Hotel’s New Sky Garden and Herb Collection Aim to Grow Connection With Guests

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The 455-all suite Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile recently repurposed its atrium as the “largest greenhouse in the city” in launching its new “Sky Garden” concept and herb collection, allowing the hotel to connect with its guests with a “direct-to-fork” approach, an announcement from the hotel states.

Given the climate in Chicago, most rooftop gardens are seasonal, active for only six months and not accessible to guests. The new 750-square foot Sky Garden is open and accessible 365 days a year with accessibility to guests whether staying at the hotel for business or leisure. “The hotel’s culinary team created the Sky Garden’s herb collection that allows the hotel to connect with guests in a “direct-to-fork” manner, eliminating the middle man in an instantly identifiable and approachable way,” states the hotel’s announcement.

“We are thrilled to debut the new Sky Garden and its herb collection to our guests,” says Konstantine Drosos, GM, Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile. “It allows our guests to experience nature in an urban setting and educates them on our sustainability endeavors at the property level. This innovative concept further differentiates us from other hotels in the city and other Embassy Suites properties around the world by giving us a thoughtful and enjoyable connection to our patrons.”

The herb collection at the Sky Garden features an extensive variety, with more than 1,000 pots of plants decorating the atrium and rotating on a seasonal basis. Currently, the herbs featured in the Sky Garden include mint, oregano, basil, sage, and rosemary, providing a fragrant bouquet of different herbal scents to “cultivate the senses” of guests visiting the space. The downtown Chicago office of Calgary-based DIRTT Environmental Solutions installed the new Sky Garden.

The fresh herbs grown in the Sky Garden will be incorporated into the hotel’s complimentary evening reception and cooked-to-order breakfast, two of the three brand pillars of Embassy Suites (the third being all-suite accommodations). For breakfast, fresh herbs will be used in the preparation of omelets, herb potatoes, and herb-accented fruit on the buffet. At the evening reception, the culinary team will be serving a rotating aqua fresca every night. Whether it is watermelon and rosemary, lemonade and thyme, or berry cooler and sage, the selections will be offered as non-alcoholic with the option to add a splash of alcohol at the Evening Reception for a unique and fresh cocktail.

A selection of herb-centric dishes inspired by the atrium’s Sky Garden will also be available on the menu at the hotel’s 511 Lounge. The drink menu at the 511 Lounge will feature herb-inspired cocktails while herb-centric selection of meals will be added to the hotel’s banquets menu with options ranging from semi-private events in the Sky Garden to private mixology parties with an “herb” focus.