We just returned from the Fairfield Inn at River North. I'm a native Chicagoan and wondered about the location, but it is fabulous and very safe. Located in a very hopping part of the city and within walking distance to lots of places in the city, especially on a nice day. Chicago is a very, very walkable city and the walk to either Michigan Ave. and the Magnificent Mile, or to the loop and Willis (Sears) Tower, is lovely and doable. You will need a cab to places like Second City or the Field Museum, though.
The rooms are large and clean for a city hotel. We had four in the room, and it was fine. The hotel is very contemporary, as most of these Marriott brand hotels are. This one is new, and it shows. Very clean, very fresh, little wear and tear. Beds and pillows were super comfy, good water pressure...the breakfast is what you'd expect: Scrambled "eggs", all sorts of muffins and breads, sausage, potatoes, cereal, a bit of fruit...and plenty of places to sit, even during busy times.
The area is safe. It is very trendy and filled with people at night. In fact I walked back by myself one night from Harry Caray's (about 3 blocks away) and it was fine. I am from Chicago, so I am a little more fearless I guess than most, but we even walked to the Rock and Roll McDonald's at like midnight and felt safe. There is lots of security at the hotel, too. It's a city. So you always have to watch yourself. But I'd be more concerned about crime staying closer to the loop, actually.
The staff, as has been noted, is phenomenal. Matt Noonan is very sweet and attentive and the rest of the folks who work there are too. You can tell when people who work in a hotel or restaurant or shop are happy. They pass it on to the customer or client. Otherwise they can be sulky and rude. Obviously, he's a pretty good manager, because morale and friendliness at the hotel is probably the highest I've seen it at any hotel....ever.
There is a fire dept. across the street, and we did hear them during the day. But it wasn't really intrusive and we had no issues at night. We faced the front of the hotel, and I am a horribly light sleeper, but I didn't hear the night club or the fire dept. I always wear ear plugs on vacation because I always have a hard time sleeping but I slept deeply!! It's a city. It has city noises. But we weren't disturbed. Maybe ask for a room higher up? We were on the 12th floor and were fine. The maid, one morning, was loud....but bless her, she was so friendly when I asked for more towels sleepily and apologized for waking us. They really do bend over backwards to make you happy there. I brought teens and I went out alone one night and the front desk was really good about talking to the kids and being friendly when they came down to get snacks.
Overall, I think this is an easy choice for visitors to the city. Warm and welcoming and brand new with a good location all for a very reasonable price.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown/River North is a newer LEED-Certified Marriott hotel in downtown Chicago. Located in the trendy River North neighborhood just north of the Loop, this unique hotel offers full-service amenities at the Fairfield value. Enjoy free breakfast, property-wide WiFi, modern furnishings and high-tech amenities. Surrounded by the city's best restaurants and nightlife, our Chicago River North hotel is also within walking distance to Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile shopping, Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. Self and Valet parking is available (fee) and along with nearby convenient CTA and Union Station trains. ... more less
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