“The Freehand is housed in a beatnik, circa-1927 building in the heart of the city’s humming River North neighborhood. As the old Tokyo Hotel, it was a humble pit stop for backpackers of all stripes. Inspired by Wright’s Usonian aesthetic, New York designers Roman and Williams stripped the place down, updating original terrazzo tiles and lining the book-strewn shared spaces in honey-colored African Sapele woods.
Their aim was to bring Chicago’s four seasons inside, through the use of natural fabrics and textures. The result is a casual, Southwestern-style commune, dressed in alpaca wool throws and handwoven rugs, with each space distinguished by an eclectic work of art.
The main event at Freehand is the Broken Shaker bar, where some of the country’s best cocktails are served in a room tricked out with pine wallpaper from the 1940s. It’s a choice spot for a nightcap before surrendering to one of the 217 guestrooms.”