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Rest Your Bones, Engage Your Mind

A Nerdy Places Feature: Hotel EMC2

By MJ Wilke

Leonardo da Vinci got it. Albert Einstein got it. The Hotel EMC2 in Chicago, Illinois gets it — science and art are connected like mass, light and energy. Walking into the lobby, da Vinci's quote boldly graces the wall. 


“Study the science of art, study the art of science, develop your senses, learn how to see, realize that everything connects to everything else.”


The quote is more than just wall dressings; it’s the basis of the hotel’s design philosophy. Here, all different facets of science and art blend perfectly into one style: it’s hip, elegant, steampunk, literary, 1860s, 1920s, 2020s. It’s the style of the big thinkers.


Walking into the curio-cabinet, bookshelf-lined lobby bar (aptly named The Archive Lounge), you almost expect to see Einstein, Picasso, Jules Verne and Salvador Dali engaging in lively conversation. An eclectic gathering together of great minds. The restaurant is equally aptly named, The Albert, and pays homage to, you guessed it, Albert Einstein. And yet the Hotel EMC2 is a hotel with a theme that doesn’t feel overly thematic. It’s a thoroughly modern hotel with the Art Deco design of the past and the functionality of the present.


The guest rooms have the modern luxuries of plush robes, wood and satin hangers, clothes steamer, and the nuanced amenities of a boutique hotel. The details are where the design really shines: the gramophone iPhone speaker, Picasso shower curtain, Dali-style melted clock do not disturb sign, da Vinci-style pencil etching note cards, and a steampunk lab bathroom with marble walls and copper tubing. And then there’s the adorable Buck Rogers type astromech robot butler to bring you that tube of toothpaste you forgot to pack.


The hotel, part of the Marriott Autograph collection, is ideally located in the Streeterville area of downtown Chicago, on the lakeside of Michigan Avenue (The Magnificent Mile). Use the hotel as a home base to discover all this neighborhood has to offer. Or luxuriate in the past, present, and future amenities inside its eclectic walls. Whether you’re in Chi-town for a nerd weekend adventure or just have time for drinks in the lounge, make a stop at the place where science and art meet – Hotel EMC2.


To see more Nerdy Places in Illinois or across the country see

Nerdy Places. 

Hotel EMC2


228 E Ontario Street

Chicago, IL 60611


A hotel where science meets art, and form meets function. Part of the Marriott chain, ideally located, comfortable and fun.

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