visit in Chicago a Unique Experience. So visit our website & book your reservation now at www.hotelfelixchicago.com. We’ll make you Happy. Naturally.

(MZ)

Kermit was wrong; It is easy being green

Having worked in the hotel industry for many years, I’ve been under the impression that being a green business was both difficult & expensive. The logic that you couldn’t possibly be green with hundreds of thousands of people through your halls every year is prevalent amoungst hoteliers. We were very, very wrong.

Currently, almost every one of our vendors have green options. There are Green Seal chemicals, bleach-free products, recyclable cups for coffee, mops made of plastic bottles & even plates that melt to a recyclable state when put in sunlight. How cool is that? Those icky blue bins that take away from the aesthetics of a room….they aren’t your only option anymore. Now, you can buy trash cans that are made of bamboo or recycled metals that have multiple liners in them for trash & recyclables. Did you know that white paper towels can’t be recycled because they have bleach in them? The only option before was to use brown paper towels.  Now there are paper towels made of recycled paper that have attractive designs on them.

So no more excuses hoteliers. Now we can have our hotel attractive & care for the environment too. Turns out being green IS easy. Sorry Kermit.

(JB)

Greetings from the “city gal”

Getting used to city living takes time. Here’s some advise from a “city gal.”

Number one, road rage can be reduced. Not only can you make a positive impact to the environment by ditching your car but you save on gas, insurance & have less stress. Imagine the ways to expand you mind with the books read or the podcasts listened to on CTA.

Number two, if the bus is crowded & there is an empty seat, check to make sure it isn’t wet before you sit down. I don’t know why it’s wet & I don’t want to….I just know I want to keep my own seat dry.

Number three, bring a change of shoes. You women know what I’m talking about. No matter how comfortable those shoes feel first thing in the morning, your feet will hurt when you are walking home at 9pm because you cannot get a cab.

Number four AND most important, do not let people stay with you. Now I know this sounds cruel. I promise you are doing everyone a favor. Over the years, my parents, relatives & friends have come to visit me in various cities. Even though I worked in the hotel business, for years I would give up my bed & sleep on the couch. I realized, not only were we tripping over one another but also by the end of the visit we were getting on one another’s nerves. Counterproductive I think. One year, I finally decided to tell my parents I was going to put them up in a hotel; it was great. They had space to move & unpack. They didn’t feel bad for putting me on the couch. We didn’t have to worry if the other person(s) were awake in the AM. And, we all got time to unwind alone at the end of the day.

So learn from this now proclaimed city gal & get a room! They’ll love the Hotel Felix for its comfort, friendly staff, four-star service. Even better, they’ll love you for putting them here. Comfortable beds, complimentary AM coffee, spa services……Isn’t it great when we are all Happy. Naturally.?

(JB)

Earth Day Celebrated

When we decided to celebrate Earth Day & partner with GoGreen Management, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Opening an eco-friendly hotel has been exciting to say the least. And while Earth Day has been around since 1970, would others celebrating the day with us at LePassage be just as enthralled with the Hotel Felix? I’m happy (naturally) to report they were indeed.

The biggest question of the night; how can a hotel say they are eco-friendly? Sure, they said, you recycle in the office & you don’t change linens unless asked….but doesn’t everyone do that? The answer…..yes, we do all that but so much more. We encourage staff to live a healthy life by walking, biking to work (we have an indoor bike rack & showers for the staff) or taking public transportation. We don’t use bleach at the property & all of our cleaning chemicals are Green Seal Certified. Our rooms have motion-sensored thermostats so that fossil fuels are not burning to heat/cool the room when no one is there. While many places just recycle in offices, we have an in-room recycling program and ask our guests to sort their trash as well. After cleaning, all “trash” is placed in our recycling room until pick-up. So we aren’t just made from sustainable, recycled materials, we walk an eco-friendly lifestyle by making every day Earth Day.

(JB)