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“Poor Hotel+Very Excellent Location=Average Rating”

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The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center
Ranked #153 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Reviewed 23 June 2014

We stayed at the Congress because it was close in proximity to First Merit Bank Pavilion. However, if I would have known that the hotel was in poor condition I would have been okay staying elsewhere. The room was very dated and the bed was worn and very uncomfortable.
On the plus side we did have a great lake view and were in walking distance to several area attractions (including First Merit Bank Pavilion). The front desk staff was not friendly during check-in or check-out.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank AnnaNJohnny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 June 2014

We stayed there in June 2014 and for the first time ever, we actually left a night early from a hotel. The beds were so uncomfortable neither my husband nor I could sleep. They had broken springs, were as hard as a rock with equally hard pillows. I probably would have slept better on their floor. Plus the room smelled like mold or other unknown substances that you might expect a 100+ year old building to smell of when not kept up. Condition of other furnishings was fair but leak in bathroom ceiling had been unprofessionally covered up and bathroom was tiny with ineffective shower. Room had a view of an enclosed roof so don't recommend getting a groupon as they stick you in the worst room possible. Staff was nice overall but I wouldn't stay here again if they paid me mainly due to the beds.

Room Tip: Groupon didn't allow me to have choice of rooms so I had the worst view possible. Couldn't...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank PINGDRIVER
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Trying to find a hotel with a view of the fireworks on New Year's Eve is a daunting task if you don't want to spend a ton of money. This is the perfect hotel for this! New Year's Eve 2013 was a crazy time with the Polar Vortex. Not wanting to miss out on the festivities, but wanting to keep all my toes and fingers proved to be a bit of a challenge. We found this hotel and it seemed to meet our needs. Flying in to Chicago this day was eventful, but we got to the hotel unscathed. It is wrapped in history and has a charm to it. It is old, but fairly well kept. The rooms have high ceilings with crown moulding, but you can tell it's been around awhile. The bathroom is small, but clean. The beds were facing each other, which tells you how large the room was. Very spacious. The hallway had a strange smell, almost of pot, so who knows what that was from. The lobby is beautiful, but the Gold Room is amazing! The hotel almost has a feel like you would be in the movie "The Shining", but I like that sort of ghostly feel. The restaurant was overpriced, not so great food, and drinks in plastic cups. It was New Year's Eve, but I expected more, I suppose. We weren't venturing out, so it had to do. I wouldn't recommend it again, though. Now for the view. AMAZING! We sat in the two large windows overlooking the lake, counted down to the new year, and watched the amazing fireworks show even though the snow was coming down. It was a sight! We only stayed the night, but I think I would give it another shot. Maybe in the spring or summer would be better for us.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Violet A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2014

Location, location, location. Forget the Miracle Mile. Check out this great historic hotel right across the street from Grant Park. With lakefront views available looking right at Buckingham Fountain it doesn't get any better. Catching a ball game? Just a one block to the subway that will take you directly to Wrigley Field or US Cellular Field. Easy walk to Soldier Field and the downtown museums. Buddy Guy's Legends nightspot right around the corner. What more could you ask for. Don't let the "dated" comments fool you. This one is an historic charmer!

Room Tip: Ask for the Lakeview King!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Rick H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2014 via mobile

I've stayed here several times when I have business in the South Loop. I have also stayed at the travel lodge across the street. Both are very well located and both are shabby but the Congress has a "faded Glory" kind of charm I like. The rooms are OK with clean nice beds and flat screen, and coffee. I would recommend this hotel at $129 or less, but over that it is a rip off. Travel Lidge is worth maybe $89. I negotiated a $179 price but was charged the tax extra (this is not how negotiations work). So basically they cheated me, and earned themselves a lower rating. However, I like the funky charm and I need to stay at this location, so I'm sure I will stay here, and at the Travel Lodge, again but always try to get a low rate on the internet (Hotwire maybe).

Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
Thank cbxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

This is the second time I've stayed here when wanting to be close to Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, Millennium Park, etc. I paid $230 on a Saturday night in June. 2 queen Beds. Accommodations were sufficient. Only issue was that the room had a pretty strong odor and the air conditioning didn't seem to work very well. This is a very old/historic hotel so it doesn't surprise me. We were okay with this since we didn't spend much time in the room. There is a really good pizza place within walking distance called Pizano's that I highly recommend. Due to the location of this property, I would stay here again expecting it to not be 100% perfect.

Room Tip: Family suite is spacious
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Karrie40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2014

The hotel is centrally located on S. Michigan ave. We walked everywhere. We stayed just for the weekend. It's an older hotel, but we didn't have any major issues, but our toilet kept running. Not a big deal. We only were there to sleep at night. However, to get hot water it took a good 5 plus minutes for the water to heat up. The people at the concierge were not very informative when we asked them questions. The bell man did give us a coupon and recommended a pizza place near by and it was good. Over all we had a good experience except for minor details.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank Annuccia1223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center

Address: 520 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605-1602
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Illinois > Chicago > Downtown / The Loop
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #153 of 192 Hotels in Chicago
Price Range: £67 - £195 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center 3*
Number of rooms: 851
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step inside and experience an extraordinary piece of living history during your next visit to downtown Chicago at the Congress Plaza Hotel. This "Landmark of Chicago Hospitality" has delighted business and leisure travelers for over a century. Guests at the Congress Plaza Hotel can explore art institute, millenium park, buckingham fountain, magnificent mile,museum campus all with in walking distance just by stepping outside our front doors. Situated adjacent to Grant Park, our 14-story property is located along Michigan Avenue, providing unlimited access to the city's finest retail stores, the bustling business district and Chicago attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Congress Plaza Chicago
Hotel Congress Plaza
Congress Hotel Chicago
Congress Plaza Hotel Chicago

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