A Sneak Peek Inside the Elysian!


Linda Johnson Rice, Neal Zucker and Chaz Ebert watching a Wagyu beef demo at the Elysian.

This ultimate luxury hotel broke ground in 2004 and its opening has been on LOTS of people's radar for a long time!  Well, I got a chance to preview it this week and I will tell you it has been worth the wait!  Located at 11 E. Walton in the heart of the Gold Coast, the Elysian will set a new standard in ultra-luxury in a sophisticated and timeless Art Deco inspired setting.  Designed by renowned architect, Lucien Lagrange, the hotel features 188 guest rooms (prices begin at $395), 52 private residences (only 4 remain for sale starting at $3.8 million), 2 restaurants (Balsan and Ria), a bar (Bernard's), 4,500 square feet of function space and a 14,000 square foot health club and spa.  Did I tell you it was all drop dead glamour from a by-gone era?  You feel like Zelda and Scott upon entering and as a matter of fact, the boardrooms are named Fitzgerald, Faulkner and Hemingway.  The Sinclair Ballroom accommodates up to 270 and although small, it's elegant, intimate and gorgeous.  90% of the guest rooms have gas-fireplaces and terraces.....it made me feel like I was in the heart of Paris


The grand circular driveway with the beautiful fountain in the middle gives you a sense of style unlike anyplace you've seen in Chicago.  World-class executive chef, Jason McLeod, oversees the kitchen and its crack staff.  The tasting was incredible and included wood-fired homemade pizzas and a wonderful Wagyu beef demonstration.  They even can their own jams!  Talk about attention to detail!  Founder/CEO David Pisor has hit a home run here for sure!  Another investor is Mario Tricoci, Jr. who was rightfully proud of this gorgeous property.  Ernest Hemingway said, "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."  Sort of like the Elysian.....:-)  Lucky guests attending this exclusive preview party included Brenda Sexton (our hostess with the mostest), Linda Johnson Rice, Neal Zucker, Chaz Ebert, Sonya Jackson, Mickey Norton, Carrie Birkel and her mom Amy Hogan, Joe D. Lauck, Eileen Sweeney, Jan Melk, Grace Puma,, Nancy Dalaska, Julee White, Stanley Paul and Les Coney and his handsome son Javon.  The hotel is due to open in late fall.



View from a guest room terrace.


Sonya Jackson creating pizzas at the Elysian preview party.


Stanley Paul, Attila Gyulai (Director of Food and Beverage) and Jan Melk.


Dramatic entryway.


Carrie Birkel (Constellation Liquors) and her mom, Amy Hogan.


Guest room with gas fireplace.


Nancy Dalaska and Brenda Sexton.


Linda Johnson Rice and Neal Zucker in the restaurant Ria.


Les Coney with his son Javon.


Balsan restaurant.


Aaron Koseba, Attila Gyulai (Director of Food & Beverage), Julia Brown and Jason McLeod (Executive Chef)


All of the light fixtures are inspired by jewelry designs.


Bernard's--the cozy bar named after original property owner, Bernard Heerey, who donated the money to charity.


With founder/CEO David Pisor.


Part of the 14,000 square foot spa.


One of many relaxation areas in the spa.


Lap pool in spa.


Principal investor Mario Tricoci, Jr.


Dramatic wall mosiac in spa area.


Dan Pilkey, sommelier at the Elysian.


Elysian courtyard entrance.


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  • Ive been watching the construction of this for what seems like forever :) Thanks for the great sneak peek!

  • In reply to TheMacTutor:

    Hi Mac!! I am SOOOOO glad you enjoyed it! I really did feel like I was in Paris....it will be a great, chic hangout for all of us!!! Thanks for commenting! CJ :-)

  • In reply to TheMacTutor:

    Sounds amazing! Wonder how many local honeymooners will stay there as a treat.

  • In reply to ShariWeiss:

    Hi Shari!

    It would certainly be a perfect hotel for young OR old honeymooners!! I plan on spending some time in those gorgeous restaurants!! Thanks for commenting and I hope you have a great week! :-)) CJ

  • In reply to ShariWeiss:

    Dear Candace, I love your article on the fabulous Elysain....of course because it is gorgeous, but moslty because I am principal and partner in the downtown interiors firm that designed all the spaces inside Lucien LaGranges beautiful exterior. Along with my partner, Gina Deary, and our talented design team, we are honored and proud to be part of this new Chicago landmark. Cheers, Lisa Simeone/Simeone Deary Design Group

  • In reply to lisasimeone:

    Hi Lisa Simone!

    Huge congrats to you and your fabulous design team! It is a breathtaking space, that's for sure! :-)

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