The Blackstone emerges from smoke-filled past

The Chicago hotel that gave birth to the phrase "smoke-filled room" reopened Saturday after a $128 million renovation.

The 97-year-old Blackstone, which has hosted a dozen U.S. presidents, made history at the deadlocked 1920 Republican convention when cigar-smoking pols huddled in a ninth-floor suite and brokered the nomination of Warren G. Harding. An Associated Press report coined the term for closed-door political wheeling and dealing.

The hotel on South Michigan Avenue, later acquired by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and shuttered in 1999, now is owned by Sage Hospitality Resources and called The Blackstone, A Renaissance Hotel. Introductory rates start at $289; the once-smoky suite costs $3,000 a night.

But no puffing, please. The hotel is no-smoking.