Featured Interview: Bedderman Lodging and Chicago's Newest Boutique Hotels

Featured Interview: Bedderman Lodging and Chicago's Newest Boutique Hotels

Published on Sep 25th 2018

Hotels throughout the world are struggling to redefine luxury and continually meet the shifting desires of high-end travelers. With a focus on one-of-a-kind boutique hotels, Bedderman Lodging takes an altogether different approach.

Bedderman Lodging was born in 2012 when longtime real estate developers Robert Baum and Mike Downing noticed that there was a lack of boutique hotels in Chicago; so, the two men decided to venture into the hospitality industry. After only 6 years in business, Bedderman Lodging has four properties to its name: two hostels (Urban Holiday Lofts and Holiday Jones) and two boutique hotels, including FieldHouse Jones, which features “flexible room types, ingenious bed arrangements,…bespoke communal spaces, super-local food + drinks, inspired events, and box-fresh art.”

By creating alternatively styled, boutique hotels in the heart of Chicago and infusing them with personality, guests are treated to a unique, authentic, and truly “local” experience in a central, walkable location.

Bedderman Lodging’s newest property, a luxury boutique hotel situated in historic Wrigleyville, hopes to attract a new class of customers by providing upscale accommodations, fresh and modern design, locally curated minibars, and (of course) plush, resort-style bathrobes. To learn more about Bedderman and their company philosophy, we sat down with Operations Manager Madeline Rawski.

Hi Madeline! What else can you tell us about Bedderman Lodging? What’s next for the company?

Bedderman Lodging is based in Chicago, and we operate unique accommodations in some of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. From hostels to a high-end hotel, Bedderman offers lodging at all price points for the savvy and stylish traveler looking for a stay that is far from ordinary. We’ll soon be expanding to Nashville, and our hope is to continue to open properties across the country.

We’d love to see more Bedderman locations across the country! In the meantime, what’s your typical day at work?

I’m not sure the phrase “typical day” applies to me! I do whatever I need to do to keep our properties running smoothly. Bedderman is a small but expanding company, so I wear numerous hats on any given day. Every day is different, yet the structure of a day in a hotel environment remains the same. I know what to expect, but there’s always a new challenge or scenario that arises. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say that I’ve seen it all!

With all of that hat-juggling, how do you approach your role as Operations Manager? What’s the most rewarding part of it all?

It’s been amazing to see how Bedderman has grown since I joined the business 5 years ago. I love reading positive reviews of our properties, and I see less-than-stellar reviews as an opportunity to do better. I love having an impact on a guest’s experience – not only in our hotel but also during their time in the Windy City.

Year after year, guests seem to care more and more about experiencing a sense of “community” when traveling. How do you meet those expectations?

All of our properties are situated in hyper-local neighborhoods, far from the supersaturated, traditional tourist spots. So, upon entering, guests already feel as though they’re part of the local scene. All of our properties house a local café or shop, giving our guests a better sense of the community and an opportunity to meet and mingle with travelers and locals alike. Additionally, each property has its own cozy communal spaces, specifically designed to cultivate community amongst our array of guests.

And does that sense of community extend to your staff as well?

Absolutely. We lead regular staff meetings; review and discuss trends and topics in the travel, operations, and housekeeping industries; and we send weekly and monthly emails to our staff to boost team morale.

Do your guests encounter any Boca Terry products at your properties?

Yes! You’ll find the Boca Terry Kimono style robe at our newest property, The Wheelhouse Hotel in Chicago. The robes are beautifully embroidered with our logo, and they have an athletic vibe to them. This works perfectly for our concept, as we are located right down the street from the iconic Wrigley Field. Our Boca Terry sales rep, Jyll, has been very helpful, and the quality of the product is excellent. Boca Terry robes add value to our hotel by providing our guests with a taste of luxury at a cost that’s economical for our business.

 

We’re so glad we can add some vibe and comfort to your boutique hotels! Thank you, Madeline!

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