There's a chandelier-like device that pours liquors and a giant zoetrope.

By Melanie Lieberman
March 15, 2017

In late spring, Chicago will welcome Hotel EMC2 to the Magnificent Mile. Hotelier Scott Greenberg told Travel + Leisure that the boutique property will “make smart sexy.”

Greenberg, who described himself as a geek growing up, considers this hotel a passion project to celebrate the “intersection of art and science.” To be sure, the hotel’s public spaces and guest rooms are filled with whimsical and unusual elements that play to both subjects.


The Infusary, for example, is an attention grabbing, chandelier-inspired contraption that straddles the line between functional bar equipment and decorative art. Stretching from the top of the bar to the 20-foot ceiling, the Infusary will dispense flavored spirits, fortified liquors — perhaps even a signature house shot — concocted by the food and beverage director, Rebecca Royster.

And in the lobby, guests will be greeted with a 7-foot-tall zoetrope (a 19th-century device that creates the illusion of movement) and a quote by Leonardo da Vinci.

Rockwell Group

“Study the science of art. Study the art of science,” da Vinci famously said. “Develop your senses — learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

There are meeting rooms dedicated to mathematician Emmy Noether and the theory of Symmetry; a contemporary restaurant called, fittingly, The Albert (Einstein, we presume); art installations by Dr. Eugenia Cheng, a scientist-in-residence at the nearby Art Institute of Chicago.

Rockwell Group

Even the exterior is something of an experiment: a composition of reflective, geometric shapes that play with light and depth.

In the 195 rooms, rose gold fixtures evoke vintage copper piping, and the transparent shower in the center of the room can be concealed with the pull of a wraparound curtain (not unlike a 1930s wet lab) that doubles as a piece of art. Guests will also find metallic acoustical amplifiers for their mobile devices and dramatic, metallic prints of turbulent seas and clouds hanging over the bed. “[It’s] sort of my metaphor for the power of the human intellect,” Greenberg told T+L.

Hotel EMC2 is a member of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, where the properties are decidedly “exactly like nothing else.” Rates will start at $249 per night.