Virgin Hotels Makes its Debut in Chicago

Richard Branson promises guests at his very first Virgin Hotel that they won't have to pay any hidden fees.

Wi-Fi at unlimited bandwidth is free. There are no early check-in or late checkout fees, room service delivery charges or business center transaction costs. Bottled water is free."All those extras can add up to $100, $150 on your bill," according to the British business magnate.

Debuting the Virgin Hotel brand, Branson's Virgin Group is trying to give business travelers an alternative to large, impersonal hotels that cater heavily to them. Virgin Hotels, he says, will offer them friendly service, interesting food and beverage options and a nightly social hour starting at 6 p.m. with free alcohol, premium brands included.

A 9-minute walk from Millennium Park, this ultramodern hotel in a classic building is a mile from the Museum of Contemporary Art and 1.3 miles from Navy Pier. 

The hotel hosts an evening social hour in the trendy cocktail lounge. There's also a modern American diner, a hip rooftop bar and a coffee shop. Other amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, a spa and 3 meeting rooms.

Sir Richard Branson has done it again.