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“Excellent value and great pool”

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Chicago's Essex Inn
Ranked #140 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Reviewed 17 March 2014

I will definitely stay in this hotel again. It's location, just across the road from Grant Park, and close to many places of interest, is great. Journey from O'Hare Airport straightforward - Blue Line to Washington then Red Line to Harrison. Check-in was warm and friendly. My room was spacious, clean, comfortable and quiet and equipped with a good-sized safe that took my laptop easily. The swimming pool was marked out to enable families with children to play and keen swimmers to do laps. It was great to be able to have a swim after a long flight. I only stayed one night. Next time I'm in Chicago I'll stay longer.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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5  Thank Anthony T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 March 2014

A good find - the pool area was warm and inviting, and added a lot to our overall experience. No jacuzzi, but the sauna was most welcome during our cold weather visit. Every single staff member shone - super friendly and helpful. Our double suite was a bit spartan and cramped, but my brothers' king suite was super deluxe! Convenient to many things, but not many dining options nearby. The hotel restaurant was surprisingly good, if a bit inconsistent . The price was right!

Room Tip: Avoid rooms (603 is one) next to the elevator - very noisy!
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank Jeromehotelier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

We recently stayed at the Essex at the start of a bit of a road trip to the USA. On arrival we almost walked straight out again- the reception area is a bit reminiscent of all the horror films you'll ever have seen; really seedy looking. We decided to give the room a look over so checked in. The receptionist was friendly and efficient and we were given a room on the 11th floor overlooking the park.

Glad we decided to have a look because the room was lovely, very clean and nicely decorated. The floor to ceiling windows gave a fabulous view of Lake Michigan. The bathroom was so tiny even one person had trouble fitting in it, but really who cares if you're only staying a couple of nights!

The free wi-fi worked well and the bed really comfortable. We didn't suffer from any noise even though the railway tracks were nearby.The bar on the ground floor was a nice place to have a drink and had a nice menu but unfortunately the food we had wasn't very good. Kitty O'Shea's next door did food much better. We weren't aware of the shuttle and maybe would have taken advantage of it if we had known about it. Maybe reception should mention it to incoming guests?

Finally we had a train booked for 8pm on our final day and inquired about booking a room for a few hours so we could relax and not worry about luggage, but were given an extortionate price by reception to do this. Annoyingly we could have booked an overnight room online for a very reasonable price, but as we thought the initial quote for the room was really cheeky we didn't bother.

All in all a good budget option for a downtown location (only a ten minute walk to the millenium mile), I think if we're ever in Chicago again I might prefer to go elsewhere. As the weather was extreme we didn't get to see as much of downtown as we'd liked but did have an opportunity to stop by a couple of hotels and there were some really swish ones for a reasonable price so would try one of those next time

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank geosu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2014

Listed as 3-stars, but I don't see why it wouldn't be a 4-star. Room is good, with good desk, lots of window space, good iron and board, good restaurant in lobby and a roof-top pool. Business center was decent. Customer care is 5-star, for the most part - the staff really care and shows through and through in everything. You can't go wrong here.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
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2  Thank E R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

Not a place we will ever stay again. A family of 5 on a 5 day trip, we were looking not only for location (walking distance to museum campus, the "Bean", Willis bldg) but also a space we could spend down time. The room descriptions on the website for the suites were deceptive, describing the "double suite" as having "one bedroom" and the family suite "two bedrooms". We were discouraged to open the door and find only beds; no living space, no sitting space, and little walking space. I am happy to see that the website has now been changed to more accurately reflect the difference between the two (the family suite has a queen bed in the main room instead of a sleeper sofa; eliminating the only non-sleeping living area). Accurate now, but too late for us. We tried to switch rooms, or even hotels, but arrived quite late and decided not to sacrifice any more time. I was shocked when I went on the website and found the suite to be priced an average of $40/night less than we booked for. I asked for and received the lower price for the remainder of our trip, but they refused to lower the price for the first night.

The suites have no place to sit except one desk chair and the beds (I asked and was told none of the rooms have a sitting chair). The furniture is over-sized for the space, making the already small rooms feel even smaller. The rooms are noisy; the train noise easily became white background noise, but the elevator noise, hall noise, and sounds from other rooms was varied and loud.

The bathrooms are ridiculously tiny (two people cannot stand at the teeny tiny sink to brush teeth). No place to put the hand towel. The outlet in our bathroom did not work (we asked for and received an extension cord; we declined the offered repair since we were trying to get ready to leave for the day). I wiped several streaks of mold off the bathroom wall and also noted it around the drain of the tub.

The lobby is pretty sterile; not at all warm or inviting. The pool was not as clean as most hotel pools and closed from 7-7:30p each night we were there (peak swim time for our family).

The shuttle service is limited. I'm glad we weren't counting on it because it was only useful once. Every other time we asked, we were told "it does not go there".

Kudos to friendly staff; you made it bearable. One positive we thoroughly enjoyed was the view: floor to ceiling windows offered a beautiful snapshot of the museum campus, Grant Park, Soldier Field, and the lake. The only other positive was the safe; at least we could leave knowing our valuables were secure.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Jean G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2014

Its a great hotel centrally located, Free shuttle service to Mccormick Palace, Fantastic restaurants nearby everything is good , My only dis appointment was they did not inform me for credit cards , they required for Incidental charges, I dont use a credit card , They did not accepted an Debit card and neither cash, Instead they told me to cancel the booking which was quite rude from the front desk officer, After several arguments the manager suggested me to take prepaid credit card from the market and i was an alien to the country, However thanks to my colleague who were staying nearby hotels came up and help with the credit cards.... My only concern was i had mailed and asked about the deposit policy the hotel, The information was not provided correctly , nor at the time of booking ... Rest all is good , staff restaurant ...would definitely come back again to stay.... :)

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank dhaval05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2014

Used a groupon getaway for this stay. Included 2 tickets to the museum. Stayed 2 nights all for less than $200.00. Across from museum and aquarium. Has a shuttle than takes you there and to other places in downtown Chicago. The rooms were nice and clean and the staff very friendly and helpful. Will stay there again.

Room Tip: Get one toward the front south side. Quieter.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RCCurtis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chicago's Essex Inn

Address: 800 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605-7101
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #140 of 191 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range: £72 - £304 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chicago's Essex Inn 3.5*
Number of rooms: 254
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chicago's Essex Inn is a hotel in downtown Chicago on the Michigan Avenue Cultural Mile that combines breathtaking panoramas of Grant Park, the Museum Campus and Lake Michigan with exciting promotional packages that incorporate famed attractions and events in Chicago. From our steel and glass lobby to contemporary rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, the Essex Inn offers amazing views and amazing value. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chicago`s Essex Hotel Chicago
Chicagos Essex Hotel
Essex Inn Chicago
Hotel Chicagos Essex

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