I've driven by it a good many times since its completion last summer, but until Monday never visited the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center. I contracted to attend a convention at this venue for a magazine and write up a select number of the presentations. Which I'm in the process of doing, so blogging will necessarily get shorted.
I was too busy to make many notes about the place, though I did wander around a bit. I understand it's doing well, this mid-sized convention center some 30 miles from the granddaddy of convention centers, not only of Chicago but of the world: the sprawling McCormack Place. If you don't need that much space, and don't necessarily want to be in a downtown hotel meeting space, the RSH&CC is indeed a good option. For out-of-towners, access to O'Hare isn't too complicated. For me, access was as simple as driving to Costco -- which is just on the other side of I-90.
I like to find something distinctive everywhere I go, but somehow this place didn't offer up that much. The hotel is certainly expensive-looking; Marriott didn't try to get the place on the cheap. It's new and white and posh, with all sorts of interior-designer amenities, and no doubt it's a prime example of mid-2000s hotel design. Still, it could have been a posh hotel in London or Singapore or Walla Walla. These are pics, judge for yourself.
Some of the carpet designs were cool. Looked like exploding snowflakes. And those meeting room names, metioned yesterday, amused me mightily. The meeting rooms were precisely like every hotel meeting room everywhere, but with names such as Nirvana, Euphoria, Utopia, Serenity etc., a mix of exotic religious terms and terms for happiness or the like. I also considered the possible names they'd left out: the generic Happiness; Bliss; Felicity; Ecstasy, which might have unwanted associations with MDMA; Dzogchen, but that hasn't been popularized in the West enough; Gladness; Giddiness; Giggles.