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updated: 10/10/2017 6:31 AM
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  • Cathleen Knobbe

    Cathleen Knobbe

  • The Drake Oak Brook first opened in 1961 as a suburban counterpart to the iconic Drake in Chicago and was renovated and reopened in 2015.

    The Drake Oak Brook first opened in 1961 as a suburban counterpart to the iconic Drake in Chicago and was renovated and reopened in 2015.


An interview with Cathleen Knobbe, director of sales and marketing at The Drake Oak Brook Hotel.

Q: Tell us about The Drake Oak Brook.

A: The hotel was opened in 1961 as the suburban counterpart to the iconic Drake Hotel on Michigan Avenue. The hotel was purchased by Jim and Tely Nagle in 2014 and reopened in 2015. Their goal was to bring back elegance and sophistication back to the hotel.

The Drake Oak Brook Hotel has been accepted into the Autograph Collection of hotels by Marriott and will be going through some additional renovations in the near future. We will be the first nonmetropolitan location

Q: What's unique about the venue?

A: There are so many wonderful things to experience at The Drake Oak Brook from our live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights, Sunday Brunch, High Tea and our very special holiday brunches.

Q: How do you cater to corporate meetings and events?

A: We have very flexible meeting space to host a corporate event for 5 up to 300.

A great feature and cost savings for our clients is that we include WI-FI complimentary with all our meeting space. Our menus are very broad and are completely customizable.

Our culinary team creates amazing dishes for all types of dietary requirements.

Q: What are people in your industry talking about? What's trending?

A: Clients are trending to location that have unique space, activities, and farm to fork foods. Here at the Drake Oak Brook Hotel we have our Flower Room with the amazing Veranda for both corporate and social functions.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What is your past experience in the industry?

A: I have been in the industry for more than 20 years and in the Oak Brook market for 5 years. I have had the pleasure of working in many different types of hotel and markets and by far The Drake Oak Brook is like no other with all that we have to offer from guest rooms, meeting space, Live entertainment, Sunday Brunches and holiday events.

Q: Tell us one interesting fact about the venue that most people may not know?

A: The Drake Oak Brook Hotel is in the process of joining the Autograph Collection by Marriott and will be the first suburban hotel in its collection.

For guest seeking a glamorous escape from the everyday, The Drake Oak Brook is a world apart -- lovingly renovated historic icon on ten tranquil acres of land just a short drive from Chicago, offering a richly textured blend of grand hotel experiences and amenities, distinctive social and recreation options, and legendary style of service that makes everyone feels like a privileged insider.

Q: What does the future look like for The Drake Oak Brook?

A: We are positioning ourselves to bring fresh energy and Instagrammable moments into indoor and outdoor spaces. Increasing the romance, aura of seclusion, and grand-estate-inspired vibe of the outdoor spaces.

In addition to being "the place" for special occasions of all kinds, the hotel should be known for elevated everyday experiences -- a place where even an overnight business trip or a casual drink at the bar promises something beyond the ordinary.