The brothers’ master plan was a hotel to inspire wonder and emulation—and for nearly a century, the Drake brothers’ dream in Chicago has endured. Conceived by John and Tracy Drake, The Drake Hotel was highly acclaimed from the outset, its rise to fame hastened by the popularity of the radio broadcasts it delivered to a nation weary from war and ready for change.
The circular door’s wooden frame, complete with painstakingly carved filigree, ushered in The Drake’s first distinguished guests on New Year’s Eve in 1920. Standing upon the checkered Bottacino marble floor, guests marveled in wonder at one of the nation’s first urban resorts—by every measure, an auspicious beginning.
Embracing progress, The Drake was the first hotel in Chicago to provide air conditioning in every room and the first to have color televisions in all guest rooms. However when modern marvels would have diminished services, The Drake became the only hotel in Chicago to retain elevator operators. Years later, it spurned the advent of ice machines until the quality of the ice became comparable to handmade cubes. For while the property is majestic, there exists an atmosphere within these walls that is notably inviting, comfortable, and always rewarding.
As the eras have passed, The Drake has solidified its reputation as a Chicago original, its timeless story inextricably woven in to the very fabric of this great city. The Cape Cod Room has been one of the city’s most popular restaurants, it’s Coq d’Or, opened the day after the repeal of Prohibition, is one of Chicago’s best loved bars. And its private Club International has enjoyed a lengthy waiting list for membership. These authentic Chicago experiences endure, for no other Chicago hotel inspires more legendary acclaim, nor does there exist another address that affords its guests a level of prestige, refinement, and service on par with The Drake.