The most unique experiences in the most distinctive places

Making Hotels That Matter

We believe in authentic flavor and celebrate true neighborhood character; not just the thoroughfares but the intriguing side streets. Our growing collection of independent hotels are remarkable in every way. Like the cities they inhabit, each Aparium hotel is unique—engaging, inspiring, individual, and real.

Our singular, community driven and collaborative approach to hospitality creates properties that are integral pieces of the cities they inhabit. From concepting and design to branding and management our unyielding excitement and infectious enthusiasm for our hotels comes through in every lobby, every room, every restaurant, every bar—every experience our guests have.

Our Story

Aparium was founded in 2011 by Chicago hospitality executive and entrepreneur Mario Tricoci and luxury hotel veteran Kevin Robinson. The duo saw a clear need for a company that could bring C-suite service and accommodations to underserved—yet distinct and important—cities while maintaining and celebrating the unadulterated character of each. Driven by the belief that all hospitality experiences should be fueled by the poetics of their surroundings, Aparium was born with an intense focus on unearthing the amazing moments unique to every city.

Since its founding, Aparium has grown into a new kind of hotel brand—one that ventures off the beaten path, both geographically and philosophically. It is a sophisticated hotel brand known for its singular ability to combine the business acumen of large hospitality companies with the charm of boutique hotels, bringing the disparate forces together in bustling, smaller markets.

Tricoci and Robinson’s capabilities and flair were never more prominently on display than during their time as

co-developers, owners and operators of the highly acclaimed Elysian Hotel in Chicago.

Opening its doors in 2009 on the under-explored outskirts of Chicago’s Gold Coast, the Elysian, with its cobblestone courtyard and allusions to the grand hotels of 1920’s Paris, quickly drew the interest, praise and admiration of most every hotel brand, hotel publication, rating service, and the public at large. With its remarkable designs, operations, and vision, the Elysian won numerous awards including being ranked number one in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards, earning a AAA 5 Diamond, and in 2013 netting a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

The Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee provided Aparium’s first proving ground for its progressive hospitality philosophy. Recently voted one of the top 25 hotels in the United States, The Iron Horse has become the leader and a standard of excellence in the booming

independent hotel industry and remains a prime example of the complete Aparium experience. The Iron Horse is the embodiemient of Aparium’s signature Translocal Hospitality, Owner Collaboration, and Intuitive Service model. 

A tremendous compliment of openings is scheduled in the coming years in important locations as diverse as the oft written about downtown Detroit; the burgeoning North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis; the flourishing Crossroads district in Kansas City; the eclectic and diverse town of Montclair; La Crosse—one of the most exciting small cities in America—and Covington, a dynamic urban enclave serving Northern Kentucky and the greater Cincinnati area. Aparium’s unexpected experiences are poised to become important catalysts in the resurgence of many great American cities. Aparium aims to celebrate the true entrepreneurial spirit of each city with every new opening while adding the passion, commitment, and care Aparium is known for to the ever-changing cultural landscape.



Kevin Robinson

Co-Founder & Principal

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Co-founder of Aparium Hotel Group and its “Translocal Hospitality” philosophy, Kevin believes if you are everything for everyone, you’re not really anything. As a pioneer of a unique business model that merges the strengths of a mature corporation with the strengths of entrepreneurialism, Kevin’s “can’t stop, won’t stop” mentality paves the way for his mission in disrupting the comfort of sameness. Kevin established a wealth of experience and knowledge living and working abroad, with distinctive stints at some of the world’s finest full-service and luxury hotels. In addition to opening numerous hotels, Kevin led massive renovations, and assisted with multiple brand/ownership transitions. An adventure seeker that is always looking to try something new and wants to improve everything, he finds his Zen in the great outdoors, enjoying the simple things of life. He is also actively involved on several board positions and a non-profit organization which he co-founded.

Mario Tricoci

Co-Founder | Chief Executive Officer

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Mario possesses a rare combination of legal, business and entrepreneurial experience, providing inspiring and distinctive leadership. Mario’s extensive knowledge of investment, capital structure, and control elements of the business world along with his innate ability to foster creative vision and operational strategy have allowed him to guide companies of varying sizes to success. Prior to co-founding Aparium Hotel Group, Mario was the President and Managing Partner for the Elysian Hotel Group – the management and development company responsible for the success of the much acclaimed Elysian Hotel Chicago (now the Waldorf Astoria Chicago). Prior to spreading his entrepreneurial wings, Mario was a real-estate and finance lawyer at a large international firm where he represented many globally recognized hotel and business owners as well as investors, handling the negotiations and consummation of numerous transactions involving some of the world’s largest hotel management companies including Ritz Carlton, Rosewood, Four Seasons, and Starwood Brands.

Joe Aguilera

Executive Vice President Marketing & Revenue Management

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Bio coming soon.

Virginie Bishop

Corporate Accounting Manager

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A bilingual hospitality professional with a service ethic rooted in dedication to detail and excellent, Virginie brings a corporate familiarity and international insight to the growing Aparium Hotel Group team. Following her mastery of the Hospitality Management School program at the Hospitality School at Rennes, France, Virginie grew into her devotion to guest service and high hospitality standards through her work with the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, from Hyatt Regency Charles de Gaulle in Paris, France to Park Hyatt Chicago, and finally Hyatt Shared Services. Joining the Aparium team as Corporate Account Manager, Virginie is galvanized to further Aparium Hotel Group’s mission to make hotels that matter through a deep understanding of hospitality projects on both a large, international and intimate property level.

Valerie Casper

Vice President Sales & Marketing

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Bio coming soon.

Regina Cook

Assistant Vice President Finance

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Bio coming soon.

Deena Ellis

Director of Recruitment & Benefits

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A Human Resources professional by both trade and passion, Deena holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of St. Francis and a Masters of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Roosevelt University. After beginning her career at the Park Hyatt Chicago, Deena joined the Elysian Chicago as Human Resources Manager where she was head of talent management. During the hotel’s transition to Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Deena was instrumental in supporting the staff during this period. Throughout her last two years at the property, she served as Training Director and supported the team to achieve Five Diamond rating, earning a nomination for Manager of the year with the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Stars of the Industry award. Prior to joining Aparium Hotel Group, she consulted for Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago in preparation to the opening of the outside terrace and Forbes Evaluation.

Troy Ellis

Vice President Finance

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Finding meaning behind the costs and understanding the true price associated with providing an invaluable experience for guests motivates Troy as the man behind the numbers. Troy’s 11 years of hotel accounting and operational knowledge of convention, luxury, and boutique hotels, make him an integral member of the Aparium team. Troy leads the charge in implementation of accounting policies and procedures, budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting for all of Aparium managed properties. As a balanced and accomplished hospitality accountant, Troy’s skills are put to good use as a baseball enthusiast and expert fantasy competitor.

John Farris

Chief Marketing Officer

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Bio coming soon.

Erika Hirt

Vice President Human Resources + Associate Development

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At its core, Aparium believes in the power of people, place, and character, a value embodied by Vice President of Human Resources & Associate Development Erika Hirt. Erika is a bilingual – and working towards a becoming trilingual – professional with more than 15 years of working Human Resources experience. Her creativity contagious and her leadership energetic, Erika is constantly looking for ways to infuse employee engagement with an elevated guest experience from the most local level. Dedicated to grassroots movements in her community, Erika is an active supporter of PAWS, Imerman Angels, St. Judes’ Hospital, and Merci Home for Boys & Girls, having also participated in the U.S. Committee for Refugees & Immigrants in both 2009 and 2011.

Michael Kitchen

Vice President of Acquisitions + Development

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One-of-a-kind, awe-inspiring, genuine, authentic, timeless: Michael has used these governing principles to facilitate the strategic growth of Aparium Hotel Group from the beginning. Michael previously spent six years in a consulting capacity focusing primarily on full-service luxury and boutique hotels and resorts, including development, repositioning, food and beverage, and disposition advisory. Michael previously managed and repositioned a Relais and Chateaux boutique resort and restaurant in the British Virgin Islands and participated in the development, sales and marketing of a neighboring ultra-luxury resort development. As a graduate of Michigan State University, Michael is a true Sparty at heart, as he sits on the school’s Real Estate Investment Management Advisory Board and guest lectures regularly.

Angela Kuzma

Executive Vice President Operations

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A self-proclaimed “travel maven" with over 44 countries under her belt Angela loves the art and science of cooking and brings her passion for sustainability to the tables of Aparium Hotel Group’s property restaurants, bars and outlets. Two decades of hospitality experience in some of the nation’s top restaurants and hotels including her own 5oz. Factory- a grilled cheese and custard shop awarded "Breakout Brand" by Nation's Restaurant News – has provided her with the inspiration and dedication needed to lead the group’s food and beverage operations. Following her work alongside multiple James Beard award-winning chefs in New Orleans and Miami, Angela honed her hospitality skills during her time at New York based China Grill Management, The Gansevoort Hotel, and Soho House NY. To this day, her proudest work experience was time spent interning at Emiliana, a biodynamic winery in Chile, following a solo back-pack expedition through Central and South America and Europe.

Ryan Lent

Construction Manager

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Bio coming soon.

Katy Madsen

Brand Manager

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Bio coming soon.

Daniel Malavi

Vice President Finance & Office Administration

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Bio coming soon.

JC Name

Director of Technical Services

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Bio coming soon.

Alejandra McBride

Office Manager

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Bio coming soon.

Todd Reed

Executive Vice President of Development

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Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs and engineers, Todd is a natural fit for development of Aparium Hotel Group properties. He believes hotel development should focus on creating a sense of place and then letting the service act as the shining star. Following eight years in the construction industry, Todd spent the last seven years managing various retail & hospitality developments including Barney’s NY and the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, and advising on properties including the Viceroy and Grupo Habita hotels in Chicago. He enjoys the creative process with Aparium, where each hotel is more than just a building, and the focus is being genuine and authentic. As a graduate of Colorado State University & DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business, Todd now acts as an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the Real Estate Alumni Association at his alma mater.

Bridgette Summers

Director of Hotel Development

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Bio coming soon.

Eric Ziegenhagen

Director Of Social Media

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Eric has overseen social media strategy and content for top U.S. hotels, restaurants, and spas since 2011. With a focus on service and daily loyalty-building with past and potential guests, he created and managed social media for The Elysian Hotel through its transition to Waldorf Astoria Chicago. From 2013 to 2015, he created strategy and daily content for The Langham Chicago and Langham Place Fifth Avenue. Being the “digital voice” for these world-class luxury hotels meant embodying their extraordinary service, design, and guest experience on a daily basis. Cultivating a community among the hotels’ prospective and return guests directly led to building a community of its guests — as a result, The Elysian, Waldorf Astoria Chicago, and The Langham Chicago became top-ranked U.S. hotels by Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and TripAdvisor. With a B.A. in English from Kenyon College, Eric’s experience extends beyond hospitality: as a playwright and stage director, his work has been produced in Chicago and New York. He also has been a contributing writer for the Poetry Foundation and Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and a longtime arts consultant for The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.