The Drake Hotel Brings Light to Going Green

August 07, 2013

Almost 75 years after the introduction of “The Drake” sign to the Chicago skyline, the iconic neon piping is being hauled away. Licensed by the EPA, Olympic Signs of Lombard will properly recycle the used neon materials. Post disposal, Olympic signs will then install environmentally friendly Sloan LED lighting to illuminate the Lake Shore Drive landmark.

The appearance of the iconic 20-foot sign will not drastically change—though the conservation of energy, the safety of the material, and the longevity of the bulbs will grossly increase. The one-of-a-kind original design, created by Olympic Signs, follows The Drake Hotel’s initiative to create a greener Chicago. The Drake Hotel has always been an example of fine hospitality, behind the scenes The Drake is also a model waste-reducing facility.

The Drake Hotel, a leader in hospitality , strives to be a pioneer for green initiatives in the city.  Every outlet within the hotel boasts sustainable, locally farmed items on the menu and uses only 100% recyclable napkins.  Water consumption at The Drake has decreased by 250,000 gallons every year due to conscientious clients choosing to launder their linens every third day, rather than every day. The hotel then donates all gently used linens and toiletries to non-profits and shelters in the area. The Drake Hotel only uses sustainable, locally farmed items and all waste is reduced, reused or recycled.

While “The Drake” sign will still light the Second City’s skyline The Drake hotel will continue to light a greener path towards environmentally friendly hospitality.

 

Play and Stay when you Explore with our New Legos Package

April 02, 2013

Create family fun at The Drake while exploring the Magnificent Mile Lego store. Imagine the endless possibilities with our Lego family fun package which features our deluxe accommodations, a personalized welcome letter, fresh baked cookies and milk at turn down service, a voucher for a special Roy Rodgers beverage in any of our restaurants, breakfast in Drake Bros' and a $50 gift card to the Lego store. Book now and create your family fun this summer at The Drake while exploring the Lego store and all of the Magnificent Mile!

Drake Hotel Lobby Gets Frosted

November 30, 2011
For us, going to the Drake in Chicago was coming home for the holidays…

With the the kitchen as their workshop, spatulas and mixers their tools, Drake Hotel chefs and students from the French Pastry Sch0ol worked tirelessly this season to create a holiday display that makes our visitors drool. So what to your wondering eyes should appear when you enter into the magical atmosphere? A gingerbread village scene, an edible winter wondrous holiday dream. During the Magnificent Mile's Festival of Lights Drake staff revealed the stately gingerbread village where toy locomotives circle through tunnels and bridges of chocolate, marzipan and wondrous sweets. Stained glass windows made of sugar, ice-cream cone snowcapped pillars, and old fashioned Necco® candy roof tiles are among the edible details four building snowed-in village. Executive Chef Baasim Zafar remarks that it’s “one of the most detailed gingerbread villages I’ve ever seen. Our team and the students from the French Pastry School did a spectacular job.” Textured exterior walls, frosting evergreen trees throughout and crystal glossed sugar snow are just some of the details that Pastry Chef Christina Schubert was adamant about including to make this a truly, one of a kind, gingerbread village.

Falling into Tradition

October 25, 2011

Pumpkin spice lattes are back, candy bowls are filled, and Christmas commercials have begun to air. It’s that time of year again!  As a prelude to what will be our Holiday Bucketlist, we’d like to introduce our Fall Bucketlist, as Chicago is now amidst the heart of its Autumn season.  With a bit of chill in the air, and not enough to get frostbite quite just yet, the weather is perfect for apple picking, pumpkin carving, trick or treating and many more enjoyable fall activities.  The hard part is getting out and actually doing all the festive outings, but with a Bucketlist like the one below you can check them off as you go!  So grab your main squeeze, your best friend, or your sister and start checking off your own fall Bucketlist! Apple picking: Take a break from the hustle and the bustle of the windy city and head just one hour south and you will discover County Line Orchard.  Not only can you pick apples at this orchard, you can enjoy live music, sip on hot apple cider and snag a freshly made doughnut from their bakery. http://www.countylineorchard.com/default.asp Pumpkin Carving: Pumpkin Carving can get messy, and well, lets be honest, a little slimy, but the pride in seeing the pumpkin you’ve carved lighting up your stoop or window is like none other! Use the links below as resources for your next pumpkin carving crusade.  http://www.pumpkincarving.org/ http://www.pumpkinfarm.com/ Picnic in the Park: Stop by the local grocer and grab a bottle of wine, freshly baked bread, cheese, and some fall fruits and veggies and head over to Chicago’s “Front Yard”, otherwise known as Grant Park for a picnic.  Get together with friends, take a break from the workday with co-workers, or have a date night at a park nearby and enjoy the fall trees, colors, and weather! http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/root.home/intHomeLink/1/home.cfm

The Real Chicago Treat....

October 04, 2011
Some may not get the reference to the Rice Aroni jingle in today's Real Chicago blog title... however if you're keen to old jingles from the mid-90s-- you know this tune is referencing a "San Francisco Treat..." But, let this be known.....you don't have to be in San Francisco to experience this Chicago treat. While it may have originated in that famed West Coast inclined town, we here in Chicago made it more than transportation--- we made it an itinerary item for your next vacation..... Elizabeth brings us her Real Chicago experience not to be missed in this week's Real Chicago Blog: Ever wonder how “the windy city” received its name Chicago, or how the street with the infamous “Magnificent Mile” received the name of Michigan Avenue?  Well, you can find these answers out and many more fun facts, while cruising around the beautiful city some of us are lucky to call home, Chicago.  The Hop on Hop Off Chicago Trolley Tours takes you around 13 miles of the historical, and architectural streets of the city of Chicago.  Sit back, relax, sip on a locally Chicago brewed 312, and let these old-fashioned San Francisco style trolleys show and teach you things even Chicago natives never knew! The experience I had on the trolley ride was with 12 of my fondest co-workers, playing hooky, eh hem ...I mean “training” one lovely Wednesday afternoon.  We started the tour at the tip top of the Mangificent Mile, and made our way South down Lakeshore Drive taking in the views of the lake and Navy Pier on a beautiful fall afternoon, then took a turn West bound and drove down Michigan Avenue, then making our way South to The Financial District, and topped off the tour with amazing city/water views from Solidarity Road, while receiving a crash course on the history of Chicago.  On the tour, while enjoying the views of amazing architecture, public art, hotels, restaurants, Willis Tower, and more we learned many educational facts about Chicago from a quite entertaining retired teacher as our guide.  Here are a few of the fun tid bits we learned on the tour….Now I won’t give them all away, because you will need to learn for yourself on a trolley tour adventure! Chicago Fun Facts:
  • Chicago Tribune Building, a Chicago Landmark, has labeled stones from landmark buildings from all 50 states and all over the world, to include The Great Wall of China, the White House, as well as The original Twin Towers.
  • Merchandise Mart- in 1929 was considered so large it had its very own zip code.
  • Good Ol’ Mcy D’s, “McDonalds”, started in Des Plaines, IL.
  • Michigan Avenue- The streets between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan are manmade; the street got its name Michigan Avenue because that is originally where the shore of Lake Michigan came to.

Real Chicago, Real People - "Coming home for the holidays"

September 06, 2011

With the implementation of this blog only a few months ago, it was a passion of ours to be a go-to-guide to all things Real Chicago- from the perspective of those who live Real Chicago each and every day. In its evolution over these past few months we have realized that, just as important to us as the "Real Chicago" experience of  the"Real Chicagoian" is, in fact, the memories made by visitors from around the country and our surrounding neighborhoods-- memories made when they visit this city and experience its magic. The memories experienced by Real People in Chicago = Real Chicago... and we want to hear these stories. We want to share these stories!! These stories are what epitomize the concept of Real Chicago--- and with that idea in mind we've created, via this blog, a Real Chicago, Real People series. Of course we will continue to include the "insider's scoop" per concierge recommendations, resident references, and staff picks- but we'd like to expand upon the quandary- "What does Real Chicago mean to you?" We start off with a recent email submitted to The Drake Hotel for inclusion in the Real Chicago Blog. This email encompasses the essence of all the things we want our visitors to feel when they come to Chicago, not just The Drake Hotel.   Although it's hard to fathom that summer has unofficially ended with the conclusion of Labor Day weekend, it's even harder to contemplate the approach of the upcoming season. Some may think winter=snow, ice, cold....

We here at The Drake think Holidays--- the cheer of the holidays--- the cheer of family and friends, and the warmth one feels when they see a familiar face in an

oh so familiar place.

September 4, 2011

 

My real Chicago Experience is traveling to The Drake in December to celebrate the holiday season.  Taking a four hour train ride in to embrace the Big City, the Windy City, with beautiful holiday storefronts and tree lined streets decorated with white lights.  Shopping on Michigan Avenue, hoping to find that perfect gift.

 

In recent years, we walked arm in arm to stave off the gusts of wind and stay upright in slush filled streets.  We found special moments purchasing gifts we hoped would bring joy to others.  When age dictated we were no longer able to wander the streets of Chicago, we shopped in the gift store on the lower level of The Drake.  A store filled with all kinds of treasures.  Who needed to fight the snow, cold and crowds, when we could marvel at items there for hours?  One year we purchased a Mark Roberts "Peppermint Elf".  Every holiday season our elf decorated the kitchen, keeping watch over our confections.  That year we were sure we had found the treasure from the trip, and indeed I thought we had, until I took my mother's picture in front of old St. Nick and his reindeer located just off the lobby.  What a lovely picture!  It became her photo Christmas card, sent so all could see our fun filled journey.

 

Years of memories - the Dickens Carolers, the beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby with presents nestled below, the train set running for hours.  How we enjoyed sitting in the lobby watching the guests come and go.  I wonder how many other mothers and daughters have made this trip, able to create wonderful memories while staying at The Drake?

 

For us, going to the Drake in Chicago was coming home for the holidays...

Sadly, in July, my mother passed at the age of 88.  This year I hope to start a new tradition and celebrate the holiday season with my brother's family at the Drake.  I look forward to sharing with my niece and nephew the fun that exists there; shopping, taking afternoon tea, seeing the beautiful holiday decorations, attending the Nutcracker ballet and enjoying a special evening at the Drake.  I will miss my Mom, but I know she will be there with us in spirit and in every story I tell them.

 

~Julie, Illinois

  Thank you, Julie, for your contribution and taking our visitors on a warm and inviting walk through your Real Chicago memory. We hope this post inspires more people to submit their Real Chicago experience for inclusion in our Real Chicago ~ Real People Blog series- for every moment in this city is someone's Real Chicago memory. Share yours. To submit your memory for inclusion in the Real Chicago, Real People blog series, please email us your story. Your memory will be included in the blog that same week and your name will be entered into a drawing for a one night stay at The Drake Hotel. *Drawing to occur once The Drake receives 100 entries.

Museum of Science and Industry

August 24, 2011

Whoever said “learning isn’t fun” surely hasn’t been to the Museum of Science and Industry. Mixing learning with hands-on, blood rushing exhibits, there is something for everyone! In 1893, the building was constructed as the Palace of Fine Arts for the World’s Columbian Exposition. Afterwards it was converted into the Field Museum until 1920 when a new building opened and the museum moved.  Since the building was only built as a temporary structure for the World’s Fair, it began to deteriorate until Julius Rosenwald, the president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, stepped in to save the building. It was 1926 when he contributed more than $5 million to the project which included recasting the building in limestone.  The museum officially opened in 1933 as the Museum of Science and Industry. The museum has more than 800 exhibits and encompasses more than 300,000 square feet.  A few popular exhibits include a reconstruction of a 1933 coal mine, a U-505 Submarine and BODY WORLDS & The Cycle of Life.   Julius Rosenwald once said his vision for the Museum of Science and Industry was to create an interactive museum where learning was possible. Nearly 80 years later, his vision is still the main focus at the museum.  Today the museum houses some of the most exciting and mind boggling exhibitions ranging from a display that allows you to witness, in real-time, a chick breaking through the hard shell of the egg that has housed it for 22 days, to an exhibit  displaying the actual formation of a vortex.  If the word vortex has you in a tailspin then it is, without a doubt, essential you take the half hour ride of your life and strap in for the Museum’s OmniMax Theater’s “Tornado Alley.”  This informational, yet, highly entertaining film relays to its viewers what it’s like to be a tornado chaser in one of the United State’s most dangerous weather territories. Throughout the movie you’ll feel as though you’re in the passenger seat of a van traveling 90 miles down abandoned roads in pursuit of one of nature’s most fascinating phenomenons. With a 180 degree span of screen, and speakers that pulsate sound at a greater intensity than that of a Jet engine, you better hold on, because it’s going to be a wild ride. The best way to get to the Museum of Science and Industry is to take public transportation. From the Drake you can walk to Michigan & Pearson and hop on the 10 bus towards Museum of Sciene and Industry. Once you get off, just walk towards S. Lake Shore Drive. For more information regarding the Museum of Science and Industry, visit their website at http://www.msichicago.org/

Real Chicago Air & Water Show

August 18, 2011
It’s a bird, it’s a plane…. It’s right outside our windows this weekend! The Chicago Air & Water Show has quickly become the one of the oldest and largest free admission air and water exhibit in the United States. Over 2 million people will be blown away by the show this weekend and will most definitely inspire the Red Baron in all of us. Commencing in 1959 as the “Lakeshore Park Air and Water Show”, the event has surely grown into a mind-blowing weekend. For 53 years, these daredevils have performed at North Avenue Beach and along the lakefront for millions upon millions of spectators- astounded always by the sights and sounds of air and watercraft. Headlining this year will be the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the U.S. Navy Parachute Team Leap Frogs and my personal favorite, the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights. These Golden Knights bravely jump out of a plane 12,500 feet above the ground and race to North Avenue Beach at speeds of 120 miles per hour! Whether you prefer witnessing pilots maneuver small planes in tight circles, hearing the load roar of a B57, or simply enjoying the fresh air along Chicago’s scenic lakefront, this annual event is by far a Real Chicago occasion. Be sure to get to the beach early and save yourself a spot because it will get very crowded. Be sure to read our blog for other great Real Chicago ideas from the Drake Hotel. Ready to come? Book your hotel room in Chicago at the Drake Hotel.

The Real Good-time Blues

August 05, 2011
A Real Chicago experience at the top of many Chicagoans list of things to do is living and breathing the live music scene that can be found around every corner of the downtown area and neighborhoods of Chicago. Where we’ll be sure to touch on each and every one of these venues and festivals the city has to offer, we’d like to start simply with a name that, when heard, screams a mixture of chaos and harmony, always with a good time guarantee. Inviting acts ranging from billboard chart toppers to local indie bands, the House of Blues is also a space that accommodates all ages’ shows, karaoke nights, and Sunday Gospel Brunches. With an inviting operahouse-like atmosphere that meshes 21st century stylings with old Hollywood glamour featuring retro hues of golds and reds and one-of-a-kind artwork, the House of Blues is acoustically and aesthetically a rockin’ venue for live music and of course, cocktails and cuisine. Synonymous with celebrity, Chicago’s House of Blues is one of 12 Houses located throughout the United States and is where some now famous acts originally got their first big break. If you’re not enthralled with the on-stage performance, which is unlikely, it’s not rare to find a Chicago celebrity face amongst the fans of the performing band.
  • Monday-Saturday: 11:30 am – 10 pm
  • Sunday: 5:00 pm - 10 pm  
  • House of Blues is the midpoint between the State Street theater district and the Magnificent Mile
  For more information regarding this exciting space located in the heart of downtown Chicago, just a short walk from The Drake Hotel, please visit  Menus and cocktail listings available along with the upcoming schedule of performances. http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/chicago/ Fan them on Facebook to find out the latest news and performance schedule http://www.facebook.com/hobchicago

Real Chicago View

July 26, 2011

If a breathtaking view of Chicago is what you are looking for, than the Cité is the place for you to visit. Located on the 70th floor of the Lake Point Tower, this restaurant offers a 360 degree panoramic view of Chicago. The Cité’s view is unlike any other view in Chicago because of its superb location. Unlike most views that are in the middle of the city, the Cité is set apart because it is located on a Lake Michigan peninsula. From every table in the restaurant, you will have out of this world views of the Chicago skyline, Navy Pier and Lake Michigan. The views of this restaurant are not the only perks of dining at the Cité. The bar is the perfect place to meet with friends or family and have a cocktail while watching the sunset over the city. After a cocktail, it is time to dine. No matter where you are sat, you will be blown away by the views and delicious cuisine. The Cité offers French American cuisine that has received numerous awards including the DiRoNA (Distinguished Restaurants of North America) award. While visiting, I had the truffle risotto which was to die for. The menu offers a full range of entrées and the staff is attentive and accommodating to all. The Cité embodies all that is Real Chicago because it offers extraordinary views of our great city and delicious food. After one visit, you will see why the Cité has been a Chicago institute of over 30 years. If the views and food aren’t enough to bring you to the Cité, every Wednesday and Saturday you will have the best seat in town to watch the Navy Pier fireworks.

Be sure to read our blog for other great Real Chicago ideas from the Drake Hotel. Ready to come? Book your hotel room in Chicago at the Drake Hotel.