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“A lot to love at the Burnham”

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The Alise Chicago - A Staypineapple Hotel
Ranked #20 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 21 August 2011

On my recent weeklong stay in Chicago, I discovered there is much to love at the Hotel Burnham. There are also a few areas in need of minor improvement – from my perspective as both interior designer and traveler. I must say the location and the building itself are terrific!

The hotel occupies a renovated office building built in 1895 and many beautiful architectural features remain. We stayed in suite 804 – below is the room’s old office door and the charming 8th floor elevator lobby.

The common areas on the first floor are equally beautiful. The small lobby hosts a wine reception each evening, a Kimpton trademark. I adore the orange chairs! Note the contrast welt and cutout back on the lobby sofa. Details make a difference!

The largest rooms/suites at the Burnham feature a bedroom and living space, separated by French doors. Unfortunately, the French doors only have sheer curtains, so anyone trying to sleep in the bedroom is subjected to light from the living area. The king bed is very comfortable. There is a canopy of sorts over the bed, which doesn’t appear to have any relationship to the room, although it does camouflage the smoke detector and sprinkler head. The ceilings are quite high, adding volume to a small floor space (the French doors scrape along the side of the bed as you try to close them). The left corner quarter-round side table is stylishly delightful, but the lamps in both rooms appear under-scale.

The seating area features a fabulous mirror and a tiny settee. Sadly, the settee is uncomfortable for one person, and impossible for two! The only other seat in the room is the desk chair. Also, that little settee does not turn into a pull-out, which seems a lost opportunity for flexibility, especially for a hotel as friendly to children as the Burnham.

The bathroom is very small but well appointed. Aveda toiletries elevate the experience. Of course, the trademark Kimpton animal print robes are at hand.Suite 804 had windows on two sides, both with excellent downtown views. The hotel is easy walking distance to many Chicago attractions, including Millenium Park, the Cloud Gate (jellybean) and the Jay Pritzger Pavilion, seen in the background below.

Service at the hotel is generally quite good and always friendly. The restaurant, Atwood Cafe, serves a wonderful breakfast. Service here was outstanding in the morning. In the evening, we did have dinner here once, and service was not as good. Also, the menu is fairly eclectic, making it tricking to feed a picky young diner. There are better nearby options for dinner if you are traveling with young children, but adults would thoroughly enjoy the fare. Any place that serves up Red Velvet Cookie Dough for dessert is worth a try in my book!

One personal difficulty at the Atwood: the banquette seating at the tables closest to the windows. It's hard to see in the picture below, but the banquettes look terrific with an asymmetrical back. Unfortunately, the lower side of that back provides zero support for diners and hit my back at a painfully low height. Just a word of caution for anyone above average height.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the Burnham. However, after a week, the room issues I mentioned were looming large for our party of three. I do recommend the hotel, but would myself opt for a larger space in another hotel next time. The Burnham's rooms are ideally suited to a maximum of two travelers.
All my pictures are located on my blog at:
http://exuberanthome.com/travel-tuesday-–-hotel-burnham-in-chicago

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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Thank CindySanti10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 August 2011

The Hotel Burnham is charming, well appointed and has simply some of the warmest and friendliest staff I have met in any hotel. They are welcoming without being cloying and make each guest feel like the most important people at the hotel. The rooms are small by newer hotel standards but come fully appointed with internet, tv and lovely decor. If spacious modern hotels are your preference, this probably isn't the hotel for you. But if you can appreciate the beauty of a lovingly restored Chicago landmark and value service above all else, this will be a perfect fit. Among the many ways the staff went above and beyond: my husband & I visited for our anniversary and had reservations to dine in the hotel's Atwood Cafe (which is very good). My husband can't drink alcohol so I went down to the bar in the morning to ask if they served non-alcoholic beer so we could toast each other at dinner. It turns out they did not have any. I asked if I could bring my own and gentleman behind the bar said they would procure some for us by supper time. About an hour later I asked to speak to the manager so I could tell him how impressed I was by the staff's willingness to get the NA beer for our dinner that evening and he said "Oh ma'am, we already picked it up - it's chilling in the refrigerator and will be ready when you dine with us". Now how's THAT for service?
It used to be that when I traveled to Chicago I found the cheapest rates on Expedia and stayed wherever it sent me. That's how I found the Hotel Burnham. However, after having stayed there the first time, it is now the ONLY hotel my husband & I stay in when we visit Chicago even though we can find better rates elsewhere. We have now stayed there several times and the service has never disappointed and the rooms are always clean, airy, and neat. The hotel is also conveniently located a few blocks from the Art Institute , the opera house, Millenium Park and a manageable walk to the Miracle Mile as well as other local attractions. I really cannot recommend this hotel highly enough to those with a love of something charming and a little different from the generic offerings of chain hotels.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank bewler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2011

I stayed here for a business trip for 3 days and I cannot praise this hotel enough. This ranks as one of my top 3 hotel stays ever in any city ever. The staff was friendly and accommodating. But the building...that is the star of the show. It has been beautifully maintained and really is breathtaking. The location is excellent and right in the middle the loop. As if that wasn't enough, there is a wine hour every night. My first day was a VERY long training and the concierge met me in the lobby with a glass of white sangria (delish). There was a glass of wine in the lobby waiting for me every day during my stay which really made coming back to the room a pleasure. From the wrought iron covered elevators, to the marble stairs and even the small touches like the traditional keys and plush robes in the room this hotel is definitely worth checking out. I just hate that I didn't take pictures!

Room Tip: Sign up for the InTouch program ahead of time to "raid the minibar"!
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank GyrlGeek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2011

I have to admit -- when the front desk attendant handed me a real key (yes, a metal key with teeth!), I had my doubts. How old and worn was this place going to be? Well, as it turns out, not at all! I actually stayed two days one week and two days the next, so I got to experience two different rooms. Both were very nicely appointed and comfortable. The rooms were a little on the small side (not surprising for a city hotel) but were furnished well so as to not feel cramped. The staff was very friendly -- I got a pleasant greeting every time I walked in the front door, and the housekeeping staff all made a point of saying hello and asking how my stay was. And, you can't beat the location if you're staying in the loop -- you're right on State Street (I had a great view of the Chicago Theatre sign from my room). I would highly recommend this to anyone!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled on business
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Thank CWH3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2011

We stayed for 7 days at this boutique hotel. Excellent location. All public transportation was right outside the door. Only 2 blocks from Mellenium Park (great free concerts) bring your own wine and cheese! Walking distance to Magnificent Mile. Hop on the red line to Wrigley's field. Cab ride from Midway airport was about $30. If you are traveling about the city buy the CTA 7 day pass for public transportation. Architectural tour was great also. Staff at the hotel were friendly and welcoming. Not your cookie cutter hotel, the ambiance and decor was a refreshing break. Lobby was small, loved the free wine hour every day. Coffee or cool drinks available thoughout the day. Continental breakfast
was actually a sit-down at their lovely restaurant. Fruit, juice, bagel/toast and coffee served by a very friendly staff. If you forget tolietries or any clothing, hotel is right next to a Walgreens, and many stores. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and they sent us some complimentary champagne. Staff also left us notes hoping we were enjoying our stay. Would highly reccomend.

Room Tip: Rooms on small side, tastefully decorated and clean.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gigi459
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2011

I stayed here for literally 6 hours (mostly sleeping), but I was happily satisfied.

I arrived really late as my flight landed into ORD at 11:30pm. The lady at the front desk was really warm and receptive. As an Inner Circle Member, I was upgraded to an Executive King Suite. For saying the secret code word of the month, she also gave me a $25(?) dining credit, which I didn't use because I didn't have time, but the gesture was appreciated.

I got an actual key to my room (vs a card - can't remember the last time that happened). Kinda went with the whole feel of the place. One of the smaller suites I stayed in (it's a smaller-type hotel), but I had a corner room, and the view was fabulous at night! The room was clean and the bed was comfy enough, but I was exhausted, so I can't accurately judge good or bad (nor could I pay attention to much else).

I had to get up early to check out a little after 6am to get to a meeting. I wanted to print some stuff out for it, and the staff directed me to a computer tucked away. However, it required a credit card and authorization and just seemed like too much of a hassle just to print a couple sheets so I went on my way.

Like I said, super-short stay. Wish I got to experience the Burnham for longer.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled on business
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Thank sockrebel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2011

While on vacation in the Chicago area we stayed here at the hotel Burnham; and it was amazing. This has to be the best location in Chicago not to mention some of the most if not the most amazing staff that I have met in a hotel. From the time that we arrived to the hotel until the time that we checked out it was great service not only from the hotel staff; but the restaurant staff as well. They truely went out of their way to make this one of the most memorible family vacations thus far; and that is hard to do with two teenage girls....Lol Thanks for everything and should we visit Chicago again, the hotel Burnham will without a doubt be our choice hotel...

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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Thank LumDalGM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Alise Chicago - A Staypineapple Hotel

Address: 1 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602-1603 (Formerly Hotel Burnham)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Chicago
#15 Business Hotel in Chicago
#15 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#17 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
Price Range: £89 - £280 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — The Alise Chicago - A Staypineapple Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 122
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chosen by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best hotels in the world, The Alise Chicago is an intimate boutique hotel like no other. Housed in the landmark Reliance Building, now beautifully restored, The Alise provides an authentic, luxurious and historic taste of the Windy City. In the heart of the Chicago Loop, across from Millennium Park, and home of the Atwood Restaurant, The Alise is near Chicago's top destinations and attractions. See the Windy City with the perfect homebase: Staypineapple at The Alise Chicago. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Burnham Kimpton
Hotel Burnham Chicago

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