New hotel doubles banquet center size in Naperville

By: Marie Wilson, Daily Herald Business Ledger

The 1,000-seat banquet hall Naperville has been seeking for more than a decade is now open at the new Embassy Suites by Hilton.

The hotel at 1813 Abriter Court on the city’s north side opened last week with 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting and banquet space including two board rooms and a private dining room for up to 60 people.

It more than doubles the capacity at the second-largest hotel banquet center in Naperville, which seats about 500 people, said Christine Jeffries, president of the Naperville Development Partnership.

“This is a real big deal to us,” Jeffries said about the large venue. “A lot of events were leaving town solely because of the banquet size.”

Now major nonprofit galas and business conventions can find a home at the Embassy Suites in a development called Freedom Plaza, which is west of Freedom Drive and just south of I-88.

The facility is the first new hotel in Naperville in eight years and Jeffries said it brings the city’s total hotel rooms to roughly 2,100.

The 168-room Embassy Suites is located within walking distance of 1,200 existing hotel rooms, which Jeffries said should bring good synergy.

“Because the banquet facility is so large and number of rooms is moderate, we hope for a lot of overflow into existing hotels,” Jeffries said.

The new hotel also is within walking distance of 10 restaurants including Granite City Food & Brewery, which opened last October as part of the Freedom Plaza development.

Other restaurants planned for Freedom Plaza include Uncle Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant, Pita Inn, a fast Mediterranean eatery, and Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse.

Within the hotel itself is Brickstones Grill, which will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hotel also will offer free made-to-order breakfast, free Wi-Fi, a heated indoor pool, a fitness center and a business center, both of which will be open 24 hours.

In a news release, Embassy Suites by Hilton officials called the hotel’s design “upscale” and “contemporary.”

“Embassy Suites by Hilton is synonymous with hospitality and guest satisfaction, and we’re very excited about this project,” Ash Lakany, CEO of Freedom Plaza developer Superhost Enterprises, said in a news release. “This hotel is a wonderful addition to the Naperville market.”

When construction of the hotel and restaurants began two years ago, Naperville City Council granted Superhost Enterprise $7.5 million in incentives to help fund the project. The incentives mainly will be paid over time in the form of hotel tax and retail sales tax rebates.