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Richard Branson Would Like You to Stay the Night...at Virgin Hotels

November 9, 2011 at 9:40 AM | by | Comment (1)

Let's play a game! How many Virgin companies can you name off the top of your head?

Without looking it up, here's what we can come up with: Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic (who remembers Virgin Express?), V Australia, Virgin Australia, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Oceanic, Virgin Trains, Virgin Balloons, Virgin Megastores, Virgin Limobike, Virgin Money, Virgin Radio, Virgin Active, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Wines (!!) and wow—so many more. Just mentioning the fact that we recently took a Virgin Train from London to Liverpool produced the following reaction from a friend: "THEY DO TRAINS TOO?!"

Yes indeed Virgin does do trains, and now there's something else to add to that long list of what they do do: Virgin Hotels. That's right; Sir Richard Branson wants you to sleep with him...finally.

Technically the travel world has known about Virgin Hotels since 2010, but it's only been in the last few weeks we've found out exactly where the first Virgin Hotel in the world will be. The answer: Chicago.

More specifically, the first location of 250 rooms is the old Dearborn Bank Building in Chicago's north Loop, a block south of the Chicago River and walking distance to almost everything a tourist could want. It's also scary close to theWit Hotel, a nicely trendy property where Branson stayed earlier this year during the launch of Virgin America's Chicago routes. It must have been something special for him to look out of the window and see a bit of his next venture just down the street, but still have to keep it a secret.

Why Chicago? Why the heck not? Way to go Virgin Hotels, we say, since they've realized something we've known for a long time—that Chicago is awesome and totally developing into a city that can appreciate and rock out to Virgin's particular brand of experience. Don't get us started on the hotel scene, but suffice it to say that it is hot hot hot (okay, for more check out our coverage of it all here).

Don't freak out about the first Virgin Hotel quite yet; construction hasn't even started and Virgin is approximating Fall 2013 for a debut. Still, we can't help but wonder at the irony of the Virgin Hotel being located so nearby the Trump International Hotel. You can even see it in the above photo.

The irony: very conservative business magnate Donald Trump is behind Trump Tower, one of the most modern buildings in Chicago, while RIchard Branson is the liberal business magnate behind the Virgin Hotel, one of the historical buildings of Chicago. Just something to think about.

More details on Virgin Hotels over at our sister site, HotelChatter.

[Images: Virgin, HotelChatter. Photochop: Jaunted]

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I thought about the Trump Virgin proximity too

But it's like two different class of people. Trump is for older people and families while Virgin will be for younger people and stylish biz travelers. Oh and anyone who gets stranded at O'Hare and was on a VX flight!

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