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Gemstone Hotels To Transform House of Blues Hotel Chicago Into New Luxury Hotel

CHICAGO (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Gemstone Hotels & Resorts International, LLC announces the $17 million transformation of the House of Blues Hotel Chicago into the Hotel Sax Chicago including a complete renovation of all 353 guestrooms, lobby area and bar. Located within Chicago's legendary Marina City, the Hotel Sax Chicago will be transformed into a luxurious yet chic hotel providing dramatic style and exceptional service in comfortable, uniquely Chicago surroundings. The name change will be effective May 2007.

The overall renovation of the hotel will bring an equally impressive new life to the landmark Marina City complex. The Hotel Sax Chicago will create a new synergy within Marina City, tying together venues that all offer a wonderful flavor of downtown Chicago. Hotel guests will enjoy access to six upscale restaurants, including famed Smith & Wollensky steakhouse and beloved Bin 36, the renowned House of Blues live music venue, the unique 10Pin bowling lounge and grill, and the 25,000 square foot Crunch fitness facility.

"We are pleased to announce our ambitious plans for a major renovation and re-branding. The new vitality and luxury amenities of the hotel, along with our plans for creating truly captivating guest experiences, will make the Hotel Sax the ultimate luxury hotel destination in downtown Chicago," states Hotel General Manager Mario Mazzini. "We anticipate the enhancements to the property will please our loyal business and leisure guests, and will attract new attention — particularly from meeting planners — to our wonderful Marina City location. We look forward to the coming months and the exciting future of the Hotel Sax Chicago."

In addition to floor-to-ceiling renovations of every guest room (including the finest in luxury amenities and technology) and a broad expansion of the lobby and bar/lounge area, the new Hotel Sax Chicago will boast an incremental 10,000 sq. ft. of dynamic meeting, ballroom and function space. The space, designed to be unique in the market, will allow planners to customize their meeting experience or social affair with unconventional props, technology, lighting and entertainment.

After taking over management of the House of Blues Hotel in March of 2006, Gemstone began to set in place unbeatable service standards, luxurious design, comfort and amenities, all with the goal of creating an irreplaceable luxury hotel experience for guests. Providing what is expected in a Chicago luxury hotel, along with the unexpected encounters and discoveries that surprise and delight the senses — this is the foundation of the Hotel Sax Chicago guest experience philosophy.

"The Hotel Sax will possess similar qualities to the other luxury hotel properties in the Gemstone portfolio," said Mark van Hartesvelt, Gemstone principal. "Gemstone is known for creating exceptional experiences for each guest; what we call, 'experiential and participatory theater.' This personalized focus creates a special bond and builds guest loyalty. We believe this approach will make the Hotel Sax Chicago the premier hotel destination experience in Chicago."

New York based design firm MCCARTAN is creating the hotel design including all interior design concepts, furniture, hardware and lighting. The firm, founded by Irish born Colum McCartan, specializes in hospitality design and encompasses an eclectic mix of styles and global influences. Some of their most prestigious work can be found in the Parker Meridien, New York, Hotel Vitale and Hotel Adagio in San Francisco. The Hotel Sax Chicago design concept mixes the essence of a 17th century French Salon executed with a 21st century twist. An eclectic array of furnishings from India and Europe are also used in exotic colors and finishes. The bold design elements, luxury amenities and service philosophy are all designed to create an unprecedented luxury hotel experience.

Capturing a seductive, yet vibrant ambiance, the Hotel Sax Chicago is the ultimate downtown Chicago luxury hotel destination. Located just steps away from the Chicago River in the city's celebrated Marina City, the 353-room hotel offers high-tech room amenities and meeting areas, and unique access to six celebrated restaurants, a Crunch 25,000 square foot fitness facility, the 10 pin upscale bowling lounge, and the world-renowned House of Blues music venue.