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“Perfect Location!”

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Chicago's Essex Inn
Ranked #131 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Perfect Location!”
Reviewed 13 August 2014

I stayed here for five nights while attending a conference. My husband was along playing tourist. Although this hotel is older, the room was nicely appointed and had a funky/artsy feel. Every floor was named after a different art theme, we were on "Matisse" and had a print of "The Dance" in our room extremely convenient walking distance to the Art Institute, museums, Millennium Park, shopping district, etc. although our room didn't face Michigan Ave. we were high enough that we could see the lake and Navy Pier fireworks from it! There is an attached parking garage with valet parking. It was $52 a day with unlimited in/out, which was quite decent for that location. I would stay here again, very competitive overall price.

Room Tip: Ask for an upper floor close to Michigan Ave.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (353)
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014 via mobile

My friend and I were booked into this hotel for a few nights by our travel agent as we were enroute to Atlanta. It was very central, a good price and we got upgraded to a suite at no extra cost which meant we both got our own rooms. The staff and service were great. Very friendly and helpful. We had a room quite high up so it was nice and quiet.

We didn't sample the restaurant as we went out for meals. Note: the internet didn't always work or was quite slow at tines.

A plus: The pool was lovely for a swim in the morning.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Londontraveller7484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
44 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2014

It's all about the location with the Essex Inn on Michigan Avenue. It is close to the Museum campus, the lake and the wonderful parks. The hotel itself is OLD and the rooms are small. Our bathroom was tiny with one itsy-bitsy sink, and a toilet that squawnked and thumped with every flush. We had to tighten the screw on the hot water handle for the tube as it was about to fall off. The bathtub was moldy and there was one tiny shelf for either soap or shampoo; you couldn't have both up there at the same time. Avoid rooms 303, 403, 503, 603, etc., because they are right next to the elevator shafts and the stairway. You hear and feel the elevators going up and down all night. You also hear people clomping up and down the stairwells. The heating/cooling system is unusual. You can choose either heat or cool, or you can turn the whole thing off to avoid being roasted or frozen out of your room. There is no adjusting the temperature. That being said, the location is really convenient for visitors.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jillo44535
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Chicago hotels

1 review
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Through a series of unfortunate events, we had to get a room at the last moment on a particularly busy weekend in Chicago with two big music festivals on the same weekend; because of the surplus of people, the Essex Inn required a mandatory wristband for all hotel guests to get to their rooms, which was a negative aspect of the stay. The whole ordeal was very chaotic and stressful. Luckily, Erica, who works at the front desk, saved the day for us. Working with her was an extremely pleasant experience. Erica was friendly and understanding of the situation. If I were ever to open a hotel, Erica would undoubtedly be my first hire.


Thank you Erica!

Room Tip: Talk to Erica.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nathan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

My husband and I were part of a group of 50 Canadians who stayed there on the nights of August 5th and 6th, 2014. This hotel was booked by our tour operator. I had no saying in its choice, it was part of the vacation package. I had read the reviews on this hotel on Tripadvisor before going to Chicago. I can deal with older furniture, small bathrooms and noise vs a good location at a reasonable price, but I cannot forgive dirty and poorly cleaned sheets and towels and staff scolding at me.

Dirty sheets and towels

Before going to bed on the night of August 5th, my husband took his shower and noticed stains (blue and orange spots) on two towels. Another towel had a hole and a black spot on it. We started inspecting the two double beds. On one bed, the sheet covering the matress had a faded, brownish circle (2 X 4 inches) and a smaller red stain that looked like blood. On the other bed, the sheet covering the matress had a faded, greyish, greasy stain (10 X 14 inches). The sheets looked like they had been washed, but not in hot water or properly bleached to remove all stains. At the reception desk, we asked to have new sheets and towels. Some 40 minutes later (my husband had to go down again at the reception desk), a janitor came up to change the sheets. When the janitor took off the stained sheet from the fist bed, we (said janitor, husband and myself) saw that the linen matress protector was covered with some 15 red and brownish solid stains of various dimensions (from small dots to stains around 5 X 10 inches). It looked like a crime scene. I have no other words for it. Even the janitor backed away... I wanted to take my bags and leave at once, even if if was around midnight, and try to get a room at the Hilton next door... The janitor requested another room for us. We took it because we were tired and wanted to go to sleep... We were given a suite on 7th floor facing Michigan Ave and the lake. I immediately checked the sheets of the king size bed. The sheet covering the matress had black ink stains on it and where I would have laid, I could read a handwritten note in black ink ("King" it said) on a white tape. I stripped the sheet and looked at the linen matress protector. There were several curly black hairs and another browish solid stain (3 X 5 inches) on it. The skirt around the bed was also dirty (there was some dried up, crusty white substance like a large toothpaste stain or sp***? near the top of the matress). We called the reception desk. The janitor and the receptionist came up to check. They clearly did not believe us. They brought up some linen, saying they did not have other clean king size sheets. The receptionist told me it was normal for them to have a white medical tape with a handwritten black note on the sheet to indicate the size of the sheet... She clearly thought I was overreacting. Had I been in her place, I would have been quite ashamed to ask a paying customer to sleep on sheet with a black handwritten note smack in the middle of it... They apologized, saying it was the fault of the daytime cleaning staff, bla bla bla. They left us whatever linen thay had brought up. I took the two other sheets used to cover the coverlet, which seemed clean, to MAKE UP MY OWN BED AT MIDNIGHT. I also inspected the pillows by taking off their covers. They were covered with yellow stains, left by former clients drooling on them. This is a common problem in hotels. Please put plastic covers on matresses and pillows. It would be much more hygienic. Or please replace the pillows periodically. I do not even want to think about the number of acarians or microbes and other personal DNA stuff they contained. I put a towel on top of my pillow cover before resting my head on it and spending the rest of the night looking at the ceiling in search of sleep that never came.

The level of noise coming from the street below the suite was loud with emergency sirens (fire and police) throughout the night, which was expected, but the level of interior noise from the other rooms was also loud. We could make out the conversations our neighbours were having through the walls. As expected, the bathroom was minuscule, even smaller than in our first two-double bed, standard room. My 6-foot, 200-pound husband could hardly move in the suite's bathroom. We had to step above the toilet seat to get into the tub-shower.

Breakfast (August 6th and 7th, 2014, 6 AM) at La Brasserie by LM

We were among the first clients at the Brasserie on the morning of August 6th. We had coupons provided by the Essex Inn to eat breakfast at the Brasserie. In all, we had four choices. We ordered the American breakfast (sliced roasted potatoes, egg, ham or 2 sausages, 2 toats, orange juice and tea or coffee). A French-speaking waiter with a parisian accent took our order. We do not drink tea or coffee and, so, we asked him to replace those beverages with hot chocolate. He said 'all right' and my husband and myself saw him note this on our coupons. We received our plates within 15-20 minutes from our arrival. From the two plates we received, the eggs were the only edible thing. The sliced roasted potatoes were hard, cold and dry like wood chips. We could have used them as pucks to play hockey. We took bites of the two tiny sausages we each had. One had a very strange taste which left me nauseated. My two toasts were cold and dry. The cold butter was very hard to spread on them. I put jam on them to try to soften them. Halfway through the meal, we had not received our hot chocolate. I wanted to dip my cold toasts in the hot chocolate, in order to eat something else than just one egg before leaving the hotel for a 3-hour walking tour of the city. I went down to the bar area and reminded the French-speaking waiter about it. Angry, with a loud voice, he told me that we had not ordered hot chocolate. I reminded him that he wrote it down on the coupon. NO, he said, YOU DID NOT ASKED SUCH A THING! He dropped his voice and added, 'But now that you ask for it, I will gladly do so'. ??!!!!! No waiter will raise his or her voice at me or call me a lier. I am a soft-spoken client, I rarely complain and here I am being scolded at by teenager! Our group was late that morning for the city tour. We were supposed to leave at 8 AM, but the brasserie's staff, clearly not used to dealing with such a large group of clients at once, took much more longer to serve the meals. The last persons in our group receved their plates at 8:15 AM. The hotel management should offer a breakfast buffet instead for large groups. Then, the toasts would be hot, the clients could serve themselves and leave more rapidly. Most other persons in our group also reported the poor quality and the coldness of the food served at breakfast. Our tour operator representative, who also acted as our tour guide, complained to the hotel management.

The next morning, on August 7th, my husband and I were again at the Brasserie at 6 AM and we ordered pancakes. This time, they were hot as the cook himself brought them to our table. The 3 waiters were too busy pouring orange juice and coffee to other members of our group to bring the plates to us it seemed. We received our hot chocolate on time. We received our plates within 10 minutes of our arrival. We were lucky because another couple who belonged to our group and had arrived at the Brasserie at the same time as us and ordered only toasts and coffee, were still waiting for their toasts and coffee at the time we left at 6:30 AM. There were still complaints from many other persons in our group regarding delays and cold, tasteless food that morning,

The shampoo bottle

On the morning of August 6th, before going down to the lobby for another city tour, we asked the cleaning lady which was working near the elevator on the 7th floor for a new bottle of shampoo. She hasked my husband to repeat the room number and he saw her note our room number on a paper. When we came back from the Navy Pier at 10 PM that night, we had no new shampoo bottle in our room. We used whatever products were left from the previous day, not wanting to chase endlessly after the tiny bottle.

We will never go back to the ESSEX INN.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Translatortravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMEssexInn, Manager at Chicago's Essex Inn, responded to this review, 13 August 2014
Dear Translatortravelling,
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We appreciate it, and like you, we are disappointed to hear about your experience. Can you please send me your contact information when you have a moment as I would like to discuss your stay with you directly. Please send your information to jscott@essexinn.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, Scotland
Level Contributor
417 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

There is a lot of choice in the city and it depends on what you want. The thing that is going for this hotel is it's location. It's directly opposite Grant Park and only a few minutes walk to Millennium Park (which houses Cloud Gate). The "Golden Mile" (N Michigan Ave) with all it's shops is easily done. We never found the need to use the transit system but it can be handy on really hot days. It doesn't look much from the outside but inside it's clean and modern. The staff were friendly enough (allowed us to check in early as we had arrived at 8am from an overnight flight) and gave us plenty of recommendations as to where to eat.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ali921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
126 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

We arrived at the Essex Inn reception and were met with an expressionless greeting by two ladies who had clearly both just finished sucking the same lemon.
As a party of four (two couples) we had booked two rooms. Upon checking in we were informed there was only one room. Despite our tour operator (Virgin Holidays) documentation/voucher clearly stating two rooms they were adamant only one room was booked. After several minutes of debate there was still no joy and it did not even raise a smile when I suggested that although the four of us were very good friends we had no desire to share a room together. We left our friends to continue checking in as the allocated room was in their name.
Then after about 15 minutes of several phone calls, much tapping of a computer keyboard we were told their reservations desk had made an error and we indeed had a room.
At last we had a room but what a shambolic check in experience.
After unpacking and reading through our notes from the tour operator we noted that there was to be a package left for us at the first hotel (Essex Inn) reception containing the remaining vouchers, directions and area guides.
I promptly went down to reception and asked if they had the package waiting for me to collect. At first I was told quite sternly that nothing had been left for me. After I became insistent that she check again the young lady picked up the phone but did not seem to get any response upon dialling. After a huff and a puff she went away without a word and returned a short while later and handed me a package. I almost got a smile but then I guess she remembered it was not the done thing to make a guest feel welcome. I guess if the staff have to pay the $52 a day parking charge then this would wipe the smile off anyone's face.
Once you get past reception the rooms are OK, a good size with comfortable beds. The furnishings are reasonable albeit somewhat dark which makes the rooms feel a bit drab.
The attitude and unprofessionalism of the reception which took at least 45 minutes out of our day would certainly prevent us from either stopping at in the future or recommending this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank D18KRB
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

Property: 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 #131 of 189 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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