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The Drake Hotel History


At the Drake Hotel Oak Brook, you aren’t just walking into a world of modern elegance, but also a step back in time.

                          History                  

While it was originally commissioned in 1961 as an extension of the famous Drake Hotel on Michigan Avenue, the Drake Hotel Oak Brook has made a name all its own.
 
Over its lifetime, its timeless European style and inviting atmosphere have drawn prominent guests from around the world. Prince Charles, Frank Sinatra, and Rock Hudson are just a few of the famous names that have graced its guest books, while golf greats including Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus have played on its golf course.
 
A large part of the hotel’s renown can be attributed to one man—Gino DiRenzo. From 1962 until 2009, DiRenzo stood as a symbol of excellence and bastion of hospitality. After apprenticing abroad in such hotels as the Savoy in London and the Ritz in Paris, he became the Drake’s catering manager where he brought a class and polish to every event.
 
However, even DiRenzo’s experienced touch couldn’t save it from its fate. In 2009, after 48 years of faithful service, the hotel fell prey to a Ponzi scheme, shutting its doors for what seemed for good.
 
When local investors James and Tely Nagle learned it was on the market, they rushed to purchase the property. After two years of extensive renovations, it has been restored it to its once grand splendor.

 


Where Time Rests 

Ubi Tempus Quietus, meaning “where time rests,” is more than an inscription upon the building’s crest--it’s a way of life.  
 
When you stay at the Drake Hotel, the stress and worries of the world are washed away in a setting whose vintage character has been updated with touches that are both classic yet modern.
 
Sprinkled throughout the hotel are richly carved wood pieces that hail from Tely Nagle’s home country of Mexico. The same artist who crafted many pieces for Pope John Paul II was called on to create the sumptuous art table in the lobby, detailed vanity found in the women’s restroom, and intricate crown molding that hangs prominently in the entryway.
 
At The Café, it’s impossible to ignore the expansive mural that graces its walls. This wallpaper from Zuber & Cie entitled Scenes of North America is the same as was installed by Jackie Kennedy in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. Here, it has been restored to its former glory for the next generation’s enjoyment.
 
One of the hotel’s most recent updates is held within the Flower Terrace. When entering the room your gaze immediately wanders to the delicately detailed blown glass pieces floating above your head. These ethereal flowers were designed by Tely herself and painstakingly handcrafted in Mexico to add color and a joie de vivre to the space.
 
Regardless of your plans, these and many other wonders await your arrival at the Drake Hotel Oak Brook. We invite you to take a stroll along its verdant golf course, settle into its sumptuous leather chairs, and dine in style while taking a break from the worries of the world.

 

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