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The History and Ownership of the Drake Hotel in Chicago

The Drake Hotel is an iconic landmark located in the heart of Chicago. With its impressive architecture and rich history, the hotel has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

If you’ve ever wondered about the ownership of this historic hotel, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll answer the question ‘Who owns the Drake Hotel in Chicago?’ and provide you with some interesting facts along the way.

So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating history of the Drake Hotel and its owners.

History of the Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel, located in Chicago, is a historic landmark that has been a symbol of luxury and sophistication for over 100 years. The hotel has hosted numerous celebrities, politicians, and dignitaries throughout its history. To understand who owns the Drake Hotel today, it is worth exploring its history.

Early Beginnings: The Drake Hotel was built in 1920 by John Drake and Tracy Drake, two brothers who were successful real estate developers. The hotel was designed by the renowned architect Benjamin Marshall and was constructed in the Beaux-Arts style. The Drake Hotel opened its doors in 1920 and quickly became one of the premier hotels in Chicago.

The Roaring Twenties: The 1920s were a time of prosperity and excess, and the Drake Hotel was no exception. The hotel was the site of numerous glamorous parties and events during this time. The Palm Court, a popular gathering spot in the hotel, became known for its afternoon tea and live music.

World War II and Beyond: During World War II, the Drake Hotel was used as a military headquarters and a training facility. After the war, the hotel continued to attract high-profile guests and hosted numerous events, including the Miss Universe pageant in 1960.


Early Beginnings The Roaring Twenties World War II and Beyond
Year 1920 1920s 1940s-1960s
Significance Premier hotel in Chicago Site of glamorous parties and events Military headquarters and high-profile events

Today, the Drake Hotel is owned by Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and is a part of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand. The hotel has undergone numerous renovations and upgrades over the years, but it still retains its historic charm and elegance. Visitors to the Drake Hotel can enjoy luxurious accommodations, world-class dining, and unparalleled service.

It is interesting to note that the Drake Hotel is not the only historic hotel in Chicago. Other notable hotels in the area include the Palmer House Hilton, the Hilton Chicago, and the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. These hotels have also played an important role in the history of Chicago and continue to attract visitors from around the world.

Ownership of the Drake Hotel

One of the most iconic hotels in Chicago, The Drake Hotel, has had a long and fascinating history since its opening in 1920. Over the years, the hotel has hosted royalty, celebrities, and presidents. But who owns this magnificent hotel now?

Currently, the Drake Hotel is owned by The Blackstone Group, a multinational private equity firm based in New York City. They acquired the hotel in 2016 for a reported $120 million. The Blackstone Group is known for its extensive portfolio of real estate investments, including hotels and resorts.

However, The Blackstone Group is not the only owner in the hotel’s history. In fact, the hotel has changed hands multiple times over the years. One of the most notable owners was the Hilton family, who owned the hotel from 1945 to 1965.

Recent Developments

The Drake Hotel has undergone numerous renovations and updates over the years to maintain its luxurious and elegant reputation. In 2019, the hotel completed a $40 million renovation, which included updates to the guest rooms, lobby, and meeting spaces. The renovation also included the addition of a new bar and restaurant, the Palm Court.

It is worth mentioning that the Drake Hotel has had its fair share of challenges in recent years. Like many hotels, it has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotel temporarily closed its doors in March 2020 and reopened in July of the same year with enhanced cleaning and safety protocols in place.

Despite the challenges, the Drake Hotel remains an important part of Chicago’s history and continues to attract visitors from around the world.

Interesting Facts About the Drake Hotel

Located in the heart of Chicago, the Drake Hotel is a historic landmark that has welcomed guests from all over the world for over a century. Here are some interesting facts about this iconic hotel:

  • Famous Guests and Events: Over the years, the Drake Hotel has hosted many famous guests, including presidents, celebrities, and international dignitaries. Some notable guests include Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, and Frank Sinatra. The hotel has also been the site of many important events, such as the National Governors Association conference and the first-ever televised presidential debate.
  • The Drake’s Architecture: The hotel’s distinctive architecture is a blend of several styles, including French Renaissance, Gothic, and Art Deco. The building features a limestone exterior, ornate carvings, and a grand lobby with crystal chandeliers. The hotel’s impressive architecture has earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Luxury Amenities: The Drake Hotel is known for its luxurious amenities, including its upscale restaurants, elegant ballrooms, and spacious guest rooms. The hotel offers a variety of room types, from cozy standard rooms to lavish suites with views of Lake Michigan. Other amenities include a fitness center, spa, and rooftop lounge.

It is worth mentioning that the Drake Hotel is part of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts portfolio, which includes other iconic properties such as the Waldorf Astoria and Conrad hotels. Keep in mind that the hotel’s prime location on the Magnificent Mile makes it a popular choice for tourists and business travelers alike. Unfortunately, due to its popularity, the Drake Hotel can be quite expensive, with room rates starting at around $300 per night.

If you’re interested in exploring more of Chicago’s rich history and architecture, the Chicago Architecture Center offers a variety of tours and exhibits that showcase the city’s unique buildings and landmarks. On the other hand, if you’re simply looking for a luxurious getaway in the heart of the city, the Drake Hotel is definitely worth considering for your next trip.


The Drake Hotel has a rich history and a fascinating story to tell. From its early beginnings to its current ownership, this iconic landmark has been a symbol of luxury and elegance for over 100 years.

Whether you’re a history buff, a fan of luxury hotels, or just curious about the ownership of the Drake, we hope this article has provided you with some interesting insights and information.

So, the next time you’re in Chicago, be sure to visit the Drake Hotel and experience its timeless beauty and elegance for yourself!