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“Great hotel in a great Chicago location!”

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The Blackstone, Autograph Collection
Ranked #40 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Draper, Utah
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Great hotel in a great Chicago location!”
Reviewed 13 July 2014

I just spent the last 5 nights staying at the historic Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago. I was there on business and enjoyed my stay there. The maid service was excellent, the rooms were clean, and the food at the restaurant is really good! Blackstone's location in the city makes it nice to get to Navy Pier and Millennium Park by walking a few blocks. There are also several good restaurants in the area, along with an excellent restaurant in the hotel.

Room Tip: Request a floor up high with a good view of Navy Pier and Lake Michigan. I didn't stay overn...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RGeertsen43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Hello RGeersten,
We really appreciate you taking the time to write a review and are very pleased that you enjoyed your 5 days with us!
I will pass your comments on to the staff - they will appreciate them, as do I. I hope that you will come back and visit us again soon.
Best regards,
Kim C
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Berkeley, CA
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

The Blackstone has hit that magic mark of an historic hotel that still has may of the antique touches, but has been thoughtfully updated for modern needs and tastes. The lobby is incredibly classic and pleasing.

The ROOMS: I got very lucky as a Marriott gold and was upgraded to the concierge floor. Just a beautiful incredibly spacious rooms. The views from the 22nd floor were great looking out on the park and a bit on the lake. The windows are a bit oddly shaped, but that's from the historic nature of the building. Beds were comfortable. Bathroom was very spacious. Some quite nice details including lots of power outlets and a nice chest of drawers with hangers for getting ready.

The SERVICE was always friendly and professional. No complaints there at all.

The LOCATION is excellent. You're right on Michigan avenue. It's across the street from Grant Park and right in the loop. Easy access to shopping, museums, and the subway/train network.

Overall, I'm completely thrilled with my experience and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

Room Tip: Obviously the higher floors looking towards the lake are the best.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CountryPlusPlus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Hi Country Plus Plus,
Thank you so much for writing a review! I am thrilled that you enjoyed your visit and appreciated not only the historic aspects of the hotel but the updated, contemporary touches!
We look forward to your next visit!
Best regards,
Kim C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 July 2014

I wanted to review to thank you for our recent experience at The Blackstone. We were there over this past weekend for my wife's dissertation defense at University of Chicago. We both lived in Chicago from 2005 to 2009 and saw the renovation of this property.

I checked in on Thursday 5/01 and requested an upgrade if possible. I am Gold Elite with Marriott and book with their properties exclusively. Regretfully, I didn't catch the desk staff's name, however she was extremely professional and let me know that she was able to upgrade me.

I was put in room 1015. It is rare that I gasp when I walk into a room, but the views and scale of this suite were breathtaking. It truly made an impact on our weekend and enabled my wife to relax prior to defending her dissertation which is why I asked for an upgrade in the first place.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tony S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Thanks, Tony, for taking the time to write a review! Let me know the next time you come to visit! Would like the opportunity to personally say hello.
Best regards,
Kim C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sullivan, Illinois, United States
Level 6 Contributor
161 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

Be still my heart; this is a wonderful place to stay. I have stayed in many nice hotels, but I must say this one will be remembered for a long time. The history of the hotel is core to its allure. Al Capone got his hair cut here. Much of the original architectural aspects were saved by the Renaissance folks during the multi-million dollar renovation. The bed and bedding were luxuriant and gave me a cloud-like experience while sleeping. The funky wall-papered bathrooms were equipped with wonderfully accessible and large showers with a shower head that I wanted to take home. Even the soap, conditioner, shampoo, and lotion made me smile. In room frig was an added plus to the sheer beauty of the place, but the people made it even better. I was there with a group of teachers, and we were treated very well. In particular, I was helped by people at the front desk when I wanted an article from the in-room magazine that I forgot to get when I checked out. They found the right magazine and kindly gave me a copy to take home - very cordial and lovely attitudes. The "bellmen" were friendly and funny and the room staff were friendly as well. If I could, I think I would stay here every time I am in Chicago - seriously. It is also close to Buddy Guy's Legends and Eleven...two great places to eat...and the Mercat (the hotel restaurant) is spectacular. You will not be disappointed....(But if you want a pool, I am not sure they have one)

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the lake....
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Becky L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 16 July 2014
Hi Becky L -
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review! We really appreciate your perspective and are thrilled that you enjoyed your stay.
I hope that you will return soon!
Best regards,
Kim C
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2014

There is a history to this hotel, just as there is a history to this review. Truth be told, the stay started out terribly, but as the header says, to be fair.. it got better as it went on. The main issue was when we booked the hotel, we had indicated the need for a crib. When we arrived, the front desk had no record of that. Ok, it happens, it was a booking agency, maybe they forgot to convey the request. I did so on check in ( around 930 pm) and was told that we'd have one delivered straight away. 45 minutes passed with no crib, and so I checked in at the front desk again while popping down to place a take out order at the hotel tapas place. The front desk clerked apologized and said she had forgotten. Ok again, busy night, mistakes can be made. Was told we'd have it forthwith.

Half hour passed, I went down to pick up take out and my wife called me to say that the front desk had called and said there was no crib available. I went back to room with food, now pushing 11pm way past bedtime for baby. We called the front desk again and requested additional bedding materials so we could at the very least make a 'nest' on the ground for her to sleep as we know that it is unsafe to have an infant in the bed with you. ( ABC folks, alone-back-crib) Upon this request we were once again told that oh, there is a crib available and it would be brought up.

We waited an additional 20 minutes and called back to find out that no, there was not a crib and that they'd bring the bedding up as requested. Finally got baby to sleep by 1 AM. My issue was not that they did not have the crib. It was the inability to confirm this. We could have had the bedding in place long before had we known, and would have not had a very distraught infant for the first night.

That being said. It was one night. The following we had the crib, and the rest went well. The hotel is located in a great spot. The service, apart from the first night, was decent. The rooms are spacious, and decorated very posh, but I'd like to have seen the money put into more practical areas. So to sum up this lengthy review I've made a list of pros and cons:

Pros:
Location.
Spacious.
Comfortable Bed
Clean.

Cons:
Inconsistent service quality
Bathrooms- two things. Towels are horrid. Think gym class sandpaper towels and there you have it. This is one of those areas that I think less should have been spent on décor and more on practical features like nice towels. Second, forget privacy. They have a sliding door that you can see through easily at the edges. Depending on the observers angle, you can be caught in the shower or on the throne. Who designed that, not bright.
No hotel lounge. Hopping restaurant with bar yes, but no quiet haunt to relax with a pinot after traveling.

Neutrals:
Cost- par for course
In hotel Restaurant - good food, but pricey.


So there you have it. It is not a bad hotel. I had a bad experience, but it was overall average. Hence the fair rating. Given the multitude of hotels in the Loop, I'd likely not stay here again, but you could do worse.


Tip for the hotel: Easy fix to your bathroom door issue. Get a length of rubber, or polymer, the height of the door and affix a flange on the side of the moving door. This would be a very simple and cost effective means to eliminate the unwanted exposure issue.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank YYC_wayfarer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Hello YYC Wayfarer,
I am so sorry for the experience that you had with the hotel and the utter lack of follow up! I am not even going to try to provide an excuse but tell you that we absolutely are looking into this and making sure that similar situations do not recur in the future.
I really appreciate your taking the time to write a review and the honest feedback that you provided. I sent you an email under separate cover so hope to hear from you!
Best regards,
Kim C
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Hampton, New Hampshire
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2014

We stayed here during my husband's mid-June conference at McCormick Center. On arrival, we were bowled over by the gorgeous lobby, steeped in history and meticulously restored. You could readily imagine you were back in the 1920's and Warren Harding was being vetted as a presidential candidate by stockyard and railroad magnates in the hotel's "smoke-filled" rooms. (In part my loyalty to Marriott stems from its efforts at preserving and renovating national landmarks like the Blackstone in Chicago and the Wentworth in Portsmouth, NH). At check-in, we were offered an "upgrade" due to our Marriott Elite status. We were warned we wouldn't get a view, but the room was "on a concierge floor". That was fine with us; however I had erroneously assumed rooms on a concierge floor were more luxurious, larger. That doesn't appear to be the case. While pretty, the room, located two floors down from the concierge lounge, was unexpectedly small. It would have been fine for a night or two, but we were there for 5 nights. There was no place to sit other than the bed or at a narrow desk against the wall. As noted in other reviews, the bathroom door is a slider. It wouldn't stay shut and frequently slid open at the most inopportune time. We faced the back, and even as high up as we were, heard the El trains. I wasn't bothered by the sound however, and actually found it soothing. We heard absolutely nothing from adjacent guests or people passing in the halls; so in general soundproofing was fine. Housekeeping was excellent and prompt with any special requests (we needed more hangers). The concierge lounge offered snacks at the cocktail hour and a nice breakfast with freshly brewed individual cups of coffee. Unfortunately the lounge was usually packed. The few seats there were occupied and guests were perched on desk tops or ottomans, balancing plates on their laps. Staff did their best to bus the space and replenish food, but the hungry hordes made it nearly impossible to keep up. The hotel might consider enlarging the space, or at minimum adding more seating and staff. The location was perfect; we could walk to the parks and museums, and had no trouble accessing nearby public transportation to get further afield such as Lincoln Park or the airport. Would we stay here again? Probably... although, I'd make more clear our interest in a larger room.

Room Tip: Request a larger room. If using the concierge lounge, go very early to avoid the crowds.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Claudia6604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 12 July 2014
Hi claudia664,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review! I am so sorry that you were not thrilled with your room - unfortunately the hotel, because it is a historic restoration has all sorts of different sizes and shapes of rooms. I also appreciate the feedback on the Executive Lounge - I will definitely work with the team regarding staffing and seating! I hope that you will consider staying with us again. If you do, please reach out to me directly.
Best regards,
Kim C
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marion, Iowa
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Just left the Blackstone today and we have had a great stay. I rarely review hotels but this time wanted to share with others.

While a few of the furnishings in the lobby do need to be cleaned or recovered, the architecture and history of this place can't be beat. So many famous people and presidents have been here. If you like history or architecture, you will love it. You step in and just feel like you went back in time. The whole place is interesting. They even had a Frank Gehry wiggle chair on display. We did not use the lounge and ran out of time to eat at Mercat but saw the tapas coming out and they looked good but was $$$$. Used Starbucks each a.m. Very long wait but nice outdoor seating and Starbucks faces Grant Park.

We did not pay the $40 a night to upgrade our room to Grant view. But from RM 1816 we could still see the entire museum complex and Northerly Island stage from our side window. I could sit on the ledge and look out...this made me so happy!! Thank u front desk. Our room was not ready quite due to arriving an hr before check in. No problem. Lou Malnattis is just a five min walk. While we were enjoying a Lou classic pie the front desk called me and said room was ready. nice touch. I booked on hotels.com and prepaid. Check in was smooth. Desk, bellhops and concierge all smiling and friendly. Our room was modern, clean and the king bed very comfy w down pillows and comforter. Even our housekeeper was sweet. Check out via phone took A minute. The Hilton is right next door and has nice lounge too. We self parked down the block to save $. Left car for two days and walked or cabbed with no issues. Really if you don't have physical limitations you can get everywhere walking. (Warning we have had our car tossed and robbed in Chi self park on another visit so lock glove box and leave NOTHING in car.)

This location can not be beat. My husband and i stayed July 4th and 5th for the Dave Matthews Concert on Northerly Island. You step right out of the hotel onto Balbo, cross the bridge and you have a 30 min walk to the venue. It would be the same give or take to Shedd, Adler or Field Museum. You can also walk to soldier field. We chose to walk the 1.4 miles after the concert vs try to park In soldier field lot. Tip...McFettridge and Congress Pkwy were blocked off for the concerts so cab couldn't get right to venue anyways. There were pedicabs u could snag enroute walking that can save some foot fatigue. When walking we always knew which hotel was ours by the distinct architecture up top.

You are right on Michigan Ave. We grabbed Cosi lunch and ate in the Art Institure outdoor garden next to the Henry Moore sculpture. We picnic here with our kids when we visit...such a beautiful area. This hotel location just truly can't be beat if you want to start on the south end of Michigan and shop your way north and enjoy all of the amazing Chicago architecture, Millennium Park and unique stores.

We would definitely stay again. Thanks Blackstone for a cool time.

Sent from my U.S. Cellular® Smartphone

Room Tip: Higher up for more views.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mom2sassypants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kimberly C, General Manager at The Blackstone, Autograph Collection, responded to this review, 8 July 2014
Hi mom2Sassypants!
Thank you so very much for taking the time to write a review. I am so happy that you not only found the hotel to be convenient, but you enjoyed all that it has to offer - especially the awesome architecture and history!
We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Best regards,
Kim C
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Blackstone, Autograph Collection

Property: The Blackstone, Autograph Collection
Address: 636 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605 (Formerly Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel)
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#18 Romantic Hotel in Chicago
#25 Business Hotel in Chicago
#27 Luxury Hotel in Chicago
#36 Family Hotel in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Blackstone, Autograph Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 335
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Blackstone in downtown Chicago is a storied architectural icon rooted in the city's legendary past, but newly updated to deliver a distinguished hospitality experience for today's discerning traveler. Previously known as the Renaissance Blackstone, this recently revitalized destination is blooming as a point of cultural and creative discovery on the Cultural Mile. The Blackstone, where epic history meets a clever contemporary attitude. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Renaissance Hotel Chicago
Renaissance Hotel Blackstone
Renaissance Chicago
Chicago Renaissance

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