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“Good value in the South Loop”

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Chicago's Essex Inn
Ranked #137 of 190 Hotels in Chicago
Detroit, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Good value in the South Loop”
Reviewed 19 September 2010

First off, the Essex Inn merits a 3.5, but that rating option is not available. It's a good value, comfortable place to stay, minus some of the extras of more expensive downtown Chicago hotels.
The hotel has a small, functional lobby flanked by bright, airy seating areas with a somewhat dated look to them. The front desk staff was very pleasant and efficient.
My room, a king single, was compact but not claustrophobic. The bathroom was small, but not oppressively so. Some reviews described the bathrooms as the smallest ever - clearly they've never stayed in a moderate-price London hotel.
The bed was very comfortable, the room furnishings were very modern, and the mini-fridge was a big plus. The flat-screen TV was nice, but lacked pay movie options. Shower water pressure was very good.
If you're a traveler who likes to wake to the silver coffee pots and trays of a room-service breakfast, don't stay here - you won't find it. But if you don't care about those amenities and want a good price ($57 per night on Priceline), comfy room and a location across from Grant Park, you'll love it.
The hotel is on S. Michigan Ave & 8th, right across from Grant Park and close to museums and Soldier Field. For transit purposes, the CTA Harrison red line station is two short blocks away if you use the Polk St. entrance (unstaffed, you've got to have your CTA card already). Also, the bus routes that go down S. Michigan (King Drive, Cottage Grove) all stop next to the hotel.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank michiganmarlon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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madison, WI
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2010

Making reservations on line through a new web site always makes me nervous. My family needed 3 rooms, so after I made reservations, I called to the Essex for confirmation. I also asked for the 3 rooms to be together and it was no problem. We had a small problem checking in when the online site, somehow grouped our 2 9-year olds as the names on one of the rooms. The front desk staff was great in getting it all worked out.
Our rooms were together, as requested. 2 rooms were adjoining and it worked great. The rooms have been updated since my last visit and were clean and bright, Small, well, yeah, a little, but it is an older hotel, nothing we did not expect. The kids, 13, 12, 9, 9 and 7 loved the pool. The outside sitting area gives a great view of the chicago skyline.
We walked, we used the shuttle and taxis to get around. Learned a lot about what we should have done and will plan our transportation better next time. The shuttle runs on the hour, but does not start early on the weekends. Would have been nice to have a few more timing options. Pick ups would also be nice, instead of just drop-offs.
The staff was always very helpful. The valet, the bell captain, our luggage guy, the front desk staff, everyone who answered the phone (and our many questions) was fabulous.
We will be staying here again.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank redgirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2010

We stayed for two nights in August, and had a very comfortable room, bathroom was maybe a little small, but the shower worked well. Only down side was no safe in the room, but used the deposit boxes behind the reception desk instead.

Excellant reception staff, very friendly and happy to help with any queries.

Great location to all the museums and water front, just an easy stroll away, and easy to catch a bus to the main attractions of the city.

Good value easy hotel.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JoJacksLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chatham
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2010

The Essex Inn is well located for many of the main attractions and is on a main bus route that makes it easy to get downtown. It is however not particularly well located in terms of a variety of restaurants and we always had to plan our day around getting to other areas for meals. The on-site restaurant is passable but not particularly recommended given the vast choice of excellent eateries in Chicago. The hotel as a whole is good, the pool and fitness area are large and well maintained. The staff is friendly and helpful. The cost of parking sucks but thats the case with every downtown hotel in Chicago. Unrelated to the hotel, my wife and I hadn't been in Chicago since 1993 and didn't remember the city being quite so a la carte. Particularly some of the attractions. We used the City Pass but some items were additional costs like the U-505 at the M of S and I and 3D movies at the Field Museum. I still love Chicago and hope to return in the future but make sure you're not expecting a cheap trip.$$$$$$

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Farmerzilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
waukesha, wi
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2010

We took advantage of the Chicago Bears package and saved hundreds of dollars. It included free valet parking, Bears game tickets with excellent seats, and the room for the night. The room was extremely clean and extremely quiet. The beds were a little soft and I do think they were doubles. The room is small and the bathroom is very small, but for just a night or two, it was just fine. Sometimes we had to wait a bit for the elevators. The pool is on the 4th floor and has a great outdoor deck with nice chairs and tables for relaxing. There is even a lifeguard for the pool. We ate Chicago style pizza at Lou Malnatti's which was just 2 blocks away. Get there early--it was crowded with Bears fans before gametime. We had great weather and were able to walk the mile+ to Soldier's Field for the game. The next day we checked out but stowed our bags with the bellman and took the Double Decker Bus Tour for $27 a person. The bellman can give you the information. He was very helpful. The bus took us all over the place and you could get on and off all day and see the many sights. I highly recommend the double decker bus tour. My family and I hope to do the Essex Hotel Bears package again sometime. It was very worthwhile!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank suechucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2010

Hotel met all of my needs for a 2 night stay with 3 Grandchildren. We walked to the Field Museum, Aquarium and to Millenium Park, hotel also provides a free shuttle one way to several major attractions. Great pool and very comfortable rooms.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank maegeegee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mechanicsburg, PA
Level 6 Contributor
168 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2010

I stayed here in relation to a meeting held across the street at the Hilton, where rooms were more expensive. The service at the Essex was marginally OK, and the facility was not 4 Star. But it was convenient, clean, quiet and everything I bargained for. I will stay here and walk across the street to save $30-50/night the next time I have a meeting at the Hilton. It has an OK fitness center and a very nice pool with a nice, park-front, outdoor seating area.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MidlanticBoomerGuy
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 #137 of 190 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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