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Uptown's Guesthouse Hotel Featured on Travel Channel's 'Hotel Showdown'

By Mina Bloom | February 3, 2015 9:47am
  The boutique hotel will be featured on "Hotel Showdown," which premieres at 8 p.m. Feb. 10.
The boutique hotel will be featured on "Hotel Showdown," which premieres at 8 p.m. Feb. 10.
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Guesthouse Hotel

UPTOWN — A North Side boutique hotel that encourages guests to "live like a local" soon will be featured on the Travel Channel.

David Krug, co-owner of The GuestHouse Hotel at 4866 N. Clark St., will represent Chicago on the premiere episode of "Hotel Showdown," which will air at 8 p.m. Feb. 10.

Each episode follows four hoteliers who travel to each other's properties and critique them. The owner with the highest-rated hotel wins $25,000.

"It was a really special experience," said Krug. "If the show is successful, it will drive business to all of the small, independent hotels."

Krug will square off against three other Midwestern owners or general managers representing Cooperstone Inn of Rockford, Holiday Music Hotel in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., and McCormick House Inn of Wayward, Wis. The show only features small, independently owned hotels, meaning no franchises or chains.

Though Krug admits to being skeptical at first, he called the show "educational," adding that "he'd do it again in a heartbeat" because he learned so much about the hotel business from the other contestants.

Krug said they traded notes on how to develop the best reservation systems and cancellation policies, among other hotel business practices.

He added that some of the hotels featured on the show host more than 100 weddings a year. The GuestHouse Hotel hasn't hosted too many events, but Krug said that'll change now that he's learned from the contestants how to be "more than just a hotel." 

Guesthouse Hotel expanded last May. It now has one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, and penthouse units with private rooftop gardens. All of the rooms are outfitted with high-end finishes throughout, such as fireplaces and granite kitchen countertops, and many units have a washer and dryer.

"We try to mimic what a Chicago condo looks like, with a grill on the balcony and hardwood floors," he said.

The hotel also has an upgraded lobby with an exercise room and a retail shop, among other amenities.

Guesthouse Hotel opened in 2008 not as a hotel, but as a 10-unit condominium building. Two years later, Krug brought his wife, Simona, on board to transform the building into Andersonville Guesthouse Hotel. They dropped the "Andersonville" in their name when they expanded last May.

Krug points out that "90 percent of the hotels in Chicago are either by the Loop or the airports."

Guesthouse, however, is located in the middle of one of Chicago's neighborhoods, where guests can easily grab a beer at a local bar or see a show at a historic theater.

The other three independently owned hotels featured on the show are "the kinds of places we like to stay when we travel," Krug said.

He added: "It's neat to build a show around them."

The Krugs and hotel staffers are hosting an invite-only watch party when the episode airs.

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